Monster Jam roars back into Green Bay

The family-friendly event will feature fan-favorite Grave Digger driven by Brandon Vinson

By Heather Graves

Monster Jam, which is back at the Resch Center May 6-7, will feature fan-favorite monster truck Grave Digger driven by Brandon Vinson. Submitted Photos

Born and raised in Currituck, North Carolina, the official home and birthplace of the Grave Digger Monster Truck, it was pretty much destiny that Brandon Vinson would one day grow up to be a monster truck driver.

Being the driver of the infamous Grave Digger was just icing on the cake.

“I went to middle school with Dennis Anderson’s, the creator of Grave Digger, oldest son, Adam,” Vinson said. “We kind of became best friends and hung out all the time. He started driving a truck… and I think when I was 22, he asked me to come on the road with him. I started off as a mechanic, put in eight years working on these trucks. Then I had the opportunity to get a test shot behind the wheel of a Monster Jam truck, and they liked what they saw. And that’s how I got to where I’m at today as far as driving Grave Digger and traveling the world with Monster Jam and putting on events everywhere.”

Vinson said he is blessed to wake up every day and be living his dream – driving a Monster Jam truck, let alone Grave Digger.

“Anderson created this truck in 1982, and it’s larger than life here in 2022,” he said. “It feels great representing this iconic brand and getting to hang out with all the fans that knew Dennis from the shows back in the day. They’re in their 40s and 50s now, and they’re bringing their kids now and they’re watching us compete. It feels cool to be involved in something that’s been around for so long.”

Vinson said the experience is surreal and he is “loving every second of it.”

He said his family is supportive of his career and will sometimes travel with him for shows.

“They’ve been around it so long that it’s kind of normal for them,” Vinson said. “But you know my kids, I have two boys – 11 and 13 – and they tell all their friends that their dad drives a monster truck. When we talk about it at home, they’re kind of like you know, (whatever), but when we’re at the shows hanging out, cheering and having fun, you can tell it feels special to them as well. It’s cool to watch them get involved and have fun doing it.”

Behind the scenes, Vinson said the Monster Jam crew is family.

“We might get in spats with racing here and there, but at the end of the day, we all come together and help each other out to make everybody perform better,” he said. “And it’s pretty cool. You know when I can go out there and do something cool. Everybody gives you a high-five… some of the best people in the business, these people that drive monster trucks and in Monster Jam. Everybody’s humble and it’s been really cool.”

Brandon Vinson, driver of Grave Digger’s

Like nothing else

Vinson said driving a monster truck is like nothing you’ve ever done before.

“Monster Jam trucks have 1500 horsepower and they have huge, 66-inch tires,” he said. “So it’s an adrenaline rush from start to finish – especially when you are able to jump it 20-30 feet in the air. I always tell everybody, I wish everybody could do it one time.”
Vinson said monster trucks are their “own beasts.”

“There’s rear steer,” he said. “So you actually have to drive in the front and on a toggle switch to turn the rear steer, because they are so big and wide.”

Show info

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Monster Jam will offer three shows May 6-7 at 7 p.m. both nights, along with a 1 p.m. matinee show on Saturday.

During the shows, 12,000-pound Monster Jam trucks go head-to-head for points in Freestyle, Skills, Donuts and Racing competitions – complete with backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles-per-hour.

Vinson said he likes doing “everything.”

“I like going out there and being part of the whole show,” he said. “I love the race. There’s a two-wheel skills course in the show where we’re doing tricks on our nose, wheelies and moonwalk… And I’m very competitive. I like to win. So I try to do good in every element.”

Fans also have the opportunity to participate in the Monster Jam Pit Party experience prior to the Saturday afternoon event, for an additional cost – with a chance to see the larger-than-life trucks up-close, while meeting their favorite drivers and crews.

The adrenaline-charged weekend’s truck line-up includes Grave Digger, Scooby-Doo driven by Myranda Cozad, Jurassic Attack driven by Dave Olfert, Rockwell Red driven by Travis Mowery, Jailbird driven by Kaylyn Migues and Nitro Menace driven by Brad Allen.

Organizers said trucks/drivers are subject to change.

Tickets, starting at $23 each, can be purchased online at ReschCenter.com or in person at the Ticket Star Box Office in the Resch Center.


Heather Graves is the editor of The Press Times and a contributing writer for Green Bay City Pages.

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