Monster Jam roars into Royal Farms Arena - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Monster Jam roars into Royal Farms Arena

Matt Cody’s weekend in Illinois could have hardly been worse. On Friday night, he broke a wheel. On Saturday, his engine died. On Sunday, the new engine he installed wasn’t that much better than the one that crippled his monster truck a day earlier.

Matt Cody, a native of Williamsport, drives Blue Thunder.

“It was tough, really, really tough,” Cody, a native of Williamsport, Md., said. “When you have that many problems, there’s only so much you can do. Let’s hope this weekend is better.”

Cody hopes to race to better fortunes this weekend in Royal Farms Arena, where his “Blue Thunder” truck will be joined by seven other trucks who will turn the arena’s floor into their personal playground as the behemoth beasts soar through the air.

“I’ve never raced there but I know all about the history of Royal Farms Arena,” Cody, 24, said. “I can’t wait to walk down the halls and think about all of the great performers who have walked the same halls and put on a show. It’s an honor for me.”

Grave Digger

Cody will look to win over the crowd – and points toward a berth in the Monster Jam XVIII World Finals in Las Vegas from  March 23-25  – when he takes the wheel of his about 13-foot high, 18-foot long Blue Thunder, which looks like something straight out of comic book.

Cody’s truck sports a 1,700-horsepower engine and 66-inch tires that he hopes will power him to victory atop a talented field, which includes Grave Digger (Krysten Anderson), Zombie (Ami Houde), El Toro Loco (Armando Castro), Alien Invasion (Bernard Lyght), Megalodon (Justin Sipes), Pirate’s Curse (Camden Murphy) and Monster Mutt Rottweiler (J.R. Seasock)

Zombie

The competition will test the drivers’ array of skills, as each will try to earn points by driving the fastest, pulling off the best wheelies, doing the most donuts and the performing the best freestyle throughout a night where these 10,000-pound trucks will fly through the air.

Each driver also brings a speedster and an ATV modeled after their monster truck to use in races where speed and agility trump power.

The scoring is simple. There are seven events, with four featuring monster trucks: one-on-one racing, donut competitions, wheelie and freestyle. The other two events are ATV and speedster racing. The winner of each event earns eight points, the second-place finisher seven and each finisher receives one fewer point than the person who finished ahead of them.

Pirate’s Curse

The driver with the most points at the end of the regular season, which ends in two weeks, earns a berth in the Monster Jame XVII World Finals in Las Vegas where they will compete against 15 other top riders. For the seven drivers who don’t finish first, they will have one final race, where the winner advances to Sin City and the rest get ready for next season.

Megalodon sits in first with 883 points followed by Pirate’s Curse (781), El Toro Loco (683) and Zombie (658). Cody’s Blue Thunder is fifth with 607 points, just head of Grave Digger (602), Alien Invasion’ 558 and Monster Mutt Rottweiler’s 466

“Everyone gets along with each other, but we are all out there to win,” he said.  “With the way the scoring works, a lot can change in a weekend because there are so many shows. Last weekend, I started in third place and when the weekend, where we did six shows, was over, I was in fifth. I lost a lot of ground. I have to make it up.”

Monster Jam

Where: Royal Farms Arena

When: Friday: 7:30; Saturday: 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sunday: *2 p.m.

Tickets: $70, $60, $30, $20 and can be purchased here.

*Sold out


About the author

Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game. Contact the author.
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