MONSTER JAM

TIM'S TOYOTA CENTER - PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - 3/2/07

By Lauren & Lynette Bonar

 

Arriving in Prescott Valley at the new Timís Toyota Center was a new experience for both Lynn and I. We had covered two other events in Prescott Valley, but had no idea this new indoor event center existed. Going inside to check in, we meet Robbie; this lady has checked us in before and is always friendly while following all guidelines. While getting us checked in, she introduced us to Marc Brafman who helped us getting our credentials. Marc said he had been working for Live Nation a short time, but sure was enjoying it.

Lynn and I did not have a chance to talk to the drivers before the show as there was no Pit Party on Friday Night. So we decided since this was a new facility, we would check it out before the crowd was let in.

 

 

One of the first things we spotted was the Monster Jam souvenir stand. Steven Guzman, Mark Rubalcava and Rudy Guzman SR had a fine display of items. This was the first time I had seen the new World Finals Monster Jam pennant. Let me correct myself, flags. Growing up a baseball fan and going to the games, I was taught they are called pennants, but in the Monster Truck world, they are called flags!

 


The United States Army was also represented as the Prescott Valley Recruiting Office had set up a stand. Sergeant First Class Shannon Allen, Staff Sergeant Vinnie Van Brussel and Sergeant Clinton Ludwick were there to answer any questions regarding joining the Army; like Basic Training and schools that can be applied for. For a little entertainment they brought a war simulation game, it was very cool as we watched them play before the crowds rolled in. These fine gentlemen can be reached at the Prescott Gateway Mall or at Clinton.Ludwick@usarec.army.mil (928) 443-8958.
 


We met Kevin one of the four Security Supervisors on hand for tonightís event. Kevin gave us the grand tour of the Event Center. He explained where we could be and could not be. This was a very small facility compared to most we have been to, seating about 4,300. Kevin explained we would not be able to get pictures at Racing finish line as the facility had Suites on both sides of the Event Center and they had all been rented out. I would like to thank Kevin and the Security crew, this was the first time we have had this pleasant of an experience with Security. It was amazing!!

I was not disappointed at the event this Friday evening, as the Veterans, Policemen, Fireman active duty and retired were all asked to stand and be recognized. This is an awesome thing to many. The National Anthem was done by a gentleman with a very long name, ďlolĒ but he sang the anthem as well as I ever heard.
 

 


Now for the line up for the first Motor Sports event at Timís Toyota Center sponsored by Ford. Wait a minute!! Toyota Center sponsored by Ford? Is that an oxymoron???
 

THE TRUCK LINEUP

 

ARACHNAPHOBIA - SCOTT ANDERSON

 

 

EL MATADOR - DARON BASL

 

 

GRAVE DIGGER - ALEX BLACKWELL

 

 

KING KRUNCH - DAVID SMITH

 

SAFE AUTO MINIMIZER - MARC MACDONALD

 

 

SHATTERED - MATT POWERS

 

INTRODUCTIONS

 

Wait another minute! Does that say Alex Blackwell in Grave Digger? Yes, Rod Schmidt who was scheduled to drive Grave Digger was snowed in at his residence in Iowa. Alex Blackwell was in Tucson scheduled to drive Bull Dozer. Live Nation found a ride for Alex up to Prescott Valley to take Rod Schmidtís place in Grave Digger. I did not get to speak with Alex very long after the show as he and the other drivers had to go up to the autograph table, but he had a big smile on his face and done a great job.

 

 

 

WHEELIE CONTEST

 

Daron Basl in El Matador was first up in the wheelie contest and the fan judges scored him with a 22. These fans were given a talking to by the announcer, letting them know this was not a popularity contest. He must have scared them, as they scored four drivers with a 22.
 


Next was Scott Anderson in Arachnophobia. Scott done a fantastic job and will win the contest with a 25. I was able to say a few words to Scott after the show; he was really happy and excited as he should have been.
 

 


Mathew Powers driving Shattered put up a very awesome wheelie reminding me of Kreg Christensen driving Spiderman in Las Vegas. Looking at pictures from both mine and Lynnís camera, I believe Mathew deserved a much higher score than the 22 he received. Not taking anyway from Scott Anderson, but Shattered put up a very good wheelie also.
 

