Pastrana 199 was a monster truck last owned and operated by FELD Motorsports that competed from 2005-2009. Its primary drivers included the likes of 2004 Rookie of the Year Paul Cohen and future world freestyle champion Cam McQueen. Despite the name, Travis Pastrana never drove the truck in competition. The truck spent its early days as the lone Dodge body in Live Nation’s fleet of monsters, but switched to a Ford F-150 body soon after the 2005 season. As the predecessor to Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus monster truck, Pastrana 199 is most well-known for a spectacular winning freestyle run in Minneapolis 2005 and an equally spectacular forward roll at Monster Jam World Finals 8. It is also notably one of the first multi-seat monster trucks, which allowed two other people to ride along with its driver. Pastrana 199 is featured in the video games Monster Jam (video game) and Monster Jam: Urban Assault, and has several Hot Wheels diecasts in all four major sizes (1/64, 1/24, Rev Tredz, and Speed Demons).
- World Finals Appearances: 5 (2005-2009 racing)
- Best Racing Result: Quarterfinals (2006)
- Win/Loss Ratio: 3/4
- Average Racing Result: Round 2
- Best Freestyle Finish: 14th (three times)
- Best Freestyle Score: 20 (three times)
- Average Freestyle Score (out of 40): 19
- Master Win Total: 39 career wins
- 20 stadium events
- 2 stadium racing wins
- 1 stadium freestyle win
- 35 arena events
- 8 arena racing wins
- 7 arena freestyle wins
- 5 speedway events
- 1 speedway racing win
- 3 speedway freestyle wins
- General disciplines
- 13 wheelies wins
- 4 donuts wins
- 20 stadium events
Pastrana 199 debuted at the Tacoma Dome with Paul Cohen to the tune of immediate success. In only its second show ever, Cohen wheeled the Dodge around touring partner Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken) to a racing victory. The next week, in Qualcomm Stadium, the truck nearly tasted its first freestyle win, earning a 28 and falling short to Digger. Pastrana 199 would return to the final round in Anaheim, where Cohen narrowly lost to the rookie Patriot truck (Dan Rodoni). The truck’s first freestyle championship came in the second Fargodome show with a perfect score of 30. 199 went winless in Portland, but nabbed its first stadium freestyle win just a week later, in San Francisco’s AT&T Park by two points over another new truck, Iron Outlaw (Linsey Weenk). Another freestyle win in Sacramento and another racing win in El Paso solidified the new truck’s chances of making it into the sixth ever Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas.
In its first year, Pastrana 199 could lay claim to being undefeated in racing at the World Finals. This is because after its first round race with Brutus (Chris Bergeron), Cohen lost control of the truck, and it violently launched off of the rock pile just a few short yards away. The truck lost a wheel and would not be able to answer the call to race Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten) in the next round. In freestyle, the same wheel got knocked off again early on, leaving Pastrana 199 mired in fourteenth place.
After the World Finals, the truck made an appearance at some of the more prestigious speedways on the east coast of the U.S. Neither West Lebanon nor Hagerstown led the truck to Victory Lane, though Cohen did come close to breaking through with a runner-up racing effort to Grave Digger (Dennis Anderson) during the last show at the latter venue. However, the truck was far from reaching its 2005 peak. Cohen made the semifinals in a small, but stacked, Minneapolis lineup, only to lose to Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger once again. However, likely not even Cohen was expecting a freestyle victory from the night, especially against the likes of Digger, Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents), reigning freestyle champion Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), and the one who lost the tiebreaker for said title, Blue Thunder (Tony Farrell). Pastrana 199’s spectacular combination landed it into a camper and sheared the body, leaving Cohen to drive the exposed chassis wildly around the Metrodome. This gave Travis Pastrana’s truck one more career victory in the record books.
The new season brought a new dynamic to the Pastrana 199 team. Rookie Courtney Jolly was given the keys to the ride after successful testing at the testing grounds in Kill Devil Hills. Jolly did not immediately reach victory lane in the 199 truck, but did finish runner-up in both wheelies and racing at the last Rochester show of opening weekend. The truck’s return to Tacoma was understandably less bountiful than the previous year, but Pastrana 199 nabbed its first two wheelie competition wins in Reno the next week. Jolly did not go north of the border for the Edmonton show; instead, wrestling star Nikita Lefleur, who had been in talks with fellow wrestler Madusa for a while about getting behind the wheel, took Pastrana 199 over for the weekend. With an equally disappointing showing in Hartford, Pastrana 199 needed a win in Philadelphia, and Jolly was determined to deliver as she reached a rare all-female final round against Suzuki (Kathy Winston). Jolly, however, disqualified herself and the big red Ford by starting before the light turned green. Worcester and Baltimore also left the truck winless. Regardless, Travis Pastrana was determined to have his truck represented at the World Finals, and there certainly was a driver worthy of carrying that mantle.
