The annual Florida stadium Monster Jam circuit has been nicknamed the “I Love Florida Tour” for a number of years and the Hooked Monster Truck team was in the thick of it as they entered into their third straight weekend in the sunshine state upon their return to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. After Bryan Wright piloted Hooked for the prior three weekends, Steven Sims would make his return to the driver’s seat in Tampa. It would be the first time Sims would get to compete in racing this season, after mechanical problems sidelined them in Houston. He would get off to a solid start with a good qualifying pass that paired him against Scooby Doo in round one. Sims had no trouble taking out Scooby Doo in round one and would advance into round two against Ice Cream Man. While Sims gave a strong effort, it just wasn’t enough to take the win, ending his racing efforts.
Much like Houston there were plenty of big freestyle jumps in play for the massive Monster Jam trucks to conquer, and Sims aimed to do just that as he hit the floor for his freestyle performance. Sims came out of the pit stall hot and started off his run with some nice air on his first jump. He followed up his opening jump with a quick hop over the jammer stack before lining up and blasting off an elevated van stack with some huge air, before driving right over the shattered remains of an RV. Wasting no time Sims whipped the truck around and went after the fun box that just so happened to have a small plane sitting on top of it. After clearing that jump he quickly went to the other end of the floor, sliding the truck around and flying over the bus stack. Moments later Sims found one of the only tacky spots on the floor as he attempted to slide the truck around and line up for his next jump. The truck suddenly pitched over onto the right tires and onto it’s roof, with next to no time to react. The short but sweet run didn’t score high, but it left an impression on the thousands of fans that filled Raymond James Stadium.
From Tampa the team made a quick trip to Gun Slinger shop where Hooked would get the fiberglass body patched up and the truck freshened up for their next event in Miami. Sims would remain in the truck for the weekend as they got set to rock Sun Life Stadium. The sandy surface was no stranger to the Virginia Beach native with plenty of experience in the sand on his young career. Round one of racing saw a pair of second generation drivers going head to head as Sims squared off against Michael Vaters Jr and Overkill Evolution. The race was going well for Steven until he clipped a turning car, putting the truck upside-down and out of the race.
After finding himself on his roof for the second time in as many weeks, Sims was determined to push Hooked to it’s limits in freestyle and he did just that. Once again he got off to an impressive start as he soared the truck over an elevated van stack to start the run. Sims carried a hard charging pace as he attacked the course, getting some big air over the double, and whipping the truck around to each move. Around the one minute mark he lined up and launched the truck over the bus stack with a massive jump, and then followed it up by hitting the fun box at the other end of the stadium. Unfortunately the right front wheel broke off the truck upon landing, ending his run prematurely.
The next stop on the Hooked Monster Truck schedule takes the team back to Virginia as they get ready for a three show weekend in Roanoke, Virginia. If you’re in the area be sure to check us out this weekend. For information on the event, head over to our schedule page and click the more info link.