Monster Photos: Monster Jam – St. Louis, MO 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Edward Jones Dome
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Date: February 20th, 2016
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Brutus (Brad Allen), El Toro Loco (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Adam Anderson), Hooked (Bryan Wright), King Krunch (David Smith), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Monster Energy (Damon Bradshaw), Monster Mutt Junkyard Dog (Dustin Brown), Overkill Evolution (Michael Vaters II), Pirate’s Curse (Steven Sims Jr.), Solider Fortune (Chad Fortune), Stone Crusher (Steve Sims), War Wizard (Shane Phreed) [Read more…]

Monster Truck Radio 01/21/13 – Show #502

Monster Truck Radio With Host Ross Z. Bonar & Co-Host Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, January 21st, 2013
Guest #1: Adam Anderson, driver of Grave Digger The Legend
Guest #2: John Seasock, driver of Grinder
Guest #3: Mike Vaters, driver of Black Stallion
Guest #4: Larry Swim, driver of SPEED Bigfoot #19
Guest #5: Bobby Holman, driver of Lucas Oil Stabilizer
Guest #6: Bari Musawwir, driver of Spiderman [Read more…]

Monster Truck Radio 03/12/12 – Mike Vaters & Jeremy Slifko

Monster Truck Radio With Host Ross Z. Bonar & Co-Host Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, March 12th, 2011
Guest #1: Mike Vaters, driver of Black Stallion
Guest #2: Jeremy Slifko, driver of Backdraft [Read more…]

Higher Education Monster Bus Too Cool for School

(Vaters Monster Motorsports PR – Hagerstown, Maryland) – Michael Vaters’ “Higher Education”, the incredible new monster school bus has been a project 5 years in the making. A long time veteran in the monster truck industry with over 29 years in the business, Vaters debuted the permanent identity of the third monster truck in his stable in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium event in April. Vaters purchased the Killer Bee monster truck last year and ran the Killer Bee body for a couple of shows before fitting the truck with a Black Stallion body for first quarter 2011 in the Monster Jam series. The truck is driven by long time crew member and family friend Jimmy Tracey.

The wild new Higher Education monster school bus launches a bus stack during its debut freestyle at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

Vaters has always had a great respect for, and been a big fan of Ken Nelson and his wheel-standing dragster, the Cool Bus. Ken at age 72 races the Cool Bus down 1/4 mile drag strips at over 100 miles per hour and has been for 15 years. Cool Bus was designed and built by Ken and his wife and they travel all over the United States, Canada and Mexico every summer exhibiting at drag strips. Five years ago Mike shared his idea with Ken to build a school bus monster truck and they both thought it would be a good idea and definitely popular with the kids. When the Killer Bee truck became available, Mike found his opening to make the monster truck bus idea happen. After leaving the Dayton, Ohio Monster Jam event, Vaters traveled to Ken’s hometown of Ashland, Ohio and picked up the nose of the Cool Bus to make a mold from as a starting point for the rest of the bus body.

Ken Nelson's wheel-standing dragster, the "Cool Bus" was the inspiration for Vaters' Higher Education.

Vaters has been designing and engineering the truck for some time so when they started the build he had very specific ideas and plans. Because of this and many man hours in the shop by the Vaters Monster Motorsports team, it was completed in a mere 13 days. Higher Education is built in 3/4 scale. When designing the bus, Vaters knew that they would have to build the body stronger to withstand the abuse that a monster truck goes through. The team built two fiberglass sections to make up the roof and a fiberglass front clip. The sides of the bus are built from fiberboard donated by Capitol Building Supply in Hagerstown, Maryland, one of Black Stallion’s sponsors. The paint (school bus yellow) was provided by PPG, another of our generous sponsors and painted by the VMM crew in-house. Vaters wanted the bus to have all the details to make it look as realistic as possible, so he even fabricated black rub rails to run down the sides of the bus and installed flashing lights and a flip out STOP sign.

A couple of build photos show the former Killer Bee chassis being converted to fit the newly constructed school bus body.