Grave Digger driver Chad Tingler had toured with Pastrana 199 all season long and often finished just ahead of the big red truck in competitions to eek out a win. Having him in the truck for Vegas was a natural fit, and launched Tingler into the spotlight for his first career World Finals appearance. Immediately, Tingler qualified Pastrana 199 into the top eight, and knocked off El Toro Loco (Lupe Soza) in Round Two. Of course, at any other venue, the next match would have been a Grave Digger vs. Maximum Destruction shootout, but secondary Max-D driver Neil Elliott wheeled Hot Wheels past Pastrana 199 to qualify for the semifinal round. Tingler was intent on delivering for Pastrana’s fans in freestyle, but once again, a wheel broke off of the truck early in the run, leaving the truck with only a 16 (good enough for sixteenth) and with a second disappointing trip to Vegas.
Pastrana 199 took to the tracks a few more times after the World Finals. First, Courtney Jolly broke through at her hometown show, as 199 nabbed a major freestyle victory in a cheer-off tiebreaker against Grave Digger (Randy Brown). With its newfound Ford identity it ran throughout 2006, Pastrana 199 was a perfect fit for Ford’s first ever Monsters on Main Street, but couldn’t quite perform up to the same standards as the rest of the trucks in Sylva. Finally, Kathy Winston of Suzuki fame became the truck’s fifth driver, winning a major racing event in Franklin, Pennsylvania against none other than Chad Tingler. Pastrana 199 came back to Minneapolis to defend its freestyle title from the previous year, but Jolly flipped over early, leaving fans of the truck hoping for more out of the rookie in 2007.
Pastrana 199 was certainly hungry for more in the 2007 season. Wichita was not successful for the truck, but good things were to come in Detroit. In only the second ever event held at Ford Field, Jolly drove fast enough to take the truck into the semifinals in racing. Pastrana 199 then came out of the pits for freestyle and delivered its best stadium freestyle showing since that win at Minneapolis over a year ago, and held the hot seat right up until the very end, when Maximum Destruction (Tom Meents) came out and did a typical Maximum Destruction run. The next week, Jolly replicated the runner-up performance at Phoenix, launching the truck like a motorcycle around Chase Field and only being outdriven by Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten). Pastrana 199 finally nabbed a freestyle win in Peoria, and after a winless weekend in Roanoke, skied to another wheelies win in Rosemont. The truck again struggled in Jacksonville, but one more strong showing (and donuts win) in Pensacola solidified its and Jolly’s slot in the World Finals.
Jolly and her crew chief Becky McDonough wanted the Pastrana 199 truck to impress people in its third World Finals appearance, especially considering its struggles over the past two seasons. But once again, that wasn’t in the cards. Pastrana 199 was eliminated in Round One, once again by Hot Wheels (Neil Elliott). In freestyle, Jolly paced herself well for the majority of her run, making a few strong hits but nothing with the potential to take the hot seat away from Iron Outlaw (Linsey Weenk) …up until her final jump. Reminiscent of Avenger’s (Jim Koehler) mid-air somersault from 2006, Jolly launched Pastrana 199 over the infamous fountain jump and violently flipped end-over-end, crashing and coming to a halt on all fours. The effort tied Paul Cohen’s effort from 2005: a score of 20, a finish of fourteenth in the pecking order.
After the World Finals, Jolly returned to Naples to a breakout show where she drove Pastrana 199 to two freestyle and two wheelies wins. Once again, the truck ran in the Monsters on Main Street show, but Kankakee was equally as disappointing for the truck, as Jolly finished second-to-last in every competition. Sunrise was another winless outing for the truck, but it wasn’t necessarily bad, as it was consistently in the top three in every competition. Pastrana 199’s lone trip overseas came in Antwerp late in the year, where Dan Evans drove it much to the live appreciation of Travis Pastrana and his crew. Here, Pastrana 199 debuted an all-red look (no black roof) on the F-150 body.
