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LISTEN: Interview with Monster Truck Driver Frank Krmel about the Monster Jam show on March 3 at Ford Field in Detroit

 
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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 20 February, 2012 9:57 PM

Monster Jam coming to Detroit’s Ford Field for one night only, March 3

Photo credit: Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam / Brendy Barr Communications

Look for Frank Krmel to drive the Advance Auto Parts Grinder monster truck on March 3 at Ford Field in Detroit.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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DETROIT -- The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam will be making a single stop in the Motor City on Saturday, March 3. If you miss it, you can still see all of the action from March 9 – 11 in Grand Rapids or Toledo. The 30th Anniversary of the Grave Digger monster truck will be highlighted. Discount coupons of $5 off can be picked up at Advance Auto Part locations while supplies last.

“I was a Monster Jam fan from when I was a little boy,“ said Detroit native Frank Krmel, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Grinder monster truck. “My dad used to take me to all of the monster truck shows in the area. When I was little, I raced go karts, junior dragsters, show cars, everything I could. I ended up meeting Jimmy Koehler, who is the owner and driver of the Avenger truck, who runs in the Monster Jam tour. I started going to his shop after school. I went on the road with him and learned a lot from him. Eventually, he let me drive. After six or seven years of being his crew chief, I became a Monster Jam driver and I’ve been doing it ever since. This is my fifth year driving right now.“

Why is your monster truck called the “Grinder”?

“My truck in the Monster Jam tour is sponsored by Advance Auto Parts,” he added. “The whole truck is their concept. Grinder is their truck so they chose the Grinder because it’s hard working. It does a lot of work. It’s the people’s truck and that’s what we went with.”

You mentioned that you’re from Detroit. How does it feel to be coming back home for the show at Ford Field on March 3?

“Coming to Ford Field for me is great,” the monster truck driver explained. “I go to Comerica Park all the time to see the Tigers and I go to Ford Field to watch the Lions. I was just there Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve to see the Lions. To be able to step onto the same field where all of my favorite athletes Calvin Johnson and all of the guys from the past in front of my friends and family is just a huge thrill.”

Please give me a preview of what folks can expect when they go to the show.

“You’re going to see everything you see on Monster Jam on television,” Krmel said. “Big air, 16 monster trucks, crazy freestyle, real fast racing. It’s going to be two and a half hours of complete craziness. It’s an escape from reality for two hours no matter how bad things are, it works. You can come to Ford Field for a couple of hours and forget about it and see a bunch of horsepower and mechanical marvels at work out there.”

Can you tell me more about the Party in the Pits?

“Well, it is a real good opportunity to get up close with the trucks and meet the drivers that you normally can’t do all of the time,” he added. “You usually have to sit in the seats and you’re 100 feet from the trucks. Here, you get to walk up to them and touch the tires and shake hands with the drivers, just get an up close look at what it takes to put a monster truck together and how big everything is to get a feel for the size. You get to do all sorts of things. There’s not only monster trucks down there. You’ll also see the other elements of the show, ATVs and all that sort of thing. Local sponsors and local radio stations and everything has displays out on the floor. It’s a lot to do. You barely have enough time to do everything.”

How is the 30th anniversary of the monster truck being celebrated?

“This year is the 30th anniversary of Grave Digger,” the monster truck driver explained. “The monster truck has been around for a little bit longer than 30 years, but Grave Digger is probably the biggest name in monster trucks. It is a party everywhere we go. They are celebrating it right with Dennis Anderson and his sons Adam Anderson and Ryan Anderson. They’re doing it right. There’s a whole traveling museum that goes with the 30th anniversary tour and it’s great to see the history of Grave Digger from where it started to where it’s ended up. Whether you’re a Grave Digger fan or not, it’s cool to see the history of it.”

Do you know if the museum will be at Ford Field?

“That’s a good question, I’m not sure if it will be there or not,” Krmel said. “I don’t know if its the full museum, but wherever the Grave Digger truck goes, there is a display that showcases the history of Grave Digger.”

Look for Frank Krmel to be driving the Advance Auto Parts Grinder monster truck at Monster Jam in Detroit.

“I’m just looking forward to coming home and being able to race in front of my family, friends and hometown,” he added. “I hope we can get the Grinder into the winner’s circle. That’s going to be our goal.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for Monster Jam, visit www.monsterjam.com/Events/2012/03/03/Detroit,_MI.

 

 

Photo credit: Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam / Brendy Barr Communications

The Grave Digger monster truck, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will also be a part of the show.

 

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