2017 Monster Jam World Freestyle Champion Lee O’Donnell proved he can get the job done at the Roger’s Centre on Saturday night, scoring the two-wheel competition victory.
The object of the two-wheel competition is to see which driver and truck can do the best trick on two wheels, whether front, rear or side. With innovations coming out on a weekly basis, sometimes it can be a surprise to see what can be accomplished.
O’Donnell’s run behind the wheel of VP Mad Scientist was the perfect picture of what the competition is supposed to be. On each side of the stadium, the veteran put the truck up on its nose, driving forward inch by inch for what is called the moonwalk. The maneuver is one of the hardest to do technically, because just a little too much gas and you’ll be going over on your roof.
BJ Johnson (Gas Monkey Garage) was just as strong, coming up just shy of taking the victory with his choice of move. In his first performance inside the Roger’s Centre, he put the truck up on its tailgate and drove it across the stadium that way for a slap wheelie. He then did a table top walk, performing the same maneuver but across the top of one of the jumps.
Considered an underdog by the majority of fans, Mat Dishman (Rammnunition) came third on the scoring board, following a cross floor slap wheelie. Mike Christensen (Iron Outlaw) was fourth after performing a cross floor slap wheelie, and popper (placing the truck up on its nose). Kurt Kraehmer (Hotsy) rounded out the top-five with a pair of wheelies, the second of those ending with a rollover.
The shock was seeing both Ryan Anderson (Son-uva Digger) and Randy Brown (Grave Digger) near the bottom of the leaderboard as neither driver was able to put together a move, despite trying different approaches. It seemed the dirt was too loose on the table jump for either of them to get their tires to stick appropriately.
Beginning last year, Monster Jam implemented a fan judging system which sees every fan in the stadium who has a phone or tablet take part in the voting. Following the driver’s run, each fan has 20 seconds to score it anywhere from one to 10, with the average of everyone combined becoming the driver’s score.
The system has come into question on numerous occasions, regarding whether it’s fair or a valid way to score the competitors. When it came to Saturday night, the two-wheel competition saw the fans crown the correct winner overall – despite the scores being higher than what I would’ve given. The chart below showcases all of the drivers scores in order given by me, followed by all the drivers scores in order given by the fans.
|Gas Monkey||9.75||VP Mad Scientist||9.61|
|VP Mad Scientist||9.75||Gas Monkey||9.433|
|Bounty Hunter||3.75||Overkill Evolution||6.318|
|Scooby Doo||3.5||Bounty Hunter||5.972|
|Overkill Evolution||3.25||Scooby Doo||4.598|
|Son-uva Digger||3.25||Black Stallion||4.541|
|Black Stallion||2.5||Son-uva Digger||4.344|
|Xtreme Diesel||1.5||Grave Digger||3.468|
|Grave Digger||1||Xtreme Diesel||2.687|