An Unforgettable Monster Day

By on July 10, 2010
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Keenan Meyering gets a look down from Grave Digger.

Back on the weekend of April 30th , Monster Jam invaded Ocala Speedway and put on a magnificent show in front of a sellout crowd. It was what happened behind the scenes that moved me and has me believing what a great organization Monster Jam is. One lucky spectator, Keenan, will remember this day forever. You see, Keenan is a very special child; legally blind and hydrocephalic, Keenan has a hard time dealing with heat. Monster Jam has a policy of no re-entry and this has created a problem for Keenan in the past. Keenan is extra special to me, he’s my little brother.

I decided I wanted this year to be different for

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"Who's the Kid here?", Adam Anderson's expression says it all!

Keenan, so I went to Monster Jam to ask if we could re-enter due to Keenan’s condition. After explaining the need for Keenan to have a break from the heat, Monster Jam representative, Chris Rossbach was quick to respond with a plan that would help Keenan. Not only did Chris make sure Keenan got the air conditioned rest when needed, but treated Keenan to a day he won’t forget. It all started with a Monster Truck T- shirt, followed by a VIP tour of the pit area, and photos with the drivers. Keenan especially enjoyed meeting series announcer, Scott Douglas. We had a close call after the pit tour, when fourteen year old Keenan surrendered to the heat. But thanks to the A/C of the family minivan, the 8th

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Florida's Scott Hartsock gives Gunslinger a rest to sign Keenan's shirt.

grader was able to re-enter and enjoy the event.

Before the show was to begin, Monster Jam had one more surprise for the Meyering family. Keenan, Dad, and I had an opportunity to ride in the specially built Monster Truck used for spectator rides. This truck is custom built to accommodate up to 8 passengers. The cyclones around the infield of Ocala Speedway will not soon be forgotten by me, let alone little Keenan.

Once the thrilling pre-race party was complete, it was time to take our seats and enjoy the Saturday matinee show. First on the card was the wheelie competition. Gravedigger, driven by Randy Brown, stole the show. This would be the highlight of the crowd favorites’ day. You see, after Gravedigger was eliminated in the bracket type race, the crowd voted him in to compete again, and again he was upset. Chris Baker, driving Mopar Magic, had shocked his better known rival’s by advancing through the early rounds and into the championship race against Frank Krmel, driving Blue Thunder. On this day the Mopar proved to be too much for the Ford, and Baker secured the early show win. As the competition moved to the freestyle event, with the Meyering family seated in the front row, right by the flag stand and Scott Douglas, there was yet

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Keenan meets his hero, Speed Channel announcer, Scott Douglas.

another surprise for Keenan. Another Monster Jam Representative approached me and asked if Keenan would like to score the event. I answered an enthusiastic yes, and Keenan was handed a stack of large scorecards, numbered 1 thru 10. After each competitor, I was told what Keenan should score the performance. He was thrilled, thinking he was responsible for Adam Anderson, driving Taz, winning the event. Adam had made a great connection with Keenan during the pre-race and he thrilled the crowd with dazzling cyclones, slap wheelies, and the biggest air of the show. This weekend will be truly memorable for me because of what Chris Rossbach and his staff did for Keenan. In a recent interview with

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Keenan scores the competition.

Chris, he said, “I will never forget Keenan. He is an inspiring young man. We wanted to make special arrangements, so we turned it up a notch.” Chris mentioned he remembers Keenan always had a smile on his face, and “Keenan knew everything about our sport, including all the drivers and trucks.” Chris added, “Meeting someone like Keenan makes what we do so worthwhile.” The first event of the weekend, Friday night, Randy Brown, driving Gravedigger, won both the racing and freestyle, after Taz won the wheelie competition. Saturday night was more of the same, as Gravedigger was again able to capture both the race and freestyle. The only difference being that Steve Sims, driving Stonecrusher, was able to prevail in the wheelie competition.

The weekend was topped off with a Sunday afternoon show and once again, the blazing afternoon Florida heat proved too much for Gravedigger, who still managed to win both nights’ shows. Florida’s own Scott Hartsock, driving Gunslinger, paired off against Ford’s Blue Thunder in the finals. Krmel kept the race close until the final turn, when Hartsock was able to take command and record his first win of the weekend. Gravedigger took the freestyle, and Taz won the wheelie competition.

I would once again like to extend a thank you to Chris Rossbach and the Monster Jam crew for making this a great day for Keenan Meyering. I look forward to attending more Monster Jam events.

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