by Jett White

 

Monster Jam trucked into Toronto’s Rogers Centre this past weekend, as part of the Maple Leaf Tour.   This particular tour features 16 Monster Jam trucks, weighing 10,000+ pounds each, and boasts two Canadian drivers – Dragon, driven by Scott Liddycoat and Northern Nightmare driven by Cam McQueen, who did a great job wowing fans.

As always, the crowd pleasers were on hand to put on a show, including Zombie and Rage, Son Uva DiggerScooby DooAlien Invasion, Monster Mutt RottweilerBounty HunterIron OutlawHigher Education, Black StallionStorm Damage and Hurricane Force.   And saving the most well known for last – the ever-popular Grave Digger. It’s hard not to be impressed with these trucks, given their 66-inch tires and 2000 horsepower.

In the Monster Truck race competition, Grave Digger emerged victorious and proved once again why he’s a four-time world champion and a fan favourite.

Up next was the ATV race, followed by a brand new category featured for the first time at Rogers Centre.  Dubbed the Skyrocket Team, monster dune buggies designed to look like their Monster Jam truck counterparts, took to the dirt to freestyle and be judged by a 6-person panel.  In the end, Son UVA Digger took the trophy.

A short intermission ensued before the big boys were back on deck to compete freestyle.  However, luck wasn’t on the side of any of the drivers or their vehicles, as this section of the show knocked out truck after truck and produced a virtual graveyard of broken down vehicles. Though it didn’t stop him, Zombie lost part of his arm, and Bounty Hunter lost a sway bar. Northern Nightmare destroyed his front end, and Grave Digger dug deep into the dirt when both front tires splayed out on either of the side of the truck. Son UVA Digger flattened a back tire that spun and wobbled awkwardly with each and every jump, and eventually caused him to crash land, so to speak.  However, given the points standing at the end, the Son UVA Digger truck was awarded the prize.

Special mention must be given to Scooby Doo, driven by female driver Nicole Johnson, as she impressively maneuvered her way across the dirt and into the hearts of fans. She was one of only a few drivers that managed to go hard and thrill fans without destroying her vehicle.  Monster Mutt Rottweiler also put on a spectacular show and delighted kids and adults alike.

Due to so many vehicle casualties toward the end of the show, the evening ended much sooner than show goers anticipated.  That said, it was still a memorable event with drivers entertaining fans both in their trucks and out, with a pre-show Party in the Pits and an after show autograph signing session.