Colton Eichelberger was driven to do what he does for a living. Of course, it’s hard to be the son of the driver with the most wins in Monster Jam World Finals history, Tom Meents , and not select driving behemoth vehicles as a career.
“It’s always been a dream of mine. Watching my dad, who is an 11-time world champion, made me know this is what I wanted to do,” Eichelberger says.
He gets to show off his driving skills when “Monster Jam” rolls into the Save Mart Center Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9.
Eichelberger, who joined his father’s team last year, pilots the gold Max-D Monster Jam truck. It will join Grave Digger, Scooby-Doo, Monster Energy, Zombie and New Earth authority for the Monster Jam event in Fresno.
Each Monster Jam race team features Monster Jam trucks, Monster Jam Speedsters and Monster Jam ATVs. Drivers will compete in seven competitions to earn points.
The 20-year-old Eichelberger didn’t waste time moving from motocross and mud bogging driving to monster trucks. He got behind the wheel for the first time three days after his 18th birthday and has been driving ever since.
His father’s dominance in the sport for more than a decade isn’t intimidating. Eichelberger looks at his father’s accomplishment as a way of extending his own goals.
The Max-D, officially classified as a “futuristic SUV,” features a silver and orange paint job covering the ground-hugging body style. This design has helped make the vehicle the fastest machine in the sport. Meents won the Monster Jam World Racing Championship six times with the truck.
If you want to get close to the machines, there will be a “Party in the Pits” pre-show for fans early on Saturday where you can take pictures and meet the drivers.
Eichelberger has seen growing interest in young people wanting to get into the sport.
Along with being part of the Monster Jam tour, Eichelberger is an agriculture major at Illinois State University.
“I grew up on the farm. My grandparents were farmers. Since my mother is a strong believer in education, she wanted me to go to college,” he says. “I drive on the weekends so I will need something to do Monday-Thursdays.”
- Save Mart Center, 2650 E. Shaw Ave
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9
- Ticket are $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 2-12.
- Pit Party is 11 a.m. Saturday, April 9. Cost is $10.
- Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, at 800-745-3000 or at the Save Mart Center Box Office.