Meents Comes Up Short Attempting the Double Backflip at MetLife Stadium
The entire Monster Jam: Path of Destruction Tour led up to one big event, a debut event in one of the country's biggest markets. Each year, a new venue seems to get added over the summer months. Two years ago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati got their big stadium events as Monster Jam entered their respective football stadiums.
Last year, Baltimore debuted their big stadium event that was nicknamed "Havoc in the Harbor". This year, the biggest market on the east coast got the next major stadium event.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the home of the New York Jets and Super Bowl champion Giants, played host to the final stop of the Path of Destruction. A massive 16-truck field was just the beginning, but a massive 24-truck pit party welcomed the fans. Four Grave Diggers, three Maximum Destructions and 17 other superstars were ready to put on the biggest show the New York market had ever seen.
But, the highlight of the night, and the reason why many people were coming to the huge stadium, was because of one man trying to make history.
Maximum Destruction was competing in racing and freestyle, however unlike the previous stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia, Tom Meents would not be the man doing the driving. Instead, the reins were handed over to the team's #2 driver, Neil Elliott. Meents was in the building, but he brought a different truck, one that was set up for one stunt, one attempt and one shot at history.
Monster trucks in the last few months, especially since the World Finals, have been going after completing the backflip when the opportunity comes.
Meents, on the other hand, had other plans. His specially built "stunt truck" was going to go after the first ever monster truck double backflip; two complete rotations before landing on the ground. His truck was set up much different from the one Neil was competing in, with a center seat and the entire drivetrain sitting lower in the chassis. The rear shocks had no coil-springs, and Meents had more head room than ever in this specially built machine.
At the end of the program, after Adam Anderson won the racing portion of the night and Elliott put on a clinic of how to win freestyle, the time had come. Track crews moved some cars and a ramp that were in front of his ramp, so it was not compromised. The steep incline showed that it was going to take the truck higher than any backflip done before.
After a couple teases, Meents backed up, readied himself, and then gunned the throttle. The truck hit the ramp just as expected, but the attempt did not end as planned.
The first rotation went well, but near the end the truck twisted in mid-air, and at that point there was no saving it. The momentum and throttle was still pulling the truck around for the second flip, but the truck landed on the LR tire, and despite the fireworks being shot off in the air, the truck landed back to the ground after only doing one and a half flips.
Meents would get out of the truck and was in good health, but in Monster Jam's first attempt to complete the double backflip, it was unsuccessful. Could it still be done...possibly.
One thing that is for sure, it likely won't be the last attempt, and certainly the 10-time World Champion that Meents is will not give up in making it happen.
NOTE: Prior to Meents making the attempt, Dennis Anderson was the last to freestyle, however his run ended much earlier than expected. An awkward landing while in Grave Digger saw Anderson himself shut the truck off, as he suffered some kind of injury.
No update is available at this time on his condition, nor what caused the injury. However, visit MonsterJam.com or stay with AllAboutHorsepower.com for the very latest on Anderson's condition.