Higher Education debuted April 9th in Montreal at Olympic Stadium. During the pit party the bus was hidden from the spectators and not brought out until after the wheelie competition. The house lights of the Stadium were dimmed as Higher Education driven by Jimmy Tracey roared out onto the track, lights flashing to the music of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In the Wall.”

School is officially out for summer - look for the Higher Education monster school bus at a monster truck event near you!

The crowd went crazy on their feet cheering…the monster bus Higher Education went over real big!  The truck is the fruition of a concept idea that will undoubtedly have a huge following, especially with the kids. What could be more awesome for a kid than to see a school bus like they ride in every day getting big air, causing destruction and crushing cars, buses, RVs and everything else in its path. Michael and Denise Vaters want to send out a very special thanks to Ken and his wife for their help and cooperation in making this project happen.

For more information on the Higher Education monster truck and the entire Vaters Monster Motorsports team, visit them online at www.VatersMotorsports.com.

(Article Courtesy Vaters Monster Motorsports, Photos By Stephanie Cotnoir, Johany Jutras, Denise Vaters)

Vaters Monster Motorsports Announces Summer Schedule

Vaters Monster Motorsports, the 2010 MTRA Promoter of the Year, has announced their schedule of events for the summer and fall of 2011. The action will kick off this Memorial Day Weekend in Plattsburgh, New York as Airborne Speedway will host two big shows featuring heart pounding monster truck action, the Kamikaze jet-powered 4-wheeler and extreme freestyle motocross.

Both shows will be held Sunday, May 29th with performances at 1:00PM and 7:00PM and are presented by Verizon Wireless, Della Motorsports and Precision Auto. The monster truck action will be headlined by seven-time Thunder Nationals champion Mike Vaters in the Black Stallion as he takes on Iron Warrior, Rap Attack, Toxic and the incredible new Higher Education monster school bus which is making its U.S. debut.  The monsters will compete in wheelie, racing and freestyle contests.

 

Come see the new Higher Education monster bus in action in its U.S. debut at the Vaters Monster Motorsports events in Plattsburgh, New York.

If all that monster action doesn’t cure your need for speed, power and destruction, then just wait til you see the Kamikaze jet powered 4-wheeler in action. Featuring 25 foot flames as it performs speed runs, you’re sure to be on the edge of your seat when the Kamikaze burns a junk car to the ground in a flaming inferno. In addition, the ever popular extreme freestyle motocross as these insane riders jump 60 foot gaps steel ramp to ramp on dirt bikes, performing gravity defying tricks while in mid-air.

Monster trucks will be on display Friday and Saturday at Liquor & Wine Warehouse and Della Motorsports. Come on out to see the trucks up close and personal and get your picture taken with the stars of the show.

Advance tickets are on sale now through Friday, May 27th and can be purchased at Airborne Speedway, Della Motorsports, and Aaron’s. Tickets are $15 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and kids 5 and under are FREE!  Any remaining available tickets can be purchased at the gate on the day of show.

Following the big opener in Plattsburgh, Vaters Monster Motorsports continues with many big shows the rest of the year. See below for the dates and featured attractions:

July 21st – Harrington, Delaware – Delaware State Fair
Black Stallion, Iron Warrior, Higher Education, Illuminator with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

July 31st – Seekonk, Massachusetts – Seekonk Speedway
Black Stallion, Iron Warrior, Higher Education with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler

August 3rd – Algona, Iowa – Kossuth County Fair
Black Stallion, Higher Education with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

August 11th-12th – Reading, Pennsylvania – Reading Fair
Black Stallion, Iron Warrior, Higher Education with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

August 11th-12th – Mannington, West Virginia – Mannington Fair
FMX

August 13th – Lebanon, Connecticut – Lebanon Country Fair
Black Stallion, Iron Warrior with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

August 16th – Smethport, Pennsylvania – McKean County Fair
Black Stallion, Iron Warrior, Higher Education, Illuminator with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

October 1st – South Boston, Virginia – South Boston Speedway
Grave Digger, BIGFOOT, Black Stallion, Spiderman, Iron Warrior, Higher Education, Illuminator with Kamikaze Jet 4-Wheeler & FMX

Dates are still being booked for 2011, so stay tuned to www.VatersMotorsports.com for all the latest information on where you can see some of the best shows of the summer and fall!

