Second Half of World Finals Field Sees Returns, Debuts and Past Champion
With just over a month before Monster Jam makes its yearly descent on Las Vegas and return to Sam Boyd Stadium, the reveal of the first half of the field saw many familiar faces, and champions.
As expected, drivers like Tom Meents, Dennis Anderson, Cam McQueen and other past champions will set forth in their quest to embark on another trophy. Others with World Finals experience, such as Chad Fortune and Alex Blackwell, return in familiar trucks hoping to win their first championship.
However a lot of fans wondered if a majority of the first half was made up of past champions at the event, who would make up the second half of the 28-truck field. With the final spot in the line-up guaranteed to be the winner of the Young Guns Shootout, held the previous night on what is called "Double Down Friday," that left 13 spots to the guessing.
The guessing game is done, as Monster Jam revealed the list of who will fill the remaining seats in Las Vegas. Take a look at the final 13 trucks:
- Pablo Huffaker: Blue Thunder (2007 World Freestyle champion)
- Ryan Anderson: Son-uva Digger
- Lee O'Donnell: Iron Man
- Todd Leduc: Metal Mulisha
- Bari Musawwir: Spiderman (2012 Young Guns Shootout champion)
- Steve Simms: Stone Crusher
- Norm Miller: Batman
- Candice Jolly: Monster Mutt Dalmatian
- George Balhan: Mohawk Warrior
- Jon Zimmer: Superman
- Sean Duhon: Zombie
- Scott Buetow: Team Hot Wheels FIRESTORM
- Nicole Johnson: Scooby Doo
- 2013 Young Guns Shootout Champion-Determined March 22
The second half of the field is rather interesting. You have four drivers with big World Finals experience in Jolly, Balhan, O'Donnell and Huffaker. But Huffaker is in a unique spot, as the truck he will be driving is making a return to the World Finals field for the first time since 2010, and it's likely a truck that Huffaker will not sit in until practice the Thursday before.
Normally, Blue Thunder is campaigned by Dan Evans, but Huffaker gets the nod being the former champion.
Miller is behind the wheel of the truck that John Seasock piloted to back-to-back titles from 2007-2008, but with an updated look. Leduc stood the crowd on it's ear one year ago, having moved into the main event as Brian Deegan, the leader of the Mulisha gang, got injured in an off-road wreck days earlier. Leduc then put up the fastest time of the night, taking the top qualifying spot.
Spiderman is no stranger to the World Finals field, debuting in 2001 with Gary Porter driving and for the last three years driven by Chad Tingler, who usually drives a Grave Digger truck. This year, thanks to his victory in the Shootout one year ago, Musawwir gets his chance at the big time.
Zimmer makes his return to the field after a one-year hiatus, and after having great success as the new Team Digger driver, he will take over a ride that also is returning to the World Finals field after a one-year break.
The final three spots are all driver debuts, with two new trucks appearing for the first time. Johnson made it to the finals in the Shootout one year ago, and now there's no question of where she is as her Scooby Doo machine is ready make the field say "Ruh roh." Team Hot Wheels will now rely on Scott Buetow to earn a victory, and finally as if coming back from the dead, Sean Duhon gets set to spook everyone out in the Zombie truck.
Both regular and Double Down seats are still available for this year's World Finals in Las Vegas. Visit MonsterJam.com for all event information, including host hotels and all events leading up to the big show.