Monster Jam roars into Hagerstown


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Nothing can really match the roar of a monster truck, and that’s exactly what you’ll hear at the Hagerstown Speedway this weekend.

The monster trucks will take to the track for races, a skills challenge, and a freestyle competition. The drivers will pilot a Monster Jam truck that weighs 12,000 pounds and stands at 10.5 feet tall, 12.5 feet wide and 17 feet long. Each Monster Jam truck is custom built specifically to fit its driver and has a custom detailed fiberglass body.

Adam Anderson is one of eight drivers competing in Monster Jam this weekend. He grew up around monster trucks as his father created the first Gravedigger monster truck in 1982. Anderson, who first started competing at 19-years-old, drives the 35th addition of the Gravedigger monster truck. He describes Monster Jam as a combination of entertainment and motorsports and is as excited to compete this weekend as he was at his first competition 16 years ago.

“It’s exciting for me every time I watch the other trucks go,” Anderson said. “I get excited still after, you know, 16 years I’ve been doing this professionally, and I still get excited until I realize, I got to try and beat them.”

Anderson says there is no other vehicle that can compare to driving a monster truck, not even the semi-trucks that transport the monster trucks to other events across the country. He describes the ride as something similar to a roller coaster, but with a bit of a shocking twist.

“They’re great, they’re fun, but just imagine if the track ended, that’s kind of how it is when you get that big air, that nice feeling, but next thing you know, the track ends, and there’s the ground,” Anderson explained. “For the truck weighing 12,000 pounds, with, you know, the axles, the gearing, everything that we have, the trucks are actually really fast and you can feel the power. It’s really a great adrenaline rush.”

The Hagerstown Speedway will also welcome back local driver Michael Vaters Sr. who is looking forward to competing in front of his hometown crowd. Vaters first entered the monster truck world in the early 1980s. His first monster truck was a pickup truck with big tires and would take the truck to car shows and other events.

When bumper height laws were introduced, Vaters was not about to lower the Black Stallion, so he turned the regular pickup truck into a monster truck. The Black Stallion campaign will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and its 38th anniversary as a monster truck.

“I think my first time ever racing here or crushing cars back in the day, I think, it was 1987,” Vaters said. “It’s just a blast to be able to come back. I know last year we had off, you know, and wasn’t able to race here but I’m just so happy to be back. A lot of my hometown fans and it’s just exciting.”

Monster Jam will also showcase freestyle motocross this weekend alongside the monster trucks this weekend. They will also host Pit Parties where fans can meet and take pictures with drivers as well as see the Monster Jam trucks up close.

For more information about Monster Jam or for tickets, you can visit the Monster Jam website.

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