Mar 5 - Excitement in El Paso
Loud and rowdy sold-out crowds in El Paso’s UTEP Sun Bowl saw another page in the Digger/Max-D rivalry as Neil Elliot and Adam Anderson met in the final round both days. Elliot corrected for a small oversteer in the first turn to claim victory on Saturday and remain perfect against Anderson in the finals. On Sunday, however, Anderson broke the streak and claimed his 5th win of the season and first over Elliot in the finals. Each driver earned 686 points for the weekend, which moved Elliot into 9th and Anderson into 2nd.
Tyler Menninga maintains his spot atop the ROC after earning two more wins in Portland, Oregon, but the rest of the field continues to close in. Since the rankings are relational, it’s difficult to provide a solid number on how far apart they are, but Adam Anderson is currently 874 points out of first place. Each round of racing is worth approximately 100 points.
Camden Murphy suffered a first-round loss in Saint Louis when he got up onto two wheels in the first turn while racing veteran Dawn Creten, ending his 3-race winning streak. Although Murphy won the second day of racing, that bobble on the first night was enough for Adam Anderson to move into second place. Murphy was further knocked back because Tristan England (688), Armando Castro (592), and Colton Eichelberger (400) all out-scored him in Total Points this weekend and moved ahead of Murphy in that portion of the rankings.
A welcome to Jamey Garner (35th) and Justin Murphy (50th) who have advanced into the Top 50 rankings this week. Garner was runner-up at the Monster Jam event in Jacksonville while Murphy had two runner-up efforts with Traxxas in West Monroe, Louisiana.
So far this season, we have 192 drivers on our books who have competed in at least 1 racing event. Of those drivers, 126 are currently ranked (minimum 5 events) and there are 87 who have met the next minimum events criteria of 10.
In Asheville, North Carolina, Brandon Budd picked up a pair of wins at the historic WNC Agricultural Center. They were his first two wins of the season and enabled him to more-than-double his points total to 906 and move up 34 spots in the standings, which was the biggest move of the week. We do not have results for Saturday night.
Monster Truck Wars
Michael Harper picked up another Monster Truck Wars win in Beeville, Texas. He defeated Tom Herzog in Carolina Crusher in the finals. This is only his third race that we have been able to score so he is not yet included in the rankings.
Monster Truck Insanity Tour
Top 50 driver Kreg Christensen picked up his 5th win of the season at the Monster Truck Insanity tour in Klamath Falls, Oregon, by defeating teammate Mark Gallagher driving Wicked.
Traxxas Monster Truck Tour
Eddie Como raced his Anger Management truck to two wins in three tries at the Traxxas Tour event in West Monroe, Louisiana. He capitalized on a turning error by Mat Dishman on Friday night to beat the Rammunition for his first win of the season. Dishman returned in full force for the racing win on Saturday afternoon where he beat out Justin Murphy in the final. Unfortunately for the Ram team, Dishman lost an engine later that day and could not compete in the evening’s racing. Eddie Como took advantage of the situation to grab his second racing win over Justin Murphy and move up into the Top 50 in the world rankings.
The events in Imperial, California and Rapid City, South Dakota did not include racing and so no points were awarded.
Monster Jam Triple Threat
Tristan England won his second consecutive Monster Jam Triple Threat East overall series championship this past weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. He also managed to pick up two more wins with victories over Bernard Lyght and Armando Castro. Castro and Blake Granger met in the first final of the weekend, picking up where they left off in Allentown the weekend before. Castro took El Toro Loco into the winner’s circle for the 5th time in 7 events. On Saturday evening, Bernard Lyght finally broke through with his first win of the season in Alien Invasion. It was his first win in 6 final rounds and included heat victories over Jack Brown, England, and Krysten Anderson in the finals.
Top-ranked Tyler Menninga of Grave Digger and Colton Eichelberger of Maximum Destruction have been exchanging wins on the Triple Threat West series. Menninga has 12 wins and Eichelberger has 8 and they continued swapping victories in Portland. Tyler won the two afternoon events while Colton won in the evening. With Digger and Max-D locking out the top spot so often, the others drivers have had to fight hard to break through. Austin Minton has 3 wins, while Tony Ochs and Myranda Cozad each have 1, while the rest have gone to Menninga or Eichelberger.
