Apr 30 - Sipes Steals Spotlight in Denver
Justin Sipes won big in Denver, claiming his first Stadium win of the season in a field that included four Top Ten drivers. Camden Murphy ended Ryan Anderson’s winning streak in the semi-finals, but lost out to Sipes by inches in the championship race. Meanwhile, Cole Venard, Blake Granger, and Bill Payne all picked up two wins this weekend and Colton Eichelberger took Race 2 of the Monster Jam African tour.
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA (Monster Jam)
Cole Venard and Blake Granger split the four-race weekend in Baton Rouge, although Granger gets the tie-breaker thanks to a runner-up effort on Saturday afternoon. Venard opened the weekend by piloting the Black Pearl past Jamey Garner on Friday night and Granger on Saturday afternoon. Granger then picked up two wins over Krysten Anderson. Granger earned 736 points and moved into 20th while Venard earned 644 points and is now in 22nd. Krysten Anderson’s two runner-up efforts brought her weekend total to 460 and she is now in 33rd.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (Monster Jam)
Stop 2 of the Monster Jam African tour was at Cape Town Stadium. Colton Eichelberger made up for an early exit last week in Durban with an event racing win over Chad Tingler in Megalodon. Eichelberger slid up one spot into 9th place while Tingler joined the Open Championship rankings in 69th having just recorded his 10th event of the season.
DENVER, COLORADO (Monster Jam)
There were some very big names in the bracket on Saturday night in Denver, Colorado! World #1 Tyler Menninga made his stadium debut against fellow Top Ten drivers Ryan Anderson, Jimmy Creten, and Camden Murphy as well as veterans Tom Meents and Jim Koehler. Menninga eliminated Creten in the open round which knocked the Bounty Hunter driver down 2 spots in the standings. Camden Murphy advanced to his first Stadium final round since Saint Louis in early March with a semi-final victory over Ryan Anderson, who entered the event with a 3-race winning streak. But at the end of the night, it was Justin Sipes in Megalodon who stole the show away from all the big guns. Sipes upset Menninga cleanly in the quarter-finals and then knocked off previous Stadium Series winner Bryan Wright in the semis. Sipes then outraced the 11-time winner Murphy in the finals to claim his first Stadium racing win of the year! Those 392 points gained Sipes six spots in the Open Championship and he now sits in 25th place, which is his highest ranking since early February.
MARYSVILLE, CALIFORNIA (Malicious)
Bill Payne in Rock Star won twice over Dwight Mathews in Identity Theft at the Malicious Monster Truck Tour in Marysville. Both drivers have 7 events on record this season which is below our current minimum of 10, so they are not ranked at this time. However, the Malicious Tour is just heating up and we expect Bill and Dwight to join the rankings early in the summer.
MOLINE, ILLINOIS (Monster Jam)
Long-time driver Rod Schmidt was behind the wheel of Monster Mutt this weekend and he won the opening event at the TaxSlayer Center by defeating Mat Dishman in Rammunition. On Sunday, however, Schmidt couldn’t escape the first round as Myranda Cozad moved on to her second semi-final appearance of the weekend where she lost to eventual winner Roy Pridgeon in Megalodon. Brandon Vinson got revenge on Matt Cody who had eliminated him in the first round on Saturday night and advanced to the finals with a win over Dishman, but ultimately lost a spot in the standings and is now 4th overall. Pridgeon win, however, moved him up 6 spots into 72nd.
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO (Night of Fire and Thrills)
Sam Sturges won the Chicago-style event in Roswell over Jacob Ladwig. It was his first win in 7 races this year. Ladwig has been in the finals round of 7 of his 8 races. Neither driver has met the current 10-race minimum, however, and so are not yet included in the rankings.
The Atlanta Motorama featured four top trucks but no racing, so points were not awarded. The Endless Mountains Maple Festival event in Troy, Pennsylvania was rescheduled due to rain. Monster Jam’s Arena Championship was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for four events but the racing was against a clock and not head-to-head so points were not awarded.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
The big theme for this upcoming weekend is how many events will be run outside of the Lower 48. The headliner for this weekend will be the two big Monster X events in Hawai’i. Monster Jam is running in Manchester, England and Johannesburg, South Africa. Monster Spectular will be in Regina, Saskatoon. In the continental US, Monster Jam is also running in Manchester, New Hampshire (in a strange coincidence). Mud and Monsters will also be running in New Hampshire in Belmont. The Malicious Tour continues in Merced, California while WGAS kicks off in Santa Rosa, California. Last but not least will be the All Star tour in Blue Ridge, Georgia.