What you missed last night…
For those unaccustomed to the sights, sounds, and even the smells of monster truck competition, last night was a moment of Charlottesville history. Yes, for the first time, the town that gave the world Thomas Jefferson and his university played host to its first ever Monster Jam.
Despite a pair of "injuries" to the competitors, which are souped-up pickup trucks, the John Paul Jones Arena crowd went nearly as wild as audiences at Augusta "Sunday-Sunday-Sunday" Expoland where these things are more typically held.
There was, however, no good way to sneak in beer, and not only were JPJ's luxury skyboxes not nearly as lively as during basketball games, but the arena appeared only about two thirds full with a few swaths of lower-level seating largely empty.
Nonethless, we had some winners. Stone Crusher won the race over a string of red, white, and blue vehicles (helpfully provided by Harry A. Wright salvage). There was a go-kart race ostensibly won by "Team Virginia" over a "Team Carolina," led by a man wearing Carolina-blue pants. Oh, the audacity in Cavalierville!
And in the freestyle competition, despite a strong showing by "Black Stallion," which earlier won the wheelie contest on an audience applause vote, and then roared backwards over a string of junkers, a fan favorite emerged. GraveDigger, which shot to fame in 1986 after conquering Big Foot (then the Bob Hope of the monster truck world) on live television, rebounded from a punctured tire earlier this evening to score a perfect 30.
And thus, as 25th anniversary Grave Digger flags were waved by the faithful, this historic evening came to an end. Missed it? It happens again tonight.