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Monster Jam® Abu Dhabi Truck and Driver Line-Ups

21 Apr 2023

Abu Dhabi is preparing for a weekend of mega motorsports family fun this May at Etihad Arena, Yas Island.

With the full-throttle franchise marking its 30th anniversary, Monster Jam® promises a spectacular weekend featuring massive monster trucks going head-to-head in a series of high-flying stunts and intense competition, a motocross show and an unmissable pre-show Pit Party.

Ahead of Monster Jam’s arrival on Yas Island, we look at the history of six iconic trucks, the inspiration behind them, as well as the talented drivers who will be operating them in Abu Dhabi.

Grave Digger

Grave Digger

Grave Digger has been burying the competition for more than four decades. First constructed in 1981 as a hobby by Dennis Anderson out of a retro 1951 Chevy Panel Wagon and scrap metal back, fast forward and it remains a work of art; its iconic green paintwork with black flames and ghostly cemetery scene helping it become one of the world’s most decorated monster trucks. Inside the cockpit of Grave Digger, Anderson won four Monster Jam World Finals® championships before retiring in 2017, so in Abu Dhabi it will be Matt Cody looking to deliver a death sentence to opposition trucks as he embarks on an international tour for the first time. 

Max-D

Max-D

Maximum Destruction – also known as Max’D – classes itself as a “futuristic SUV” and is arguably one of the most creative trucks in the sport. Its bold orange and silver paintwork ensure it stands out from the crowd, while its low-level structure and sleek body allow it to live up to its name as one of the fastest, strongest, most destructive pieces of machinery in extreme sports. Max-D’s driver during the Etihad Arena spectacle will be Blake Granger, who was crowned ATV Racing Champion in 2019 at the Monster Jam Finals in Florida.

El Toro Loco

El Toro Loco

El Toro Loco® is a crazy bull who can smell the fear of its competitors. Custom-built in 2001, it is recognised as one of the most eye-catching monster trucks in the game due to its bull-like appearance, complete with sharpened teeth and giant horns. Winner of its first Freestyle Championship title in 2004 at the Monster Jam World Finals®, El Toro Loco® has appeared at every World Finals for the past 20 years. Brandon Arthur will be charged with taming the beast in Abu Dhabi, bringing to the Etihad Arena his self-proclaimed “aggressively calm” driving style – and with a raging bull, calm is crucial.

Megalodon and Monster Mutt Dalmatian

Megalodon and Monster Mutt Dalmatian

From the darkest depths of the ocean comes Megalodon, the Monster Jam® version of one of the most formidable predators in history. Complete with razor-sharp teeth and pointed tailfin, the terrifying shark concept made its debut in 2016 and became an instant success, winning the 2017 Monster Jam Triple Threat SeriesTM. In Abu Dhabi, Charlie Pauken will be manhandling Megalodon, who is also a firm favourite at pit parties where fans of all ages enjoy getting up close and personal with this menacing monster.

The Canine of Carnage, there are actually four versions of Monster Mutt, including the original, Monster Mutt® Rottweiler, Monster Mutt® Junkyard Dog, and the version that will be wagging its way to the UAE, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian. With its two-metre tires, huge floppy ears, tongue, and erratic tail, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian will be driven by Myranda Cozad in Abu Dhabi. Cozad started her Monster Jam® career in 2016 and will be looking to prove once again that destructive dogs are not only a man’s best friend.

Blue Thunder and PIT PARTY

Blue Thunder and  PIT PARTY

Cover your ears – Blue Thunder is about to rumble. The popular monster made its debut in 2001 in Houston, Texas, since then becoming a fan favourite and competing regularly in the Monster Jam World Finals® . In 2013, Blue Thunder unveiled a new body and paintjob, establishing itself among the sport’s fan base as a classic with its plain dark-blue design. Blue Thunder will be driven in Abu Dhabi by Chelsea VanCleave, a Monster Jam® rookie who had garnered a wealth of racing experience in other motorsports. This year marks the first time she will test her skills internationally.

As well as all the action on the dirt, fans can also purchase their tickets to access the Monster Jam Pit Party, where they will be able to get up close to Grave Digger®, El Toro Loco® and Max-D and have the chance to meet the drivers and understand the preparations required ahead of competition. The Pit Party will run from 11am until 1pm on event day, with the main event starting at 2pm. Fans can also play a part in the action by voting for the winner in the Skills, Donuts, and Freestyle competitions via real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones. 

Motor 283

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