Blue Thunder debuted on January 6th, 2001, at the Houston Astrodome, originally as a Ford F-250. It was driven by former Grave Digger driver, Lyle Hancock, who drove Wrenchead.com the previous year. He made it to the World Finals Championship Race in Monster Jam World Finals 2, making him the first Grave Digger driver to make it to the finals. But because Blue Thunder flipped over at the end of the final race with Goldberg, it couldn't return for freestyle.
A year later in January 2002, at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, MI (the first stop), Tony Farrell drove the truck and competed there. He had an awesome freestyle run but ended with a spectacular crash.
Lyle Hancock would drive Blue Thunder again and compete at Monster Jam World Finals 3 and 4.
After the end of the 2003 season, Lyle Hancock retired and Tony Farrell, the previous driver of Wild Thang, and George Balhan, who had come from driving Spider-Man, drove the monster truck. In 2005, Norm Miller (previously a driver of Black Smith) became the team's second driver when Balhan left the team to drive the Escalade monster truck.
Frank Krmel, who drove Blue Thunder at Monsters on Mainstreet at Houston Motorsports Park in 2008, joined the team in the summer of 2009. In 2010, Krmel drove Blue Thunder during the World Finals 11 encore.
In 2011, Ford had officially ended their Built Ford Tough sponsorship contract with Monster Jam, so the truck continued to run with all Ford references on the truck removed: The Build Ford Tough logo on the hood was replaced with the words "Blue Thunder" as they were seen on the side. Despite Ford being removed as sponsor, the truck still ran a Ford body and continues to run it to this date. That same year, Linsey Weenk and Frank Krmel left the Blue Thunder team, so Todd LeDuc drove Blue Thunder for the rest of 2011 while Weenk ran his new truck Lucas Oil Crusader.
In 2012, LeDuc began driving the new Metal Mulisha, and the Blue Thunder name was discontinued.
In 2013, Blue Thunder was resurrected, with Dan Evans driving the truck until 2014.
In 2014, it was announced that Dalton Millican would be taking over the driving duties and run on the #MoreMonsterJam tour for the 2015 season.
In 2015, two Blue Thunder drivers, former driver Tony Farrell and driver Dalton Millican tragically pass away; Farrell from an SUV accident at a concert and Millican from a motorcycle accident. After Millican's death, Alx Danielsson drives the truck during one event as a fill-in driver. Also, less than a six months before his death, Millican and Blue Thunder were invited to the Monster Jam World Finals 16 Young Guns Shootout, although did not win.
In 2016, Tyler Menninga drove Blue Thunder in the West More Monster Jam tour and competed in the Monster Jam World Finals 17 Young Guns Shootout and finished second. Todd LeDuc runs the name on the old Metal Mulisha chassis in Europe.
In 2017, Matt Cody runs the Blue Thunder body on the Iron Warrior chassis for the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series presented by AMSOIL Central tour and competed in the Monster Jam World Finals 18 Double Down Showdown. Blue Thunder competed in Saudi Arabia with driver Randy Brown and Rhianna Buchanan in Singapore. Chad Fortune and Randy Brown also run the truck for the Australia tour.
In 2018, Matt Cody runs the Blue Thunder body on the Iron Warrior chassis again for the Monster Jam Triple Threat East Series and competed in the Monster Jam World Finals 19 Double Down Showdown. Travis Groth would later take over driving duties of the truck by running the body on the Trouble Maker chassis for the 3rd quarter of Monster Jam.
World Finals Appearances
- 2001 - Lyle Hancock
- 2002 - Lyle Hancock
- 2003 - Lyle Hancock
- 2004 - Tony Farrell
- 2005 - Tony Farrell
- 2006 - Tony Farrell
- 2007 - Tony Farrell
- 2008 - Linsey Weenk
- 2009 - Linsey Weenk
- 2010 - Linsey Weenk
- 2013 - Pablo Huffaker
- 2015 - Dalton Millican (YGS)
- 2016 - Tyler Menninga (YGS)
- 2017 - Matt Cody (DDS)
- 2018 - Matt Cody (DDS)
- This truck, despite having the same name and color and a very similar design, has no relation to Kevin and Kirk Dabney's Camaro Blue Thunder truck, which competed in the 1980s. However, it is speculated that this Blue Thunder was derived in some way from that of the Dabneys' version.
- Although the truck started out in 2001 as a sponsorship truck for Ford, the truck is no longer a sponsor truck today. Ford had ended their sponsorship contract in early 2011 and the truck continued running as a stand-alone truck until its retirement before Monster Jam World Finals 12 and its revival in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
- Although Todd LeDuc is the full-time driver for Monster Energy, he is also a part-time driver for Blue Thunder for overseas events. LeDuc was a full time driver in Blue Thunder before driving Metal Mulisha.
- As of August 2018, the truck currently has no permanent chassis as the name and body is run on the Trouble Maker chassis for the Triple Threat Series tours and various chassis' for international events.