Two champions were crowned this weekend! Bigfoot’s Larry Swim won on a challenging Saint Louis-style course in Grand Forks, North Dakota to claim another Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship and to keep himself in the Top 5 in the world standings. Tyler Cornelius, Jr picked up a couple runner-up efforts in Portland, Maine on his way to the Traxxas Monster Truck Tour Championship and is now in 32nd.
World points leader Tyler Menninga won his 30th racing event of the season. Not only has he won nearly half of his events, but only 25 other drivers have even competed in 30 events. He ably controlled his Grave Digger truck around the slick Chicago-style track in Austin, Texas for the win over Tony Ochs. Tyler was also first to the finish on Sunday, but ran over the final turn marker which handed the win to Kristen Hope in Jekyll-&-Hyde. For Hope, it was her first racing win of the season.
Ryan Anderson was one of the big movers this week, as his second-consecutive Monster Jam Stadium victory gained him another 392 points and has him within 50 points of a Top Ten ranking.
There are currently 91 drivers with at least 15 events on the books, so we are inching closer to raising our minimum requirement to 15 events. When this happens, any driver with fewer than 15 recorded events will be dropped (temporarily) from the world rankings. Once a driver reaches 15 events, they will be re-included in the rankings. The highest-ranking drivers in jeopardy of losing their spots are Jon Zimmer (13 events) and Michael Vaters II (10 events). As a reminder, we will eventually settle in to a 20-race minimum for the season.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (Hot Wheels Live)
Derick Anson picked up another Holeshot Racing win on the Hot Wheels tour in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon. He is now 1 spot away from making the Top 50. We do not have a report from Sunday.
ENID, OK (Mega Monster Trucks)
Preston Perez beat the entire field in Enid, Oklahoma racing on a reverse Chicago-style track. After opening round wins over Ricky Fowler in Zilla and Kurt Kraehmer in Raminator, Perez drove his Tantrum truck past teammate Dillon Fenley in King Krunch. This was his 3rd win of the season.
GRAND FORKS, ND (Toughest Monster Truck)
Larry Swim continued his dominance on the Toughest Monster Truck tour with his win at the Alerus Center. The six-truck field faced a tricky Saint Louis-style track that include 3 jumps on the outside lanes. Swim beat out TMT’s Most Improved award winner Brandon Budd in the semi-finals, getting some revenge for the loss that Budd handed him last week. Swim then outraced Tim Messentis in Dirt Crew to claim his 2nd consecutive TMT Tour Championship. It was his 13th win of the season in only 17 races.
PHOENIX, AZ (Grand Canyon State Productions)
There were 5 events at the Maricopa County Fair but results were a bit messy. We have Jacob Ladwig as the winner on Friday night with Jeff Souza in Enforcer as runner-up. Ladwig beat Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed in the final race of the evening, but Sturges was given a bye directly to the finals which is not allowed under MTROC rules. Drivers must advance through a bracket, and while a single-round bye-run is acceptable, advancing directly to the finals is not. So, we are counting Friday as a 4-truck bracket and Mr. Sturges will not be charged with an event. On Saturday afternoon, there were some match races but no discernable bracket, so points could not be awarded. We are still awaiting results from the final three events.
PORTLAND, ME (Traxxas)
In Portland, Maine, it was Greg Wichenbach in Crushstation sweeping the racing weekend with a win over Ryan Como and two over Tyler Cornelius, Jr. Wichenbach has 6 wins in 8 races this year, but does not have enough events reported to be ranked yet. Cornelius has 2 wins and 6 runner-up performances on the Traxxas Tour this season, along with wins in wheelstands and racing, which helped him earn the 2019 Traxxas Championship.
PUYALLUP, WA (Malicious Monster Trucks)
The Malicious Tour brought 10 top trucks to the tight and slick amphitheater in Puyallup, Washington for a concrete Chicago-style track. With Identity Theft broken and Titan damaged from the wheelie contest, only 8 trucks competed in racing. Dwight Mathews in the Honda Generators High Voltage knocked off CFP Champion Larry Quick in the first round and his wife Shannon Quick in the semi-finals. Travis Groth took his Trouble Maker truck into the semis with a win over Michael Miller in Bigfoot, and then got past his brother Tyler to advance to the finals. The championship race was close down to the very end with Mathews picking up his 2nd win of the season.
SANTA CLARA, CA (Monster Jam Stadium Championship 1)
After a slow start to the year, Ryan Anderson has now competed in the final round in 4 of his past 5 events and has a two-race winning streak. In Santa Clara, California, this past weekend, he opened with a win over Camden Murphy in Bakugan Dragonoid and then came right back with a win over Tom Meents. Anderson finished the evening with wins over Aaron Basl and John Gordon to move himself up into the 11th spot in the world and a mere 48 points out of the Top Ten.
In Chico, California, the racing was done against the clock and so points were not awarded. Furthermore, the Friday night event only had 3 trucks in competition and MTROC rules require a minimum of 4 drivers entered to compete for the racing to be eligible for points.
In Hamilton, Ontario, there was a stellar line-up of Monster Jam Stadium competitors inside the FirstOntario Centre, but the racing was contested against the clock and was not eligible for points.
In San Tan Valley, Bill Payne debuted a brand-new Rock Star for the 2019 summer schedule. The racing, however, was against the clock and was not eligible for Open Championship points.
We have not heard anything from the Night of Fire and Thrills in Church Rock, New Mexico, but we believe that this was a freestyle-only event.
EASTER WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The East Texas Mechanical Mayhem has a pair of events in Gonzales, Texas. The Senoia Raceway will host five trucks in Georgia on Saturday night. The Night of Fire and Thrills will be in Clovis, New Mexico. The Malicious Tour moves to Tucson, Arizona. Monster Truck Insanity will be in Pahrump. Monster Jam was an arena event in Des Moines, Iowa and a stadium event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as an international event in Durban, South Africa. If you’re wondering, yes that event will also count in the MTROC standings.