The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 22, 2008

Monster trucks rev up for bash at Jennerstown Speedway

JENNERSTOWN — After seven years, the Grave Digger is back – and just as mean as ever.

“I think fans are very excited,” said Joe Dirienzo, track operations manager at Jennerstown Speedway.

The speedway will become the site of “maximum destruction” in June when Monster Jam Summer Heat brings the famous Grave Digger monster truck, as well as Monster Mutt, Avenger, Brutus and Rap Attack.

Though the event is a month away, enthusiasts already are flooding the speedway with questions about the 10,000-pound machines – 11 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

“This is probably the closest venue. Otherwise, fans are going to State College or Pittsburgh,” Dirienzo said.

The monster truck show made a stop at the speedway seven years ago.

“I think it’s a home run,” Dirienzo said.

The trucks are crafted for short, powerful bursts of speed, perfect for crushing metal.

The lineup of outlandishly named vehicles will compete in racing and freestyle.

Grave Digger has been a crowd favorite for years, said a spokeswoman for Live Nation Motor Sports Inc., which produces the shows.

“He’s been around for about26 years,” Patti Mapes said. “That name has been around for a while.”

Those who want to see the trucks before they display their hunger for demolition can pick up tickets for a pit pass before the event, Dirienzo said.

The free tickets are available from Advance Auto Parts, which is sponsoring the show.

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