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Goldberg: Grave Digger's rival

July 19, 2000

Goldberg: Grave Digger's rival



Goldberg will be here, as well. TNN 2000 World Champion, Goldberg is Grave Digger's rival. Tom Meents drives Goldberg, the 12-foot wide, 9,500-pound powerhouse he describes as a futuristic SUV. It's a childhood dream come true for Meents, who last year drove Bulldozer and drove Monster Patrol before that. For several years prior to his entry into the world of monster trucks, Meents was a professional mud racer. He's had "lucky breaks" all his life, he said in a phone interview from his home in Paxton, Ill.

Goldberg is named for its owner, Bill Goldberg, World Championship Wrestling's bald-headed babyface turned heel whose signature maneuvers are the spear and the jackhammer.

Is there a common thread here? Could it be that Monster Jam is like professional wrestling on wheels?

That's exactly what it's like, said Lisa P. Bragunier, Hagerstown Speedway's general manager. The event is a big one for the local speedway, which expanded its grandstand to accommodate the 5,000 to 6,000 spectators the show draws each night, Bragunier said. "It's a big deal. We're proud of it," she added.

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Meents and Goldberg are on the road, all over the country, about 25 weeks a year. He hauls the vehicle himself, driving a tractor-trailer rig. "This is no Jeff Gordon operation," he said.

There's a lot of competition on the line, Meents said. The "freestyle" event is his favorite part. The drivers get to show their creativity and skill, trying to get "more air" under their vehicles, executing jumps, spinning "doughnuts" before a panel of three judges who score their performances on a scale of one to 10.

Meents invites those who never have witnessed monster trucks to come to the speedway this weekend.

And back in the family room, those little boys - and girls, thank you very much - soon can have toy versions of some of their Monster Jam heroes. Scale models of monster trucks, including Grave Digger and Goldberg, are expected to be available in August at toy stores and online at www.ushra.com.

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