In the past 14 years at the Monster Jam World Finals, we’ve seen the fastest monster truck racing course determine Monster Jam’s World Finals Racing Champion. Trucks have been clocked at 64+ miles per hour down the straightaways in Sam Boyd Stadium. Next year, however, we’re going to be seeing the first ever two-day format for the World Finals, with 32 trucks competing in Monster Jam’s grandest stage. Perhaps it’s time to look at changing the course up just a tiny bit. Why? Let’s take a look at three examples, and then some suggestions on how to make racing better:
Tom Meents has won six out of the 14 events held at the World Finals. Why? Because the course favors the type of truck he is currently driving. When the course was introduced in 2000, Meents and Goldberg had dominated the season leading up to the event. Looking at the year 2000, Monster Jam was running a J-type drag course at many of the venues that were broadcast on television. Meents’ truck doesn’t have a sway bar, which allows it to cut very tight corners with ease, in addition to being able to take a longer corner with more speed. His truck can hold down a great deal of speed going into and coming out of a corner because of this. Now by saying this, I’m not saying to every driver or crew, “Go out there and get rid of your sway bars,” because it takes a special kind of driver to be able to hold onto a truck running without them. Tom’s setup just has a great advantage at that course because of that setup, along with his shocks.
I love the side-by-side finishes we have at the World Finals, and in my opinion, EVERY course in Monster Truck racing should have side-by-side finishes. The crowds are more excited for a good side-by-side run to the finish line, and it keeps the show action-packed from start to finish. I’d never change this for the World Finals, however, making the finish line more like it was for the first and second World Finals would be great. The giant jump in the center of the floor has become the norm really since World Finals 3, and that has affected the track since. The first two World Finals tracks had much bigger and wider turns. The cars were a bit farther away from the exit of the turns at the first two Finals, however, the finish line could be moved up to where it currently is. With the two-day formant, it should be possible to move in and get the center jump built quite easily for freestyle the next day.
This next suggestion has been talked about for many years by some fans, including myself–I think we could add two more turns to the World Finals course. I’d keep the trucks driving down Thunder Alley going into a turn; that’s what makes the course unique. However, don’t let the first jump be the finish of the race. Make the trucks go down, and turn around a freestyle obstacle or berm, then come back down the long straightaway, then hit that turn one more time, and come to the finish line. If someone comes down thunder alley and maybe messes up a bit, this gives them a chance to get back in the race and make the racing a little more entertaining than it already is.
I love the Monster Jam World Finals racing course; I really do. These are just some simple suggestions to tweak what’s already there to make their longest and fastest event even better. Meents is just the example here that fits best, but his dominance in racing does contribute to my thought process.
With these suggestions in mind, what do you AllMonster people think? Get at me in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.