Remember that record-setting monster truck front flip? It happened completely by accident.
Monster trucks suddenly became cool again recently when driver Lee O’Donnell performed an awe-inspiring front flip during a freestyle run at the Las Vegas Monster Jam world finals. The spectacular stunt set a world record for the first front flip successfully landed by a monster truck, but that isn’t even the best part – it wasn’t meant to happen. Speaking to Fox Sports, O’Donnell admitted that he was just as surprised as the cheering crowd when he successfully landed the monster truck somersault.
I had tried the maneuver in Detroit a few weeks earlier and it didn’t work out so well," he recalls. "I thought we were going to ride the slap-wheelie, hit the ramp, go to the front bumper and then back to the wheels again. That’s what we thought was going to happen, and then obviously we had a little bit too much speed, so it kind of worked out for the better.”
While O’Donnell had been practicing performing a front flip before the event, he wasn’t anticipating it to happen when he approached the ramp after already landing a backflip. “I’d done a backflip off the container maybe the move or two before and I could feel the crowd and they got pumped up over that.” You can imagine the euphoria he must have experienced after the stunt, but his freestyle run soon came to a crashing end when his next stunt attempt resulted in the monster truck landing on its roof. Luckily, it was still enough for O’Donnell to secure the win at the World Finals, with a score of 9.355. It was a narrow victory though, as Driver Neil Elliot finished second with a score of 9.316.
Unsurprisingly, the stunt has been a huge hit on social media, but no matter how many times he watches it, O’Donnell still can’t comprehend how he achieved it. It’s a feat we probably won’t see any other daring driver pull off for some time. “Everybody says ‘I’ve watched it 100 times,’ and I’ve watched it probably 1,000 times, and I still can’t believe it and I’m like ‘alright, how am I ever going to do that again?’”