Donkey Kong (monster truck)
Donkey Kong was a monster truck that competed in the Monster Jam racing series, and was designed after the character Donkey Kong. The truck was owned by Feld Motorsports, and was driven by Frank Krmel (last name pronounced "kerr-mell"). It debuted on December 8, 2007, and later competed in the Monster Jam World Finals 9 and 10 competitions. Another driver, Kreg Christensen, later took over as driver of the truck before the truck was later retired in 2010.
The truck had a custom concept body designed to look like Donkey Kong. It was colored brown, and featured a large mouth on the front hood area along with two nostrils; it also sported two large ears on the sides in place of the doors. Its most prominent feature was the necktie dangling from the front. Later, two large eyes were added to the windshield. Its resemblance to Donkey Kong made it especially popular among children.
Donkey Kong made its debut on December 8, 2007, at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
In the racing competition's first round, it defeated Chad Fortune and his Superman truck, moving on to face perennial powerhouse Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter in the second round and lose. The competition was eventually won by Linsey Weenk in Blue Thunder.
Later that day, in the freestyle competition, Donkey Kong came out and performed first. Scoring an intimidating 21 points out of 30, it sat in first place until bested by racing winner Linsey Weenk in Blue Thunder, who scored a 26. The competition was later won by Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger, who scored a perfect 30.
Monster Jam World Finals 9
Frank Krmel led Donkey Kong to qualify for the ninth annual Monster Jam World Finals at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. In the racing competition, Donkey Kong lost in the first round to veteran driver Dennis Anderson and his Grave Digger truck. The competition was eventually won by John Seasock in Batman.
In the freestyle competition later that night, Donkey Kong scored 26 out of 40 points, finishing in ninth place. The truck suffered a huge forward rollover crash near the beginning of its freestyle run. The competition was eventually won by Adam Anderson in the Taz truck, who scored 37 points.
Monster Jam World Finals 10
During the tenth annual Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas, Krmel lead Donkey Kong to the world finals. Donkey Kong was the fastest qualifier for racing, earning a free pass to the second round; there, DK was defeated by the truck Madusa in an upset victory. Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction was later crowned the racing champion.
In the freestyle competition afterwards, Krmel and Donkey Kong tied with John Seasock's Batman truck at 21 out of 40 points for twelfth place. Damon Bradshaw's Air Force Afterburner truck eventually won the freestyle title, earning 36 points.
Donkey Kong was powered by a 540 cubic-inch Merlin engine, creating a whopping 1500 horsepower. It also featured a Coan 2-speed transmission. It sported four massive 66-inch Terra tires.
Donkey Kong was piloted by Frank Krmel (born December 20, 1978). He currently resides in Montgomery, Illinois, when not traveling with the Monster Jam tour. He competed on the Monster Jam circuit from 2003 until 2016, and has piloted trucks such as Pure Adrenaline, Demolition Man, Power Forward, Hot Wheels, and Del Taco's Del Scorcho before joining the Donkey Kong team. He also was a crew chief for the notorious "Team Scream," consisting of Jim Koehler's Avenger and Chris Bergeron's Brutus trucks. Krmel later moved to the Blue Thunder team.
Kreg Christensen took over driving duties of the truck after Krmel moved on to drive the Blue Thunder monster truck in 2010. Christensen has previously driven Max-D, Iron Outlaw, Wicked, and Dragon Slayer, which later returned.
Along with many other Monster Jam trucks, the diecast car company Hot Wheels produced many diecast replicas of this truck. As the popularity of this truck grew, Hot Wheels continued to make various sizes of toy Donkey Kong trucks, including 1:64, 1:43, and 1:24 scale trucks. The 1:24 scale trucks feature working suspension, and some 1:64 scale trucks contain a small flag designed like the truck. Also, the 1:44 scale trucks were marketed as "Rev Tredz," and if pulled back they will zoom forwards.