(Article Courtesy Vaters Monster Motorsports, Photo Courtesy Johany Jutras)

Monster Spectacular Tour Update – Ottawa: A Battle of Champions

(Ottawa, Ontario – By Doug De Nance) Monster Spectacular always is a “must see” when the big trucks visit the capital of Canada. But this time there was more on the line in Ottawa than ever before. It was to be a showdown between two champions – the defending Monster Spectacular champion, Joe Sylvester in the Readylift Bad Habit truck versus the newly crowned World Freestyle Champion, Jim Koehler and Avenger.

This battle had been fought before in this very same building one year ago. Last year Sylvester triumphed at Scotiabank Place by hitting massive reverser wheelies to defeat Koehler for the coveted Monster Spectacular crown.

This year Koehler’s confidence was boosted by the winning of his second world freestyle title in Las Vegas a few weeks before. But Sylvester had another year under his belt – and that year had the pressure of defending his Monster Spectacular crown at every turn.

One of the coolest stories this spring, Vaters Monster Motorsports debuted their new Higher Education school bus monster truck in Montreal.

Yet it looked like there could be a spoiler or two in this storyline, because some of the greatest names in monster trucks were sitting in the pits. Along with the brand new Higher Education truck, there sat 29 year veteran Mike Vaters and Black Stallion and the big dog Brutus driven by Chris Bergeron.

Bergeron put the first wrinkle into the flow by definitively winning the wheelie contest. Bergeron blasted Brutus skyward on his first pass and landed “pogo” style, landing perfectly vertical by planting his wheelie bar into the final car in the stack. But his second pass was even more spectacular, hitting a massive sky wheelie. But the car stack collapsed sending Brutus sideways. Bergeron somehow pulled the big dog out of a bicycle on the passenger side two wheels and set the truck down on all four tires. Even Koehler preempted the cheeroff to congratulate the obvious winner – his Team Scream team mate, Chris Bergeron.

Chris Bergeron hits a huge wheelie in Brutus to take the opening win in Ottawa.

The next spoiler was Mike Vaters. The Black Stallion driver is known to be an extraordinary racer. He’s also known as the King of Concrete, with endless experience on the slippery surfaces like the track in Ottawa. Plus, he loves to race his way through the brackets. Vaters did just that, winning racing confidently.

So the story of the battle really did come down to the two champions in freestyle. While the other trucks laid down amazing freestyle runs that could easily win any other night, all eyes were on Bad Habit and Avenger.

Sylvester eased onto the course, knowing that the variable time clock would not start until he hit the first obstacle. Bad Habit hit every obstacle hard including not one, but two reversers – with the final one clearing all five cars in the stack.

Jim Koehler may be at his best ever as he takes the freestyle win in Ottawa, his third straight since winning the World Finals Freestyle title for the second time.

During an interview the question was posed to Koehler if he could just lay back now that he was world champion once again. Koehler answered it then with a very loud no. And he answered it again very loudly with the roar of Avenger.

Hitting every obstacle multiple times, Avenger caught the biggest air of the night on each one. But it was Koehler’s final cyclone donut that sealed the deal. Whirling so fast that Avenger seemed like a green blur, Koehler emerged staggeringly dizzy to the loudest roar of all – that of the Monster Spectacular fans!

Those same fans were treated to more excitement in the form of quad racing, freestyle motocross and the Krazy Krew BMX team – who all jumped over the announcer’s head.

Be sure to treat yourself to all the excitement the next time Monster Spectacular comes to your town. Check www.MonsterSpectacular.com for a show near you.

