Naples, Florida would be the first stop following the long first quarter season. The Florida Sports Park, known for it’s legendary swamp buggy racing, would play host to a three show Monster Jam weekend. After a great winter indoors it was time to get outside and leg out the Stone Crusher. Driver Steve Sims had a great weekend in the Stone Crusher. Sims was consistent in racing, making the semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, before breaking through on Sunday to pick up the racing victory on Sunday over Scott Hartsock and Gun Slinger. In freestyle, Sims was also strong throughout the weekend finishing in third place during all three freestyle competitions. The Stone Crusher team will remain in Florida this week as they travel north to Ocala Speedway for a four show weekend.
Following the biggest event in the sport, every year Monster Jam hold it’s annual awards banquet the Sunday after the World Finals. After a great season the entire Monster Trucks Unlimited team (Stone Crusher and Mopar Magic) were rewarded for their efforts. For the third time in four years the team was awarded with the Monster Jam Team Of The Year award for their excellence throughout the year. Also, after a fantastic season piloting the second Stone Crusher, driver Darren Migues was given the Rising Star award. With several wins, including a double down in Houston, Migues had clearly earned the honor as one of the brightest new stars in the sport.
(Photos Courtesy of Chris Cleveland)
As the regular season came to a close the Stone Crusher team embarked on the journey west to Las Vegas, Nevada. For the fourth year in a row driver Steve Sims was invited back to compete in the Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam to square off with 24 of the best drivers in the sport. The festivities kicked off on Friday with the Double Down event where thousands of the most die hard Monster Jam fans came out for the private pit-party and qualifying. After hours of signing autographs Sims geared up for qualifying. During his two practice runs Sims was very consistent and improved considerably on each pass. In his Qualifying pass Sims picked up a great amount of speed with a 16.70 second effort for 12th place.
On Saturday it was time for the biggest spectacle in monster truck racing. The packed Sam Boyd Stadium was electric as the event got started. In the first round of racing Sims had a tough opponent in Jon Zimmer and Amsoil Shock Therapy. When the light turned green, the Stone Crusher flew down Thunder Alley towards the turn with the lead. Sims made a smooth run and sailed to victory. Unfortunately after the finish it became clear something wasn’t right with the truck. Despite the crew’s best efforts the truck was unable to be repaired in time to make the call for the second round.
After a disapointing early exit in racing the Stone Crusher was ready for freestyle. Sims traversed the tough track as he got to work early in his freestyle taking on everything in his path. With massive air and some great vertical leaps the truck lasted throughout regulation and bonus time. In his last jump in bonus time the truck suffered some breakage to the steering, but that wouldn’t stop Sims. The determined driver wouldn’t stop there as he continued on for all the fans. The truck finally came to a stop a minute later after Sims got crossed up over the center hill and ended up on it’s side. The run would earn a score of 24 which was good enough for 10th place at the end of the night.
Once again, it was a great showing on the sport’s largest stage as Sims and the Stone Crusher performed well. Another grueling first quarter was in the books and the team wrapped up another awesome winter season.
For the first time since 2009 the Stone Crusher team headed north to Syracuse, New York this past weekend. The last time the team was in Syracuse, driver Steve Sims picked up a huge racing victory over Tom Meents and Maximum Destruction at the State Fairgrounds. This visit however brought the team to the Carrier Dome for its first ever Monster Jam event. Sims was on his game in Syracuse with just one event before the World Finals in Las Vegas. In racing Sims picked up a first round victory over Brutus. In the second round Sims was beaten by Madusa, but she pushed her truck too hard, and suffered heavy damage giving the Stone Crusher a reprieve into the semi-finals. Sims took advantage and knocked out Superman to advance to the finals. The final round match up pitted Sims against Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger. The two squared off for a great race but in the end it was Anderson coming away with the racing victory over the Stone Crusher. Following a great performance in racing it was time for freestyle. Sims rocked the Carrier Dome with a fantastic run from the Stone Crusher. The over two minute long run featured plenty of big air leaps, a nice save after getting crossed up over a van stack, and some spectacular crossthreads. The run scored a 26 which would tie for third place with Brutus and the Lucas Oil Crusader.
This week the team returns back home to Virginia Beach as they will spend the next week getting the truck ready for the trip out west to Las Vegas for the World Finals.
(Photo Courtesy of Kyle Carr)
Photos By: Robert Haught and Hector Palafox
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Venue: Sam Boyd Stadium
Date: March 25-27, 2010 [Read more…]