Max- D’s Eichel­berger ready to roll into Mo­he­gan Sun Arena at Mon­ster Jam

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News - BY CHAR­LOTTE L. JA­COB­SON STAFF WRITER cja­cob­son@ cit­i­zensvoice. com; 570821- 2061

Jared Eichel­berger grew up in the Mon­ster Jam­fam­ily.

Eichel­berger’s fa­ther, Tom Meents, reigns as the most suc­cess­ful driver in Mon­ster JamWorld Fi­nals his­tory and runs Mon­ster Jam Univer­sity, a train­ing in­sti­tu­tion for po­ten­tial driv­ers. So it was no sur­prise­when he ditched his de­gree in agri­cul­ture and turned to mon­ster trucks nearly three years ago.

Eichel­berger and Mon­ster Jam­cruises into Mo­he­gan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., WilkesBarre, from­to­day through Sun­day. Tick­ets start at $ 15 and are avail­able at tick­et­mas­ter. com, the arena box of­fice or by call­ing 800- 745- 3000.

Prior to be­com­ing a driver forMax- D, Eichel­berger worked as a crewmem­ber, me­chanic and crewchief for both his fa­ther and his younger brother, Colton, who started driv­ing a year be­fore he did. When the 29- year- old fi­nally got the op­por­tu­nity to test, he jumped on the chance.

Now, the three all drive for the Max- D team and as­sist one another through­out each show.

“Our dad is our big­gest teacher,” Eichel­berger said. “I idol­ize him and try to drive like him. He’s given us a lot of tips and help­ful in­struc­tion, from in­ter­view­ing to driv­ing to just as­so­ci­at­ing­with fans and to help­ing out ev­ery­one at the show. It’s a big team project. We all have towork to­gether to ac­com­mo­date to make it work and give a good per­for­mance. Work­ing with them is pretty neat ... When the week­end is overwe’ll have Mon­day din­ner to­gether to talk about the­week­end and talk about howwe can im­prove.”

Max- D, for­merly known as Max­i­mum De­struc­tion, can eas­ily be spot­ted on the track with its orange and sil­ver paint and spikes pro­trud­ing fromthe truck’s body. Ac­cord­ing to Eichel­berger, Max- D re­ally shines dur­ing theTwo- Wheel Skill Com­pe­ti­tion, as per­form­ing tricks and bal­anc­ing acts such as nose­wheel­ies.

Su­per fans bet­ter not miss the two pit par­ties prior to the mati­nee shows on Satur­day and Sun­day, be­gin­ning at 10: 30 a. m. These par­ties give fans the op­por­tu­nity to get up close and per­sonal with the Mon­ster Jam trucks and driv­ers.

Even though Eichel­berger barely hit three years as a driver, he has driven in more than 100 shows. The driver has be­come very com­fort­able in the trucks and are­nas, he said, but there is al­ways more to learn fromhis fa­ther and other veteran driv­ers.

“Just hav­ing a great coach at home has re­ally been ben­e­fi­cial,” Eichel­berger said. “We have Mon­ster Jam Univer­sity inmy home­town; my dad trains driv­ers and Iwork therewhen I’m not on the road. I’m al­wayswatch­ing, learn­ing and do­ingmy home­work. I learn from them and their mis­takes, learn from their moves and make them bet­ter.”

Although Eichel­berger ad­mit­ted that stay­ing at the top of the game is a ma­jor chal­lenge he faces, the con­stant pres­sure to live up to his fa­ther’s legacy brings the most pres­sure.

“There’s a lot of pres­sure to com­pete and to be as good as him, to rep­re­sent hi­mand to rep­re­sent the brand Max- D,” he said. “I take that pres­sure and I use it formy ad­van­tage out on the track. I al­most re­verse it and I put that pres­sure on the other com­peti­tors be­cause I do have­him as a teacher, as a fa­ther, as a coach. I have­him inmy back pocket and can al­ways rely on him for ad­vice.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Max- D mon­ster truck can be seen in ac­tion at Mon­ster Jam this week­end at Mo­he­gan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

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