Overkill Evolution Roars into the CT Centre
Mike Vaters II drives Overkill Evolution over a pair of cars. All photos by Michael Wing of Mike’s Media.
When Overkill Evolution revs its engine and tears across the floor of the Canadian Tire Centre this Saturday night, it will probably be the loudest thing you’ve ever heard.
Weighing more than 10,000 pounds, Overkill is a massive monster truck that’s unbelievably agile for its size. This machine makes wicked turns and when it ramps off a freshly-crushed Oldsmobile it looks light as a feather.
“It’s a state of the art truck,” says Overkill Evolution’s driver Mike Vaters II, his face still flushed from driving the beast. “I couldn’t be happier to drive it.”
Overkill will share the CT Centre’s floor with the legendary Black Stallion monster truck and the world famous Bounty Hunter. Together, they make up Monster Spectacular, a night of high flying, gear grinding motorized madness that will also feature freestyle motocross, a speed bike stunt show and modified ATV races.
For a demonstration of what Saturday night would look like, Vaters took his truck for a spin and a few spectacular jumps, crushing two red cars further into the floor with each turn.
“You can take a lot of aggression out in one of these trucks,” says Vaters.
That’s easy to believe, since Vaters is incredibly calm and polite as soon as he steps outside of his truck. It looks like every ounce of aggression he might have had gets pushed out Overkill’s exhaust pipes.
“When I drive in my everyday vehicle I drive like a grandma,” Vaters adds.
Although you might not think so by looking at one, driving a monster truck requires a lot of finesse. Every time Vaters approaches a car to jump it, he has to make sure that he’s using the perfect throttle rhythm to make the jump. If he uses too much throttle, Overkill will go straight up in the air instead of making a smooth arc. Vaters has already flipped his truck about six times this year, but when the jumps go well, it’s worth it.
“It is a big rush,” he says. “It’s like driving over a big hill.”
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During the demonstration, Vaters even gave local Senators’ defenseman Mark Borowiecki a chance to get behind the wheel. Although he seemed a little intimidated at first, Borowiecki eventually hopped in and drove the truck from one side of the arena floor to the other.
Although Vaters clearly has a lot of good things to say about his job, one of his favourite things about driving Overkill Evolution is the response from fans.
“The kids love it, there’s no way a kid couldn’t love a monster truck,” he says. “The parents get into it just as much as the kids and they’re making posters and big banners of you…It makes you feel very appreciated.”