Lee O'Donnell Claims MJWF XVIII Freestyle Title
In front of a sold-out crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium tonight, Lee O'Donnell and VP Racing Fuel's Mad Scientist® took home the 2017 Monster Jam World Finals® Freestyle Championship. This is the first world championship for both O'Donnell and the Mad Scientist Monster Jam® truck.
Alex Blackwell and MegalodonTM kicked off the Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Championship by giving the fans the first back-flip of the night. Blackwell would then be knocked out of the competition by Monster Jam Triple ThreatTM Series West presented by AMSOIL athlete, Bryce Kenny and Great Clips Mohawk Warrior®. Kenny would hold on to the top score until Jim Koehler in Avenger took over the lead with a score of 9.240.
Lee O'Donnell in VP Racing Fuel's Mad Scientist® pulled out the most unexpected move of the night by completing the first-ever front-flip in Monster Jam competition, which put him on top of the leader board with a 9.355. O'Donnell's reign looked like it was coming to a close when Neil Elliott in Max-DTM wowed the crowd. Instead of taking the traditional route and tackling the back-flip ramp head-on, Elliott reversed up the ramp, rotated, and ended back on all four tires. Despite being the first to complete this maneuver, it was not enough to top O'Donnell, and Elliott finished the competition in second place with a score of 9.316.
"My wife and my kids, they mean the world to me, and they're here tonight," said an emotional O'Donnell. "My sponsor, VP Racing Fuels, is amazing. Everyone has been trying that trick that Neil Elliott nailed; it was spectacular. I give it up to him. My crew guys, they're family and at the track every weekend. The fans here are like family to me, and I can't thank Feld Entertainment and Monster Jam enough. This is awesome!"
The 35th Anniversary of Grave Digger was honored in this evening's encore performance. Dennis Anderson had the privilege of introducing the next generation of Grave Digger drivers - his children. Adam, Ryan and Krysten Anderson, along with the rest of the Grave Digger team, had fans on their feet during the once-in-a-lifetime performance.
"I've been out here beating the trail for years," said Dennis Anderson. "Look at what we did this year. Because of all of you, we get to do what we do. We play hard, and I love you guys. All of you Monster Jam fans, you're the reason why we do this. Thank you, thank you very much."
For the first time in Monster Jam history, the power of voting was in the hands of the fans on-site at Sam Boyd Stadium via www.judgeszone.com, an interactive polling website developed exclusively for Monster Jam.
Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Results
- Lee O'Donnell, VP Racing Fuel's Mad Scientist - 9.355
- Neil Elliott, Max-D - 9.316
- Jim Koehler, Avenger - 9.240
- Cam McQueen, Northern NightmareTM - 9.097
- Scott Buetow, Team Hot Wheels® Firestorm® - 8.786
- Morgan Kane, Grave Digger® - 8.193
- Rosalee Ramer, Wildflower - 8.155
- Bryce Kenny, Great Clips Mohawk Warrior - 8.100
- Ryan Anderson, Son-uva Digger® - 8.043
- Colt Stephens, FS1 Cleatus - 7.864
- Randy Brown, Grave Digger - 7.800
- Todd LeDuc, Monster Energy - 7.660
- Adam Anderson, Grave Digger - 7.390
- Brianna Mahon, Scooby-DooTM - 7.268
- Bari Musawwir, ZombieTM - 7.166
- Marc McDonald, El Toro Loco® - 7.163
- Tyler Menninga, Grave Digger - 7.105
- Jimmy Creten, Bounty Hunter - 7.098
- Matt Buyten, Metal Mulisha - 7.094
- Becky McDonough, El Toro Loco - 7.073
- Tristan England, EarthShakerTM - 6.880
- Coty Saucier, Monster Energy - 6.814
- Alex Blackwell, Megalodon - 6.799
- Linsey Weenk, Lucas Oil Crusader® - 6.675
- Mike Vaters II, Overkill Evolution - 6.591
- Jon Zimmer, DragonTM - 6.289
- Candice Jolly, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian® - 6.143
- Colton Eichelberger, Max-D - 6.104
- Buddy Tompkins, Razin Kane - 5.800
- Charlie Pauken, Monster Mutt® - 5.217
- Chad Fortune, Soldier FortuneTM - 4.448
- BJ Johnson, Gas Monkey Garage - 4.341