Five major stadiums welcomed fans of Monster Jam during the third weekend of the season, and each event had major names in victory lane.
Unfortunately for two drivers, they had to celebrate on the sidelines, rather than in victory lane. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, it was George Balhan who had to step out of his Mohawk Warrior Cadillac because of suffering flu-like symptoms. Taking the reins of his machine would be Joe Miller, who made a good showing in his truck.
But on this night, it was last year's Young Guns champion making his first big statement in getting back to Las Vegas. Bari Musawwir has been on cloud nine since starting the new year behind the wheel of Spiderman. The biggest reason behind that was due to the fact he has a brand new CRD chassis, making him an even bigger threat in racing.
That proved to be reality as Musawwir was able to come to the Metrodome, charge through the field, and eventually defeat John Seasock in the Advance Auto Parts Grinder for his first major stadium victory.
He would not Double Down on this night, as Chad Tingler took Grave Digger, despite being on only three wheels, to victory to close out the night.
The Digger team was down a man this weekend as Dennis Anderson was slated to drive in Tampa, however the morning of the event he found himself extremely ill. It was to the point where he wasn't attending the pit party, and stayed at the hotel. As fate would have it, former Grave Digger driver Rod Schmidt was in attendance, slated to drive the Monster Mutt Rottweiler. He was then asked to step behind the wheel of Dennis' truck, while crewman Chris Lagana would drive the Rottweiler.
But on this night, it was another Anderson that made his mark on the field. Ryan Anderson made his first trip to Tampa with Son-Uva Digger, and marched through the field of trucks to end up in the finals against Marc McDonald in his black El Toro Loco.
Anderson would have the better run, and put his 1954 Willys Panel Van in victory lane.
He would then come out later in the night, roaring his truck for a full run in freestyle. It included a twisting roll that saw the truck end up on the nose, but a stab of the throttle brought the truck back on the tires, and brought the crowd to it's feet. At the end of the night, no other truck could match him, bringing Anderson his first Double Down trophy of 2013.
Not to be ignored, during the intermission of the Tampa event, Tom Meents brought out his Max-D stunt truck, and with fireworks coming from all corners, brought the crowd to it's feet with a backflip, surrounded by cannons of fire. It was an incredible sight for the fans of the 10-year anniversary truck.
Down in Houston, Texas, Adam Anderson had a great night inside Grave Digger the Legend, bringing home a racing victory. It gave the Anderson name three out of four victories on the weekend, which surely made Dennis happy as he was on his way to healing up.
Next weekend sees five more huge stadiums hosting events. The biggest, without question, is in Orlando, Florida. Normally, this is an event that is attended by Dennis Anderson and his Grave Digger. But this year, it's Chad Tingler trying to uphold the tradition his boss has maintained over his 31 year career.
Dennis, meanwhile, will be up north as the building that still bears the "#ChuckStrong" banners will host Monster Jam for it's only time in 2013.
The other major events next weekend will happen in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Maple Leaf Tour makes a stop in British Columbia.
All event information including driver lineups, pit party times, and displays leading up to the show are available on MonsterJam.com