Coty Saucier returned to the winner’s circle after one month away by winning in Rosemont on Saturday night. He had placed as runner-up in 4 of the previous 5 events before knocking off Brandon Vinson in the finals. Mark List beat out Saucier at the first two events in Rosemont to earn his 4th and 5th wins of the season. He then advanced to the finals both times on Sunday. Those strong finishes enabled List to gain 16 spots in the ranking and move up into the Top 25. Justin Hicks put Pirate’s Curse into first on Sunday afternoon, which was his second win on tour. And Brandon Vinson closed out the long weekend with wins on Sunday night and Monday night, enabling him to maintain his 4th place ranking.
Monster Jam Stadium Championship
Jon Zimmer opened the 2019 Stadium series with 3 consecutive racing victories in San Antonio and Glendale in January and has now won 2 of the last 4. In Jacksonville he got past Linsey Weenk and Cole Venard before eliminating Jamey Garner in the finals. Garner’s runner-up effort scored him 288 points and a spot in the Top 50.
The stories Digger versus Max-D rivalry has been red hot on the Stadium Championship II tour here Adam Anderson and Neil Elliot have combined for 9 of the 11 tour wins. Only Ryan Disharoon and Eric Swanson have been able to gain event wins otherwise. In El Paso this weekend, Anderson and Elliot squared off head-to-head in both final rounds before a rowdy, sold-out Sun Bowl and split the weekend with 1 win a piece.
Camden Murphy was looking for his fourth consecutive Stadium Championship I racing victory in Saint Louis. But as in Indianapolis one month ago, he bicycled in turn one and took himself out of contention. While he managed to avoid rolling this time around, Dawn Creten was the one advancing. Her husband Jim took Bounty Hunter into his second consecutive final round where he led in the final turn but mishit the final ramp, lost momentum, and was edged out by Tom Meents at the line by one-tenth of a second. On Sunday afternoon, Murphy returned to form and picked up wins over Morgan Kane, Bryan Wright, and Ryan Anderson to claim his 6th Stadium win in 9 races.
Monster Jam Arena Championship
Linsey Read’s victory in Hampton, Virgina back in mid-January had been her only final round appearance of the season. This weekend in Tucson, however, she advanced to the final round 3 out of 4 times and picked up the win on Friday night. That performance gained Read 26 spots in the standings and she now sits in 66th. Darren Migues continued his strong-although-perhaps-unnoticed season with 2 more victories in Tucson, bringing his season total to 8 and giving him a spot in the Top 15 in the world. Zane Rettew finished the weekend with a win and Devin Jones was runner-up twice.
The Weekend Ahead
This upcoming weekend will be much busier than last overall, although only one Stadium Series will be running this weekend, with two events in Detroit. This will give Camden Murphy an opportunity to make up some lost ground on Adam Anderson. The Arena series will be in Nampa, Idaho with Linsey Read and Darren Migues looking to stay hot.
The Monster Jam Triple Threat Central will head down to Raleigh, North Carolina for a quick 2-event weekend after their exhausting stay in Rosemont; the East series will be running in Toledo, Ohio; while the West series heads to Vancouver. It looks like Monster Jam will be mixing up the line-ups for the weekend, as Stadium regulars Cole Venard and Jamey Garner will join the East tour in Toledo, and Steve Thompson, Austin Minton, Cam McQueen, Kelvin Ramer, Rosalee Ramer, Paul Strong, and Tanner Root will try their luck at defeating the current World #1 Tyler Menninga in Vancouver.
The Toughest Monster Truck tour returns with a trio of events in Saginaw, Michigan with all the usual suspects and with Larry Swim hoping to keep his final round appearance streak intact. Larry Quick will be looking to do the same thing at the No Limits series stop in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Traxxas Tour will be in Medford, Oregon for three events where the Groth brothers will races against brothers Paul Jensen and Mikeal Christensen, as well as Paul Breaud and Anne Streatch with Backdraft and Muddy Girl and Darron Schnell with Bigfoot! That’s a solid 7-truck line-up and will surely provide plenty of close racing.
Monster Truck Thunder has two Saturday events scheduled for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Kicker Monster Truck Nationals are in Hobbs, New Mexico. Finally, Monster Truck Wars takes their series to Henderson, Texas for a one-afternoon-only contest.