Well, maybe not literally, but the vibrations shaking the Kentucky State Fairgrounds Friday night were reminiscent of the roof-removing 1974 tornado. An enthusiastic crowd of seven thousand fans made almost as much noise as the huge trucks jumping through the air at the first performance of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam event. Tickets are still available for Saturday’s performance. (CLICK HERE)
Eight of the biggest, meanest Monster Trucks competed in several heats for high scores and a victor’s trophy. The clear crowd-favorite, Carl Van Horn, driving Grave Digger®, excelled in every event. His fans celebrated his wins by waiving small replicas of his lucky “jolly roger” skull and crossbones black flag. Snow cones in commemorative skull mugs were popular vendor items.
Only slightly less popular with the audience were Greg Winchenbach, driving Crushstation, and Nicole Johnson, behind the wheel of Scooby-Doo™. With an elongated pink fuselage designed to look like a giant lobster, Crushstation flew through the jumps like some monster from the deep. And Scooby-Doo, replete with a big black nose and wagging tail, elicited cries of “ruh roh!” each time Mrs. Johnson pushed the powerful tuck into an almost vertical leap up the dirt ramp and over the top of the brightly-painted carcasses of wrecked automobiles.
By the way, don't think of Nicole Johnson as just a pretty face in Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam. This mother of two has a lengthy list of motorsports accomplishments on her resume. She has 17 years of four wheeling experience in her past and she has excelled in rock crawling competitions, which she first undertook as a professional in 2005. Not only has she been a big winner in the Western US rock crawling series, Johnson has also driven in short course racing on the Lucas Oil Off Road Series. Along with being a success on the track, Nicole Johnson relishes being a role model for the youth and brings her positive message to fans of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, and she especially focuses that message on the children, encouraging the sport's young fans to take care of themselves and make the right decisions. Johnson tells the young fans at events to respect themselves, respect others, and to know that they can achieve anything that they want if they make the right decisions and work hard for what they want.
Between the Monster Truck heats, fans were entertained by eight 4-wheeled ATVs, racing over a motocross circuit. The halftime show featured two giant—and marvelously realistic—transformers, in a battle to the death. The “good” transformer eventually defeated the “evil” machine, with flame and explosions; to the excited squeals of the thousands of kids watching.