Tom Meents


Tom Meents

Tom Meents (born July 10, 1967) is a professional monster truck driver. He currently drives Maximum Destruction on the USHRA Monster Jam circuit.

Career

Tom Meents started out as a mud racer, driving his own vehicle, "Shake Me". He had his first wreck when he rolled the "Shake Me" over at a USHRA Mud Race in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He won the NMRO Open Class championship in 1992. He later teamed up with Paul Shafer to drive Shafer's "Mud Patrol" vehicle. Tom won the NMRO Class 5 championship in 1993 and 1994 and won the Class 6 championship in 1993. This also led to an opportunity to drive one of Shafer's "Monster Patrol" monster trucks, which Tom drove to a rapid rise in popularity. Among his accomplishments in this truck was a victory at the USHRA U.S. Truck Fest in 1997.

Meents bought the truck and in 1999 was commissioned by PACE Motor Sports (now Live Nation) to run a Bulldozer body to help increase the truck's exposure. In his first event with Bulldozer, Meents defeated Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger on national television, becoming an instant star in the process. Meents would continue driving Bulldozer until the end of 1999.

In 2000, Clear Channel commissioned Meents to drive a new truck, Goldberg, named after the WCW wrestler. Meents was extremely successful in the truck and rose to an even greater level of popularity, despite controversy over the truck's wrestling basis and unconventional looks. With Goldberg, Meents won the inaugural Monster Jam World Finals racing championship in 2000, and completed a full sweep of the event in 2001. This event was notable for the controversial "grand finale", in which Anderson and Meents attempted to drive over each other's trucks at the end of the freestyle competition.

When WCW folded two days after the 2001 World Finals, Meents debuted Team Meents, which was a repaint of Goldberg with a similar design and lettering style. Meents again swept the World Finals in 2002 with this truck.

In 2003, the truck got a brand new image with the debut of Maximum Destruction. Meents' popularity has remained high with this truck, with several major stadium event victories, but he has not had the success in the World Finals he had with previous trucks. Despite berths in the first three World Finals since switching to "Max D.", he had only been able to score a co-championship in freestyle with Madusa and El Toro Loco in 2004. Finally, in 2006, Meents broke through and regained the Monster Jam freestyle championship.

Hallmarks

Tom Meents has several signature moves in freestyle, including topspeed "cyclone" donuts, "side surf" two-wheel driving, and roof and wing walks where he stands on the roof or wing (as on Monster Patrol) of the truck while it is still in motion. Another is Tom sticking his left hand out the window while flying through the air. Tom also has a reputation for hitting obstacles at unconventional angles and at higher speeds than other drivers. He is known for going into the crowd after a freestyle run and giving his helmet to a fan holding a "Max D" related sign.

Awards

*USHRA U.S. Truck Fest Champion - 1997
*USHRA World Finals Racing Champion - 2000, 2001, 2002
*USHRA World Finals Freestyle Champion - 2001, 2002, co-champion 2004, 2006

External links

* [http://www.ushra.com/drivers/Driver.2003-10-22.2251 USHRA Driver Bio]
* [http://www.tommeents.com Official Site]
* [http://www.crushcars.com Tom Meents Official Fan Club]


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