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Saturday, December 9, 2023

That’s My Jam

Monster Jam Roars Into the Dome

Luke Reistrom, ’21

As the engines roared to life, I knew that it was going to be a great show. The 1500 horsepower engines were deafening. As we entered the dome through the revolving doors, we could already see the trucks parked on the dirt. They were enormous! Making our way to our seats, we weaved in and out of 36,000 people, aging from toddler to elderly men and women. We settled into our seats and put in our earplugs. The crowd erupted as the show started, and a cloud of smoke formed at the top of the dome and flowed through the glow of flames and fireworks.

Fans admire Max-D — otherwise known as Maximum Destruction

Monster Jam is an annual, world-wide competition that has visited us in Syracuse for the past nine years at our very own Carrier Dome. It is a competition to see who has the fastest, toughest monster truck in the world. This can’t be decided based on the looks of the truck, even though they all have their signature paint jobs, so there are three competitions to decide which one is the best.

The first competition, the racing segment, is designed to get the crowd going. Two trucks line up at the starting line and the drivers rev their engines. When the light turns green, they race around the course. The course changes every year which adds a little variety to the competition. The winner of the race receives a certain amount of points toward the overall competition. The driver of the truck with the most points out of the sixteen-truck tournament wins the championship.

Wild Flower is driven by Rosalee Ramer — the youngest female professional monster truck driver whose career began at age 14!

The second competition is a two-wheel competition. The fans get involved in the scoring of this segment, by going to a website and voting. The drivers each have two minutes to perform the best two-wheel trick they have, and this is, by far, the hardest competition of the entire show. Most of the time, the winner can hold a wheelie for three seconds.

The last competition is the freestyle segment. The drivers, with their 12,000 pound beasts, have two minutes to perform some awesome tricks, such as jumping over cars, driving over busses, or doing backflips. The winner is crowned based on the average the fans gave them and the best driver would average over a nine. The freestyle segment is the reason most people go to Monster Jam because it is by far the most action-packed segment of the entire show.

That is a mighty suspension system!

If you’re lucky, you can obtain tickets to the “Pit Party,” where you can grab an up-close look at the drivers and trucks, and maybe even get an autograph. The drivers love to talk about their trucks, chatting on about their latest improvements, or their records so far. This is a great opportunity for a selfie!

Max-D rides high in the Carrier Dome

I have been attending Monster Jam with my friend Jason and my cousin Trey for six years. I plan to attend for many years to come. If you like loud engines, fast trucks and cool tricks, I believe you, too, would enjoy Monster Jam.

All images by the author.