5/10/2010 by Gary Katzer
Copyright:© 2010 Horizon Hobby, Inc.
We've had the opportunity to attend several large races, fly-ins and trade shows in recent years, but nothing compares to the size and scale of the Monster Jam World Finals. We were very lucky to be invited to participate in a very special RC-portion of this event thanks to the hard work of the folks at Ultimate Hobbies, Losi, HPI Racing, Hot Bodies and Traxxas. RC Demos ran during the Ford Party in the Pits from nearly sun-up to sun-down on the grounds of Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada and gave spectators a wide variety of gas, nitro and electric-powered RC vehicles. In all it was a terrific celebration of everything that is right about our hobby in the shadows of some of the coolest full-scale vehicles on the planet.
Along with the demonstration portion of the event the organizers also put together an RC "Monster Jam" of sorts, with each of the drivers equipping their RC monster trucks with replica bodies of the full-scale trucks that would do battle inside Sam Boyd Stadium later that weekend. In one of the most fun and unique racing events we've ever participated in, spectators clamored around the area to see if their favorite truck could do as well in RC-form as they do in full-scale. In the end HPI Racing's John Schultz took the win in the racing exhibition with his Grave Digger-clad HPI Savage. This was a precursor to things to come later in the evening.
Once the RC-portion of the event was over and done with, we cleaned up and had a chance to watch the full-scale event. The racing portion of the event was quite exciting with a lot of carnage, torn-up trucks and some fantastic racing. Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger edged out Tom Meents and Maximum Destruction in the racing finals to capture the world title. In the Freestyle competition drivers and trucks were pushed to the limits as only a handful of drivers successfully completed their runs. In what was a special part of the show for RC enthusiasts in the crowd, George Bahlan, driver of the Escalade truck, came out of this truck to salute the crowd after his run. He pulled off the top of his fire suit and revealed an HPI Racing shirt. It was a neat tip of the hat to our industry from someone who gets to enjoy the full-size side of our hobby. In what turned out to be a victory for the underdog, Charlie Paukin and the Monster Mutt truck took the World Championship in Freestyle.
Just when we thought the show was over the crowd was treated to an encore to the Freestyle portion of the show. Many new trucks were debuted during this part of the show including a new Madusa truck sporting new colors in support of breast cancer awareness; George Bahlan debuted a new truck sporting his trademark mohawk on the top called the Mohawk Warrior; and three different Grave Diggers representing the past, present and future of the team closed out the show in dramatic fashion in a finale that had to be seen to be believed.
This was by-far one of the most energized events we've ever had the chance to be a part of. We'd again like to thank Cliff Murakami, all the folks at Ultimate Hobbies, John Schultz and the HPI Racing/Hot Bodies crew, Gary Kyes and Bill Jeric from Losi, Bari Musawwir and the guys from Florida who brought all the bodies, timing and scoring equipment to run the RC Monster Jam Races and the folks from Traxxas for helping out with this event. Above all we'd like to thank all the fans and drivers from the Monster Jam World Series for inviting us to be a part of such a fun event. We can't wait until the 2011 season kicks off!
Copyright © 2005-2014 Horizon Hobby, LLC