Grave Digger battles jet truck at all remaining Nitro Jam events
Nitro Jam Media
Mar 2, 2011
Every once in a while an event comes along that is so big, so spectacular, that it simply has to be seen to be believed
Such will be the case during the 2011 Nitro Jam season.
With an already jam-packed lineup of nitro racing in place for the 2011 season, Nitro Jam decided to take things a step further with the inclusion of a season long event that is sure to take drag racing by storm as, for the first time ever, the brand new, purpose-built drag racing Grave Digger will take on some of the fastest jet machines in the land at every remaining event on the Nitro Jam schedule beginning at the Arizona Nitro Jam March 25-26 at Southwestern International Raceway.
“IHRA fans have grown accustomed to seeing jet trucks put on a spectacular show and Monster Jam fans know what the high-flying Grave Digger can do. Now we are going to match these two powerful machines against one another for an entire season of Nitro Jam racing,” said Nitro Jam President Aaron Polburn. “These two trucks barely fit into their own lanes so it will be interesting to see them race side-by-side. It will be jet power against horsepower and it can all only be seen at Nitro Jam.”
Nitro Jam has long been a pioneer in providing world class entertainment in conjunction with its nitro drag racing and the show it has in store for fans this season will no doubt leave people talking.
“I couldn’t be more excited about our progress so far this year and what we have in store for the rest of the season. We already have some of the fastest, most exciting classes in all of racing and now we get to add what I think will be one of the most memorable drag races ever,” Polburn said. “Grave Digger is perhaps the most recognizable racing machine in the world and he will be putting his reputation on the line against the king of jet trucks.”
And Grave Digger will waste little time in its new role as star attraction of Nitro Jam as it goes head-to-head with the Shockwave jet truck during the western stretch in Arizona and Texas later this month.
For years Les Shockley’s Shockwave and Super Shockwave jet trucks have amazed race fans across the country with their impressive display of speed and fire and now the most powerful trucks in existence will meet an American icon in Grave Digger face-to-face in a winner takes all battle of “monster trucks.”
Shockley has plenty of experience behind the wheel of the two machines and is looking forward to another season of over-the-top racing on the quarter-mile.
In Arizona, fans will see the biggest of the two trucks as Shockley brings in the triple-engine Shockwave jet semi to take on Grave Digger. This fullsize semi is propelled by three Pratt and Whitney J 34-48 jet engines that produce 25,000 horsepower and 12,500 pounds of thrust. The machine eats nearly 80 gallons of diesel fuel per run and has been clocked at over 370 miles per hour from a standing start making it the fastest fullsize truck in the world.
“It’s like driving a hurricane. We hit 4 g at takeoff running speeds of 200 miles per hour in the quarter and negative 10 g when the chutes hit. It is intense,” Shockley said. “It is an amazing truck. It shoots flames 60 feet out of the rear and 20 feet out of the top. It is loud, hot and people really feel the boom when it takes off. It really is a dream come true to drive this thing.”
But don’t take Shockley’s opponent lightly.
By far the biggest star in the highly popular Monster Jam series and perhaps one of the most recognizable names in all of racing, Grave Digger has racked up numerous awards and has achieved near rock star status.
The 1950 style Chevrolet truck has become an icon of the sport with its ghoulish green and black paint job and menacing red headlights and has made a name for itself with its go-or-go-home style of racing. The truck itself has garnered seven Monster Jam championships while under the direction of a handful of drivers and in 2011 looks to add the title of drag racing champion to its long and distinguished resume.
In 2011 Grave Digger will be under the care of legendary driver and former champion Randy Brown. Brown began his racing career tractor pulling, winning multiple championships before finally getting into the monster truck business in 2000. Brown drove “Pure Adrenaline” for three years before getting the call in 2002 to join the Grave Digger fleet. Since then Brown has been living his dream driving one of the top race machines in the game.
Now Brown will take Grave Digger out of the arena and onto the track for an incredible season of Nitro Jam racing.
Grave Digger weighs nearly 12,000 pounds – double the weight of the Super Shockwave – and produces over 2,000 horsepower from its 575 cubic inch Chevy Big Block engine. The monster stands at nearly 11 feet tall with its 66 inch tall, 43 inch wide tires and has the ability to jump long distances thanks to its custom built design which gives it the ability to produce quick bursts of speed – making it perfect for the sport of drag racing.
While the two machines have very few similarities and are designed for two totally different forms of racing, they both share one very common characteristic – when they pull onto the track, fans take notice.
Now, two of the most extreme machines on the planet will do battle at Nitro Jam events across the nation in an event that is sure to leave race fans talking for years about the night they saw Grave Digger take on the Shockwave.
“There is no doubt this will be one of the biggest attractions in IHRA history and we are proud to have it be a part of the show,” Polburn said.