TUSCON MONSTER JAM
MARCH 4TH, 2005 - TUSCON CIVIC CENTER
My parents are really cranking out the Coverages!! Yet another from them now with the Tuscon Monster Jam!! As always, they did a fantastic job, and I would again like to publicly thank them for all their hard work to bring us Monster Truck coverage from out west, and for their support of The Monster Blog!! Enough from me, enjoy the Tuscon Monster Jam Coverage!!
- Ross Z. Bonar - The Monster Blogger
There were four shows at the Tucson Civic Center this weekend, but
unfortunately we were only able to cover one of them. However, it
was definitely a very good one!! Lynette and I arrived at the Civic
Center right after the first Saturday event had ended. After getting
passed security and checking in with LiveNation's Jason Huggler, event
director of this weekend's events, we could see that the Monsters had
already been put through some very tough runs.
McGruff had two tires off and
the crew was working on the rear end. Tropical Thunder had a
Lynette and I arrived back at about 6:15PM and we were hoping to meet the drivers as the only one we had met was Rod Wood, back in Phoenix earlier this year. I remember the first time meeting Rod; he had told me his son Murph was going to start driving Monster Trucks as soon as he got his driver's license as Murph is only 15. The other five drivers we had not met.
Walking back in, it was
obvious that we would not be able to chat or introduce ourselves as they
were all still working on three of the trucks. I was able to talk to
Chuck Russell for just a few minutes, as he was very busy also.
Chuck is a Track Official for LiveNation, a very cool guy that Lynette and
I had met in Albuquerque, NM a few weeks earlier.
Well, without further delay, let's meet the stars of the USHRA Monster Jam series that would be competing tonight!!
THE LINEUP OF TRUCKS
DEL SCORCHO - FRANK KRMEL
GRAVE DIGGER - CHARLIE PAUKEN
MCGRUFF - ROD WOOD
OBSESSION - RICK SWANSON
THE PATRIOT - DAN RODONI
TROPICAL THUNDER - PHIL FOSTER
Five of the trucks came out and were introduced. There was no McGruff, but thankfully he came driving out at the end of Introductions, just in time for the start of the show. I was afraid the truck would not be repaired on time, but they accomplished the mission and got it out on the track. It was a great job and unbelievable that they got it back together that quick.
The Wheelie Contest would start off the evening's action, and it was a very competitive contest. The first two trucks out, Phil Foster in Tropical Thunder and Rod Wood in McGruff, both did an awesome job, with McGruff's attempt really standing out. Their runs received scores of 25 for Tropical Thunder, and, unbelievably, only a 22 for McGruff. Unfortunately, I did not get any shots of the first two's attempts.
Obsession, Del Scorcho, and The Patriot all had only ok attempts, and would not contend for the win. I was already a bit annoyed with the judges when Grave Digger came out, and while he pulled off a very solid wheelie, I didn't think it was good enough for the win. Nonetheless, the scores went up for a 29, and the win goes to Charlie Pauken and Grave Digger!!
Next up was the Racing portion of the show!!
The First Round of Racing would feature some great races, with Charlie Pauken in Grave Digger taking out Rod Wood in McGruff, and then two VERY close races that made me glad I didn't have to call the winner. Phil Foster in Tropical Thunder edged out Rick Swanson in Obsession in one of the races, and the other looked nearly too close to call. The winner was called Dan Rodoni in The Patriot, but it was a moot point, as Frank Krmel in Del Scorcho would move on as the fast loser anyway.
MCGRUFF VS. GRAVE DIGGER
TROPICAL THUNDER VS. OBSESSION
THE PATRIOT VS. DEL SCORCHO
More great racing in the Semi-Finals as Charlie Pauken in Grave Digger just barely edged out Frank Krmel in Del Scorcho to earn a berth in the Finals. Next it was a battle of teammates, as Dan Rodoni in The Patriot and Phil Foster in Tropical Thunder faced off against each other. Another very close race, but it was Phil Foster beating the boss, and Tropical Thunder would be going up against Digger in the Finals!!
DEL SCORCHO VS. GRAVE DIGGER
THE PATRIOT VS. TROPICAL THUNDER
With Grave Digger's black & green, and Tropical Thunder's bright orange & yellow, this had to be the most colorful race of the evening!! The trucks launched off the line, and while Grave Digger had a wilder run, Phil Foster stayed low and fast, and took the big Racing victory!! Congratulations to Phil Foster and the whole Tropical Thunder team!!
DEL SCORCHO VS. GRAVE DIGGER
Next up the six trucks would go for the Freestyle win, click below to see the action!!