(Photos by Johany Jutras)

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Dayton, OH 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: EJ Nutter Center
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Date: March 19th, 2011
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), El Toro Loco (Joey Parnell), Full Boar (Ed Eckert), Grave Digger (Randy Brown), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Virginia Giant (Diehl Wilson) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Dayton, OH 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: EJ Nutter Center
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Date: March 19th, 2011
Photographer: Michael Harry

Lineup: Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), El Toro Loco (Joey Parnell), Full Boar (Ed Eckert), Grave Digger (Randy Brown), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Virginia Giant (Diehl Wilson) [Read more…]

Safety-Kleen Black Stallion to Debut Saturday at Cowboys Stadium

(Plano, Texas) Safety-Kleen has been an integral part of the Black Stallion racing team for the past six years providing products and services that enable the independent race team maintain its position in this very competitive motorsport.  Safety-Kleen Motorsports has bumped up their level of involvement with our team this year and worked collaboratively to develop the “Safety-Kleen Black Stallion” monster truck.   The truck will be shown for the first time to Safety-Kleen employees at their corporate offices in Plano TX on Friday afternoon.   Later in the evening the truck will be moved to Fiesta on Buckner Boulevard in Dallas and will be on display from 4-8pm.

The debut of the Safety-Kleen Black Stallion will be this Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

The “Safety-Kleen Black Stallion” will compete in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam this Saturday night, February 26th at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington TX.  There will be a pit party from 2:30-5:30 pm where the fans can get up close and personal with the truck and meet Michael Vaters the owner and driver.  Fans can get their photo taken with him and get autographs.  Show time is 7 pm.  The Safety-Kleen Black Stallion will be competing with 15 of the most popular trucks in the Monster Jam series.  Michael Vaters plans to pull out all the stops and give the Safety-Kleen associates a show they will never forget.  Tickets are available at the Cowboys Stadium box office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Safety-Kleen is a leading North American used oil recycling and re-fining, parts cleaning and environmental solutions company, with approximately 4,200 employees serving approximately 330,000 customer locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Safety-Kleen provides a broad set of environmentally responsible products and services that keep North American businesses in balance with the environment. For more information, please visit www.ecopoweroil.com or www.safety-kleen.com or call (800) 669-5740.

Monster Truck Radio 02/07/11 – Joe Sylvester & Mike Vaters

Monster Truck Radio With Host Jeff Richards
Date: Monday, February 7th, 2011
Guest #1: Joe Sylvester, driver of Bad Habit
Guest #2: Mike Vaters, driver of Black Stallion [Read more…]

Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

Monster Jam made its annual visit to downtown Indianapolis last weekend as 14 trucks competed in racing and freestyle at the beautiful new palace that is Lucas Oil Stadium. Fittingly, it was Monster Jam driver Linsey Weenk who took the big racing win in Feld’s new Lucas Oil sponsored truck, the Crusader. Freestyle would see strong runs from several drivers but when defending Freestyle World Champion Charlie Pauken is on his game, there is no stopping the Grave Digger as Chuckie took the big win.

IMG_2381

TMB was out in force for the big event in Indy as Chris Parrish, Paul Harry and Michael Harry were all shooting photos. Check out the links below to see all of their great work and a big thanks to all the guys for their efforts!

Photos By Chris Parrish

Photos By Paul M. Harry

Photos By Michael Harry

Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: January 29th, 2011
Photographer: Michael Harry

Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more…]

Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: January 29th, 2011
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more…]

Monster Photos – Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: January 29th, 2011
Photographer: Chris Parrish

Lineup: Air Force Afterburner (Damon Bradshaw), Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Dragon’s Breath (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Ground Pounder (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Iron Warrior (Trey Meyers), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), Michigan Ice Monster (Chris Lagana), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Superman (Chad Fortune) [Read more…]

TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 1.8 – Year In Review

Event: 2010 Year In Review
Host: Chris Parrish
Videographer: Chris Parrish

Lineup: All of the best action you’ve seen on ActionTracks in 2010 featuring some of the best trucks in the world! [Read more…]