May 7 - Jensen Jumps Into Top Ten
Paul Jensen drove his Kamikaze truck to three wins this weekend and how sits in 7th place in the Open Championship. He has advanced to the final round in 20 of his 25 events and now finds himself about 270 points out of the Top 5.
Veteran Scott Hartsock picked up his first win of the season in Georgia while veteran Jon Zimmer won his 8th over in England. Bill Payne, Dwight Mathews, Jim Creten, and Steve Sims were also winners.
This upcoming weekend will be the 20th annual Monster Jam World Finals which will be held in Orlando, Florida for the first time. The winner of the 24-truck bracket will earn 480 Open Championship points.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN POINTS ARE NOT AWARDED?
There were several events this weekend where Open Championship points were not awarded for one reason or another. What does this mean in terms of the standings?
When we award points for an event, drivers earn approximately 100 points for each round of racing through which they advance. A driver who loses in the first round earns 0 points. All the drivers have 1 race counted towards their season total, which is used to determine their Average Points. As a result, losing in the first round will lower your Average Points.
For an event where points are not awarded, the drivers do not earn any points but they also do not have the event counted towards their total. So for drivers who compete in a non-points event, they do not have an opportunity to earn any Total Points, but they also do not have to worry about lowering their Average Points. We still keep track of the event, but it is not counted against the drivers’ rankings.
BELMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE
This event was freestyle only and so points were not awarded.
BLUE RIDGE, GEORGIA
Scott Hartsock took the drag racing win at the All Star Monster Truck event in Blue Ridge, Georgia with a final round win over Cory Rummell. It was Hartsock’s first win of the season and gained him 12 spots in the Open Championship standing, while Rummel moved up 6. Larry Swim in Bigfoot missed the final round for only the 3rd time in 18 races but was able to hold on to his Top 5 ranking.
There were four trucks racing at the Summer Heat event inside the Navarro County Expo Center, but with Tom Herzog pulling double-duty with Midnight Rider and El Oso Loco, it meant that only 3 drivers were entered for the race. This is below our minimum of 4 and so points were not awarded.
The Monster X Tour shipped 10 big trucks down to Hawaii for the first monster truck race in the state in over 20 years. Unfortunately, and despite the heroic effort required to make the event happen, the program did not include side-by-side racing and so points were not awarded for either night of the two-day event.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Steve Sims picked up an international win in Johannesburg. The Monster Energy driver had lost in the first round during the previous two stops in Africa. At FNB Stadium, however, he defeated 10th-ranked Colton Eichelberger in the opening round and 13th-ranked Charlie Pauken in the semi-finals before knocking off Candice Jolly in the finals.
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Monster Jam Arena Championship tour wrapped up in New Hampshire this past weekend, but since the racing was run against the clock and not side-by-side, Open Championship points were not awarded.
Even schedule makers need to laugh once in a while, and whoever booked this past weekend for Monster Jam got in a good chuckle by booking both Manchester, New Hampshire and Manchester, England in the same weekend.
Unlike the States-side event, however, the six trucks over in England raced head-to-head. The track was a unique concrete Chicago-style course with concrete barriers as the obstacles. The barriers provided a bit more air than expected for racing, which forced the drivers to carefully control the throttle on the short and choppy course.
Neil Elliot has won plenty of fast races on the Stadium tour this year behind the wheel of Maximum Destruction, but he couldn’t seem to figure out the tight concrete track and exited both events in the first round. Swedish driver Peter Nyman had better luck in Earthshaker and advanced to the semi-finals both nights. Todd LeDuc was kept out of the finals on Friday night due to breakage which allowed Morgan Kane to return, but he lost out to Jon Zimmer driving El Toro Loco.
On Saturday, Zimmer won again by beating LeDuc in the final round. For Zimmer, these were his 7th and 8th wins of the season and move him back up into 12th place. LeDuc and Kane also gained some spots in the standings, while Elliot’s rough weekend dropped him down to 14th.
Dwight Mathews has been running strong in the early weeks of the Malicious Monster Truck Tour this season and continued that pattern with a win and runner-up at the Merced Speedway. He defeated Myles Parker in the Honda Generators High Voltage on Friday night, but lost to Bill Payne in Rock Star on Sunday afternoon. Neither driver has competed in ten races yet, so they are not yet ranked, but the Malicious Tour has plenty of events coming up and so we should expect to see the Straight Up Racing crew breaking into the rankings in the next couple months.
Jimmy Creten flew Bounty Hunter past teammate Matt Brokaw in Red Baron to win the Monster Spectacular concrete holeshot racing in Regina. Also Creten earned 200 points for the win, he ultimately lost a spot in the standings because of Paul Jensen’s strong weekend in Santa Rosa. The Regina event was the first event of the season for Brokaw and Devin Tardif who was driving Western Renegade.
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA
WGAS Motorsports held three big events at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds this past weekend, with eight trucks competing in Chicago-style racing. Paul Jensen in Kamikaze swept the weekend’s racing, earning himself 900 points and moving up into 7th place in the world rankings. The Team Throttle driver has advanced to the final round in 20 of his 25 events and has won 10.
On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Jensen defeated Jeff Souza in Enforcer in the final rounds. Souza has three runner-up efforts this year in 4 scored events. On Saturday night, the Enforcer broke down in the first round which let Tony Canedo in Play’n’ For Keeps move into the semis where he lost to Jensen, who then completed the sweep with a victory over Rick Swanson in the finals.
MONSTER JAM WORLD FINALS XX
Needless to say, the Monster Jam World Finals in Orlando, Florida will be the biggest event this weekend. The winner of the 24-truck field will earn 480 points towards their season total, which is the largest single-event points purse of the year. Not only will this help drivers improve their Total Points, but gaining so many points in only 1 event will also improve their Average Points. This is especially true for drivers further down in the rankings or who have competed in fewer events.
The World Finals will also mark the end of the bulk of the Monster Jam schedule. While there will still be plenty of Monster Jam events happening during the remainder of the year, the summer schedule will see other promoters and independent events beginning to take center stage. This will give non-Monster Jam drivers and independent Monster Jam teams an opportunity to gain ground on the likes of Tyler Menninga, Camden Murphy, Brandon Vinson, and Adam Anderson. Monster trucks will be hitting the sands of Virginia Beach later this month, and the 4-Wheel Jamboree series kicks off in June. On the books right now, we also have 9 more All Star Tour events, 11 Hot Wheels Live races, 18 stops for Monster X, 25 battles with Monster Truck Throwdown, and a very healthy 46 more events from the Malicious Monster Truck Tour!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
As always, we’ll need help from promoters, fans, and drivers in obtaining results for all of these events. If you can help with reporting racing results for any event or series this year, please let us know so that we can know which events are covered and which ones will still need attention.