When Tom Meents, the six-time world champion monster truck racer, built a new house, he wasn't quite sure what to do with the old one. "I built a ramp in the backyard," he says, then got in his truck (named Maximum Destruction) and jumped over the house. It 's true -- you can see a picture of it at www.tommeents.com. "Then I immediately came back and landed on the house three or four times."
Meents -- who drives a chopper when he's not working and says he wouldn't be caught dead in a hybrid -- is known for his signature "cyclones," or high-speed donuts. Catch him in action at this weekend's Monster Jam Summer Heat, where a bunch of the nation's 300 or so trucks will converge for races and freestyle stunts. Organizers generally spend three 18-hour days getting ready for such events. They haul in 200 truckloads of dirt to build a race course, and they make numerous trips to the local junkyard to get some cars to demolish (or as Meents puts it, to "come up with helpless vehicles.") During Friday and Saturday's Jams at the Office Depot Center (One Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise), see trucks like Grave Digger, Predator, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle; meet drivers during Saturday's "pit party." Tickets cost $10 for kids, $20 for adults. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.officedepotcenter.com. --Deirdra Funcheon
FAU football, take five
Florida Atlantic University's football team had a pretty decent season last year, finishing with nine wins and three losses. For this season, however, many of the star players have yielded to the fate that eventually consumes all college athletes -- graduation. Because this year's team is considerably younger, it needs extra support as it gears up for the new season, which begins September 3 (in Kansas, of all places). This Saturday, you can hoot along with the Owls at the annual FAU FanFest. Chat it up with players and coaches, cheer along with the cheerleaders, and give the marching band new song ideas (how about "Get Loose" by T.I.?). The free event is held at 2 p.m. at the Boca Raton campus (777 Glades Rd.). Call 866-FAU-OWLS, or visit www.fausports.com. --Jason Budjinski