To culminate an exciting first quarter of 2017 for the Jester Monster Truck team they traveled west to Las Vegas, Nevada to be a part of the Double Down Showdown to compete for the 32nd spot in the Monster Jam World Finals XVIII field. Driver Matt Pagliarulo would be one of sixteen drivers competing for the final qualifier spot into the most prestigious event in Monster Jam. As a team comprised of life long monster truck fanatics they were not only excited to be competing, but to also be able to take in the experience that is the Monster Jam World Finals with three days of events and the biggest pit party ever. The racing course is one of the toughest in the sport so the team had to be on top of their game to keep the Jester running its best and they were tested on Wednesday during practice after engine troubles would show up late in the day. It would be a long night but the truck was back to 100% for competition the following day. In qualifying Pagliarulo was able to turn in a time of 18.324 to put the Jester in the middle of the pack to face off with Matt Cody and Blue Thunder in round one. The round one race would be a wild one with both drivers making mistakes in the final turn with Pagliarulo clipping a freestyle obstacle and nearly rolling the truck over. In the other lane Cody would cross the line first but break off a wheel and ending their night early. As a result of Blue Thunder’s breakage Jester would be brought back to race in round two against Mark List and El Toro Loco. Round two would be as equally wild with Pagliarulo once again making a mistake in the final turn. After realizing he was out of the race, Pagliarulo lined up for one of the freestyle ramps and made a big jump before landing in the fountain pond built into one of the freestyle obstacles which brought the crowd to their feet. It was a disappointing result in losing but the team was excited to have put on a wild and entertaining show in their defeat.
While they were unable to claim the Double Down Shootout victory on Thursday night, the Jester monster truck team wouldn’t be leaving Las Vegas winless. Pagliarulo was awarded Monster Jam’s coveted Rising Star Award in recognition for his impressive performances throughout the season and he was honored to have received the award. The rest of the weekend would be spent enjoying the events with the fans at the pit party and even getting in on the Monster Mutt Dalmatian fashion show. Hopefully the Jestalade gets to make a return trip to Las Vegas next year for the Monster Jam World Finals. On behalf of the team we’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us along with way ranging from friends and family, to our generous sponsors, and of course all the wonderful fans. We can’t do what we do without your support so thank you all! We’ll be back in action in Syracuse, New York on April 8th at the Carrier Dome for some more Monster Jam action.