With Jolly still at its helm, Pastrana 199 came out swinging in Rochester with a racing victory in the first weekend. Another strong showing in Manchester added two donuts and one freestyle win to the trophy case; things were finally looking up for the Pastrana 199 team. All of a sudden, disaster struck. Jolly drove the 106.7 the Fox body in Detroit that season to repeat her 2007 success, but a bad landing injured her and eventually ended her career prematurely. With the truck now driverless, Travis Pastrana and Live Nation called on "super-sub" Lee O'Donnell (who had already notched an Atlanta stadium win in Blue Thunder earlier in the year), and he did not disappoint as he took two of the weekend's three racing competitions. However, for whatever reason, O'Donnell wasn't the right fit for the truck. Enter fellow Nitro Circus stuntman Cam McQueen. McQueen's debut shows in Vancouver and Edmonton started slow, but built to a racing victory by the end of the Edmonton weekend; after Norm Miller filled the seat for Cleveland, McQueen returned, notching two more racing victories and a wheelies win in Calgary. O'Donnell was given another shot in Grand Rapids, and while another racing win certainly helped the truck's efforts to make the World Finals, it wasn't enough for O'Donnell to qualify over the promising rookie.
Pastrana 199 held the distinction of having four different drivers in four years at Sam Boyd Stadium; of those, the latter three were all pure Vegas rookies, and for McQueen, it would be his first ever stadium event. McQueen could not deliver in racing and became one of the few drivers to actually be beaten by Jim Koehler (Avenger) in a World Finals race. A strong rookie showing in freestyle pleased the Vegas fans, but yet another score of 20 and yet another 14th-place finish was not what Travis Pastrana or any Pastrana 199 fan was hoping for.
The truck went quiet after Vegas, with no appearances in the spring tours. It reappeared in Houston Motorsports Park for the third and final Monsters on Main Street competition, with none other than Courtney Jolly back at the wheel. This would be Jolly's final appearance ever and it left her fourth in both competitions after being eliminated by sister Candice in Monster Mutt Dalmatian in round two. Rumour has it that it was also supposed to be 199's last appearance, as the Nitro Circus truck was unveiled in the 2009 Monster Jam yearbook with no mention of Pastrana's old identity; however, McQueen still put the old red body through its paces for the first quarter of 2009.
Pastrana 199 embarked on a mission in the new season, and that mission, at least for McQueen, started with a racing and a wheelies win in Columbus the first weekend. The truck returned to stadiums and netted a third-place freestyle finish in Atlanta. The next week, Paul Cohen took over for Houston's freestyle exhibition show and showed no rust behind the wheel; he won a wheelie competition scored by decibel level and finished second to touring partner Minimizer (Marc McDonald) in freestyle. McQueen returned with another wheelies win in Hidalgo, but wasn't able to replicate that success in New Orleans, as he finished near the bottom of the pack in that star-studded lineup. Another wheelies win in Peoria and two more wins (wheelies and freestyle) in Pittsburgh took the truck to new heights. McQueen received the qualifying flag to go to the World Finals again in Tampa, and while he didn't win there, he backed that up with wins in wheelies, donuts, and freestyle in Tupelo the next week. More hardware from wheelies in Biloxi made up for a fruitless trip to Baton Rouge and put McQueen in the conversation as one of the 2009 arena elites.
Pastrana 199's last outing would be in the racing portion of the tenth iteration of the Monster Jam World Finals. McQueen easily knocked off the truck's former touring partner Superman (Chad Fortune) before falling to a hard-charging Marc McDonald in Minimizer.
Pastrana 199 was released in all four scales in 2007. As it made its shelf debut, Hot Wheels released a Chevy-bodied variant of the 1/24 release, and an Under Coverz version of the 1/64 release in tandem with the regular body. It was also part of the Circuit Crashers playset line. In 2008, Pastrana 199 would receive largely the same treatment, minus the variations. The same would be true for 2009, its last year of release.
- Travis Pastrana is rumoured to have driven the truck himself in one October 2006 show; this is unconfirmed and highly unlikely.
- Frank Krmel drove the truck in an exhibition for the Thrillbillies DVD.
- Pastrana 199's chassis (later Nitro Circus and Northern Nightmare) is the only competition chassis in FELD's fleet known to have had multiple seats in it.
- Courtney Jolly campaigned the truck in 2006 on what had previously been Grave Digger 3, an old yellow Inferno chassis. Some erroneously claim that this version only toured Europe.
- Although some make the distinction that the aforementioned all-red version is a European exclusive body, Pastrana 199 actually did run the all-red look at World Finals 9.
- The truck was one of two trucks run by FELD to be a Dodge Ram, the other being Man of Steel.
- There are rumours that the aforementioned Chevy release by Hot Wheels was planned to be a real truck. This is unconfirmed; it is more likely that Hot Wheels used the Chevy body to more closely replicate the Dodge look Pastrana 199 had in its first season.