ROCHESTER — Monster Jam has been thrilling motorsports fans for over two decades.
This edge-of-your-seat event will be held at Rochester Blue Cross Arena on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. with tickets starting at $15.
Eight of the most renowned Monster Jam competitors are making a comeback to the Rochester show.
Only those Monster Jam athletes highly proficient in scaling their extraordinary driving skills will push the limits and optimize all types of racing and obstacle courses in select venues across the country.
Megalodon Driver Alex Blackwell has driven 26 different trucks in his 12-year-long career as a Monster Truck driver. The Megalodon is a prehistoric 40-foot shark that is possibly the most terrifying. It is incredibly lifelike as it jumps out of the mud and leaps into the air. Captain Curse is Blackwell’s favorite truck since it had a pirate-theme.
“I did professional motocross until I was about 30 and got injured,” Blackwell said. “I rode bikes for a long time. I didn’t think I would like doing Monster Jam all the time, but I got into it. I have now driven 26 different trucks and been to 24 different countries. We do this thing worldwide. We are going to do European, Asian, and South American tours.”
“I did Captain Curse for so long, and it was really cool driving a pirate ship around,” Blackwell said he had a lot of pirate props. “The new truck looks like a really huge shark. We had people paint on the body and the eyes and it looks real. People see it jump for the first time, and it looks like a shark jumping out of the water.”
Blackwell is from Frackville, Pa and now lives in Virginia Beach. He works on maintaining the trucks after each show. Blackwell said the transition from motocross to Monster Jam was pretty easy.
“A truck reacts a lot like a bike does,” he said. “When you are in the air and push the gas it raises the front of the truck, but it weighs a lot more than a bike so it comes down harder.”
Blackwell did 30 shows last year, and is planning on doing a lot this year.
“It is a motorsport, so you have to be 18 to drive,” he said. “I would tell anyone who wants to get into this to keep an open-mind, and be willing to travel a lot. Everyone sees how cool it looks at the show, but traveling is a big deal. Everyone is human and reacts differently to being away from home long.”
“I have been doing this 12 years and I am still learning new things. I have been working on the tucks for 14 years,” Blackwell continued. “I am with Gary Porter who has been driving the Carolina Crusher for 30 years, and he is my mentor. Even he is still learning new things.”
Blackwell looks forward to the Las Vegas Finals, and said that anyone into Monster Jam should come and see the superbowl of monster trucks.
The Blue Cross Arena event will feature eight competitors vying to be the Rochester champion including:
Carolina Crusher driven by Gary Porter
Fullboar driven by Ed Eckert
Master of Disaster driven by Paul Strong
Megalodon driven by Alex Blackwell
Incinerator driven by Ryan Rice
Predator driven by TBD
Prowler driven by TBD
Stinger driven by Zane Rettew
Monster Jam competitors are trained at Monster Jam University in mastering the skills of driving Monster Jam trucks. Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.
The Party in the Pits on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. gives fans the opportunity to get up close and personal to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers.
For more information on a Monster Jam near you, please log ontovwww.MonsterJam.com