Monster Jam | XORRA: Round 1
Monster Jam | XORRA: Semi-Final
Monster Jam | XORRA: Final
First, I have to confess. The last time I went to a monster truck show was way back in the mid 1980s. If memory serves me right, Bigfoot was the truck to beat back in those days. Now fast forward 25 years and you will find that monster trucks take part in one of the biggest live motorsports events of all time. Feld Entertainment’s Monster Jam is said to pull in more than 2.5 million people each year. Vehicles like “Grave Digger” & “Monster Mutt” have literally become household names. Come to think of it, my 4 year old son has a Monster Jam Xbox 360 game. Yes, they’re everywhere.
Now let’s jump to our end of the market. The Weaver’s, who manage the XRRA rock racing circuit under the umbrella company XORRA, have talked about running a separate stadium type series for years now. Nearly overnight, this concept of “arena rock racing” just got one step closer to reality. XORRA, with the help of XRRA driver Dan McDonald, struck a deal with Monster Jam to run one small arena rock racing competition during a live Monster Jam show. The idea was to treat this first show as an exhibition or pilot in hopes the audience would like what they saw. If they did, maybe arena rock racing had a future with Monster Jam.
With literally no prize money at stake (aside from any contingencies) and only two weeks before King of the Hammers, six XRRA drivers hauled out to Angles Stadium in Anaheim, CA to put it all on the line in front of nearly 50,000 spectators. In the end, I think they put on one heck of a show! Yes the courses were short and yes the XORRA portion went very fast. However, all the XRRA drivers showed the highest level of professionalism anyone could ask for. Just as important, the audience really seemed to enjoy the show. Only time will tell if something comes out of all of this, but hats off to everyone involved for making it a true success.
It’s hard to imagine that this time last year we were still wiring up the Rock Bug (see “Rock Bug Weekend Update for January 24, 2009”). Despite all of our best efforts to have the Rock Bug ready to race 2009 King of the Hammers (KOH), its highly custom Scat V4 motor decided otherwise. Literally one day before the race, severe lack of engine performance forced driver Tracy Jordan and the Rock Bug to bow out of the 2009 KOH competition.
It was a tough blow, especially given the amount of time and energy devoted to the Rock Bug project. There was little time to feel bad about it though as the 2009 W.E.Rock rock crawling season was about to begin. So we were all back at it trying to make the Scat V4 motor happy. It took us the first two W.E.Rock competitions before we were able to get the Scat V4 motor under control. Once we did though, the fate of the Rock Bug had permanently changed.
With a perfectly running Scat V4 engine, Tracy Jordan and the Rock Bug seemed unstoppable, taking home 1st place spots in the final two W.E.Rock competitions. Shortly after, the 2009 W.E.Rock season ended on the highest note we could ask for. Tracy Jordan and the Rock Bug won the 2009 W.E.Rock Grand Nationals (see “W.E.Rock 2009 Grand Nationals – Tracy Jordan & The Rock Bug on the Shootout (Part 2 of 2)”) which is one of the highest rock crawling awards of the year. Life was good.
With a full year of rock crawling competition (and three victories) under its belt, we’re more ready then ever for this years 2010 KOH competition. Instead of rushing to put together a brand new concept vehicle, we are now able to take our time and focus on many of the smaller items we ran out of time for last year. We spent most of this year’s preparation on cooling (larger transmission cooler, radiator cooling fins, oil sump scoop), modifications to comply with new rules (rear light bar, bladder style fuel cell with firewall, window net changes), and small go-fast improvements (higher performance alternator, on-board tools, fresh air system). All in all, the Rock Bug is now looking ready to race.
The Rock Bug will be back on the road tomorrow heading over to Gerald’s place for final wiring on the new electrical goodies. After which, Tracy and the Rock Bug will be heading out to the KOH lake bed for some final tuning. Set your calendars for February 12th, 2010 which marks this years KOH race day. Hope to see you out on there!