 


David Smith was next in his awesome looking King Krunch. David always does a great job at everything on the course. This night I could tell there might be a problem as I have seen much better by David. The fan score was 22.
 

 


Marc McDonald in Safe Auto Minimizer was up next with a very good showing. This was not Marcís night with the wheelie contest, but he would go on to prove it was his night in some of the other competitions. Fan Score 22.
 


Alex Blackwell driving Grave Digger for the very first time had to be a bundle of nerves. Alex went for it and put up a very nice wheelie, but the fan judges gave him a 23 and second place in the wheelie contest. Not bad for his first competition in Grave Digger. You could certainly tell this young man was no rookie in a Monster Truck. I really like watching Alex perform, Ross and I seen him driving Sudden Impact in Mansfield Ohio and Phoenix AZ last year.
 


Congratulations to Scott Anderson in Arachnophobia for the wheelie win!

 

RACING COMPETITION

 

I must remind everyone the pictures for racing are not really great because of the angles. As you all know the ideal spot is to get an angle with the trucks crossing the finish line, but this could not happen because of the private suites.

Mathew Powers in Shattered versus Alex Blackwell in Gravedigger. Pretty Close race as Grave Digger takes the victory. Alex Blackwell takes his first victory in his first race driving Grave Digger.
 


Scott Anderson in Arachnophobia versus David Smith in King Krunch. Scott Anderson still so happy about winning that wheelie contest, must have been thinking of something else as he let David Smith in King Krunch get a huge lead and the easy win.
 


Daron Basl in El Matador versus Marc McDonald in Safe Auto Minimizer. Mark McDonald is on a roll as he takes the victory. El Matador was right with him, but as he went up in the air, the nose of the truck stayed up a little too long.

 

 

 

Semi-Finals begin with Alex Blackwell in Grave Digger versus Daron Basl in El Matador who was the fastest loser in round one. This time Daron Basl in El Matador got the nose down over the finish line taking the victory and moves on to the finals.
 

 


David Smith in King Krunch who had a victory in the first round was having troubles with King Krunch and could not make the Semi Finals. This set up a race between Scott Anderson in Arachnophobia versus Marc McDonald in Safe Auto Minimizer. Scott was having trouble on the start as he lost by a pretty good margin once again and Safe Auto Minimizer moves on to the finals.

 

 

Daron Basl in El Matador the fastest loser in round one has made his way to the finals versus Marc McDonald in the Safe Auto Minimizer. This was a very close race and as stated previously we did not get the start/finish line shots. Marc McDonald takes the victory with what looked to be a very generous call. The race was close, but I believe El Matador may have been the victim of a bad call.

 

 

 

 

 

WHEELIE CONTEST

 

In the donut contest all drivers did put on a very impressive performance. David Smith brought King Krunch back out, but you could tell he was having problems. Even though, he put the King up on two wheels a couple times scoring a Fan Judged 21.
 


Daron Basl was all over the concrete arena, doing donuts and doing a lot of sliding scoring a 25 by the judges.
 


Alex Blackwell in Grave Digger and Marc McDonald in the Safe Auto Minimizer both scored perfect 30ís by the judges with Alex Blackwell winning by loudest applause. Another bit of history as Alex Blackwell wins his first overall competition in Grave Digger.
 

 

 

 

FREESTYLE COMPETITION

 

David Smith was not able to make it out with King Krunch as he had broken an axle. All other drivers and trucks made it out for freestyle. As always I will let the pictures do the talking and tell the story. Marc McDonald driving the Safe Auto Minimizer has his self quite a night will win the freestyle with a Fan Score of 28.
 

ARACHNAPHOBIA

 

 

 

 

 

SHATTERED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EL MATADOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAFE AUTO MINIMIZER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAVE DIGGER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL WORDS

 

Congratulations to all drivers for putting on a very good show!  Thank you to the security crew at Timís Toyota Center. Most of all a very big thank you to Live Nation for all their hospitality. Lynn & I both would really love to see another Monster Jam event in Prescott Valley next year. Until next time, thanks for reading and be sure to stop by the Fan Forum and let us know what you thought!
 

- Lauren & Lynette Bonar
 

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