The start of an all new season and an all new set of challenges for the Hooked Monster Truck team has already begun as the they visited Houston, Texas’ NRG Stadium on the first stop of the all new Monster Jam Fox Sports 1 Championship Series. The series features 16 of the sport’s top trucks competing weekly in a points championship spanning nine weeks at some of the nation’s most prestigious stadiums. For young gun Steven Sims the series is a huge opportunity for he and the Hooked team to compete against the best drivers in the industry as they battle for one of four automatic qualifier positions into this year’s Monster Jam World Finals.
Saturday afternoon saw thousands of fans pour onto the floor of NRG Stadium for the party in the pits where they got to get up close and personal with the trucks and meet their favorite drivers. After hours of autographs and taking pictures with the crowd the competition was set to begin as Sims suited up for qualifying. The night got off to a rough start for Steven and Hooked as they pair would find out the track conditions were super tacky. After a clean launch over the first jump, Steven soon found himself on two wheels as he bicycled the truck in the first turn. Steven was able to correct and get back going and continue his qualifying pass. After going over the second jump Steven went into the final turn where once again the tacky dirt tossed the truck over onto two wheels. Steven was able to counter-steer one way but as the dirt finally bit him as he over corrected and rolled over before the final jump.
With a DNF in qualifying Steven would compete in the Obstacle Course challenge for 9th through 16th place qualifiers. After a quick tech inspection from Monster Jam officials the truck was cleared to run and Steven pulled to the starting line. The pass was off to a good start as Steven looked fast in the first half of the course before breaking a sway bar. Steven battled on but soon found himself in trouble after casing the second to last jump on the course. The truck slid off to the side and looked to be another rollover, but Steven cut the steering wheel hard to the right putting the truck up onto the front bumper. With the right balance of momentum and throttle Steven was able save the truck from rolling over and finishing his pass. The thrilling maneuver had the huge crowd on their feet and cheering as he crossed the finish line. As he returned to the pits following the run they soon discovered the truck suffered a broken front axle in the process and would be unable to freestyle.
With event one in the books for the new season, the team is headed east to make repairs and get ready for their next event at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Be sure to catch the Houston event on Fox Sports 1 airing next Sunday January 11th at 12:00pm EST/9:00am PT. Thanks to Matthew Ison Photography for the photos!