2017 Monster Jam World Freestyle Champion Lee O’Donnell proved he can get the job done at the Roger’s Centre on Sunday, sweeping the weekend’s wheelie competition.
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 showcased what the competition was about. The veteran put the truck up on its nose, driving forward inch by inch for what is called the moonwalk – until he ultimately flipped it over.
While the fans (scoring system explained at the end) gave him a 9.226 for the victory, myself only had him scoring an eighth and ending up second overall. Meanwhile, I had Jon Zimmer in Dragon winning with a 8.5, with the fans placing him in the runner-up spot with a 9.002.
Zimmer performed the perfect cross floor slap wheelie, from one end of the stadium to the other end, before a wheelie up one of the jump ramps.
The rules for the two-wheel competition see the drivers perform a pair of two-wheel acts, with both of those being judged for one combined score. As noted above, O’Donnell did not perform a second due to rolling on the first. Also, if you roll the truck over, then you successfully did not complete your maneuver as you were unable to land the truck down accordingly. Therefore, while it may be not as technically challenging to do what Zimmer did versus O’Donnell, it was executed better and therefore resulted in the difference of opinion as explained here. Feel free to comment your theory on the results.
After finding themselves at the bottom of Saturday’s leaderboard, Randy Brown (Grave Digger) and Ryan Anderson (Son-uva Digger) got redemption on Sunday as they placed third and fourth, respectively. Brown performed a pair of table top wheelies, while Anderson showcased the bicycle.
Mike Vaters II (Overkill Evolution) rounded out the top-five with a pair of wheelies.
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 Sunday afternoon, you could say there was debate to be had. 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.
|Dragon||8.5||VP Mad Scientist||9.226|
|VP Mad Scientist||8||Dragon||9.002|
|Iron Outlaw||7.5||Grave Digger||8.596|
|Grave Digger||7.25||Son-uva Digger||7.868|
|Overkill Evolution||7||Overkill Evolution||7.459|
|Son-uva Digger||7||Iron Outlaw||7.42|
|Xtreme Diesel||2.75||Xtreme Diesel||3.46|
|Black Stallion||1.75||Bounty Hunter||3.324|
|Bounty Hunter||1.5||Black Stallion||3.215|