ST. LOUIS MONSTER JAM
February 12th, 2005 - Edward Jones Dome
THE MONSTER BLOG'S first Monster Truck event coverage to be posted on the
site!! I am very excited to bring you coverage of the St. Louis
Monster Jam event held back on February 12, 2005. Before I begin the
coverage, I would like to tell you a little about myself and we ended up
at the Edward Jones Dome for this particular event!!
When I was a young kid, I was a huge fan of monster trucks. I had all of the classic Matchbox SuperChargers trucks, as well as all of the old Bigfoot Champions series trucks by Hot Wheels. I spent hours upon hours playing with the trucks, crushing cars, mud-bogging, etc. I rented and owned many of the classic MT videos, Bigfoot Strikes Again, War of the Monster Trucks, etc. and watched them until the tapes wore out. My favorite truck was Bigfoot, and my idol was Jim Kramer, then the primary driver of the big blue Ford. I even got to go to Springfield, MO for an event that my dad took me too, and got to meet Mr. Kramer and get his autograph and my picture taken with him. Talk about being speechless!!
But anyway, like so many children do, I slowly grew out of Monster Trucks as I became a young teenager, and switched mostly to NASCAR. I would still catch the occasional Monster Truck event on ESPN2 or TNN, and would enjoy them, but there came a point where monster trucks just weren't really that big of an interest of mine.
Fast forward to late last year, and I caught a Monster Jam event on the SPEED Channel, and in no time, I was hooked again. I checked out the Monster Jam website, and sure enough there was an event coming up at the Edward Jones Dome in February, just a few a days after my 20th birthday!! I told my wife that I wanted to go to the event as my b-day present, and being the good sport she is (she attends St. Louis Cardinals baseball games with me regularly), she agreed and I ordered the tickets.
My excitement grew and grew until finally it was the day of the event!! On our way up to St. Louis, we stopped in Rolla, MO and went to the local Staples store. As part of my birthday present, we had been contemplating getting a new digital camera. We ended up laying down around $400 for a Sony 5.1 megapixel, that is just awesome. The camera has turned out to be a great investment. As for the pictures in this coverage, you will see that yours truly was still learning how to use it at the event!!
We finished the 2 hour drive up to St. Louis and got there in plenty of time for the pit party. I had never been to one of those, and was very excited by the way it sounded. Boy, were we in for a treat!!
THE PIT PARTY
We waited patiently at the doors, along with a good-sized crowd of other folks waiting to get in. Not having been around monster truck racing since being an adult, I have to admit I was suprised at the number of people there. When we got inside, I was in awe at the idea of getting to walk around the arena (this is the same place where the Rams play!!), and getting to walk around all of these huge obstacles!! When I was a kid, there certainly weren't any bus jumps!!
This is my beautiful wife Rajeana, standing in front of the awesome car-van-bus-van-car obstacle that would be tackled by the awesome monster trucks in just a few short hours.
And some of the other obstacles that would be taken on throughout the course of the event. One other thing that surprised me about the event was the presentation. I was not used to a monster truck event with so much care taken in the presentation of the event (painting of the cars, dirt jumps, etc) and was very impressed. Not your typical state fair monster truck event presentation.
So after checking out the obstacles, we made our way around to see some of the trucks attendance.
THE LINEUP OF MONSTER TRUCKS
You talk about a star-studded lineup of trucks, this was a great example of that. I felt very lucky to be attending an event with such a first class field of competitors!!
From what I had heard, this driver Jason Witte, was from nearby Washington, MO, making him kind of a hometown favorite. Upon hearing this, my wife and I decided that we would be rooting for the very cool Wild Hair truck. I also later heard that this was Jason Witte's last ride before selling the truck to another owner, so we were wanting to see him go out in style.
When we came upon the Devastator truck, I was really excited. To see that big, good-looking Chevy Silverado monster truck standing tall was awesome. From talking with the folks around me, I learned that the driver's name was Mark Schroeder, and I recognized the name from him doing some announcing for the SPEED Channel's Monster Jam events.
No, I don't know the lady and the baby in the picture, but at this point, it was getting difficult to take pictures of the trucks because of the size of the crowd growing in the arena. I remembered this truck from TV as being Dan Evans and the Destroyer.
Ah yes, the Ford corporate-backed Blue Thunder truck. Being a Chevy guy, it embarrassed me a little bit to admit that this was one of my favorite trucks out there. I remembered watching it on TV when it had first debuted and was driven by Lyle Hancock. I loved the paint scheme, and the truck always seemed so incredibly powerful on the TV events, I was looking forward to seeing what it could do in this big arena.
Didn't really know much about this truck at the time, beyond the fact that it was driven by Jimmy Creten, and was one of the cooler looking trucks out there.
My wife thought the fact that this truck was driven by a woman was awesome, and immediately decided that this was going to be one of the trucks she cheered for. Personally I just really liked the paint scheme!
I recognized the name Guy Wood as being the former driver of the Bulldozer truck, which I always thought was one of the cooler trucks on TV. I was excited to see what he could do in the great looking Hot Wheels truck.
EL TORO LOCO
This has got to be one of the best looking monster trucks ever created. Based on the Bulldozer design, this truck driven by Lupe Soza is a real show stopper. I love this picture, and have used it on the site in a few other places, as you may have noticed.
And now we get down to the real heavy hitters. When you go to an event like this, you can certainly pick out the top trucks, even if you know nothing about the sport, just by looking at the lines for autographs. Tom Meents' line was huge, and Max D is an awesome truck!!
And now the man himself, Dennis Anderson and the Grave Digger. This being the one truck in attendance that I could vividly remember from my old monster truck videos as a kid, I was telling my wife everything I knew about the truck. I recounted old memories of classic Bigfoot vs. Grave Digger battles, and how much I despised this truck, being a Bigfoot fan and all. However, tonight I was just looking forward to seeing this truck in action, as, from the TV events I had recently watched, it was obvious that Grave Digger and Anderson had come a long way from those early days of monster truck racing.
Another thing that struck me about the event was the accessibility of the drivers for autographs. I loved the fact that, just like in the good old days of monster trucks, the drivers always remember that the fans are the reason why they have a job, and they appreciate us as much as we appreciate them, and are willing to sign autographs for hours. Tom Meents was so good with the little kids, and Anderson was such a class act, I was just very impressed by the whole presentation of the event.