The 2024 monster truck racing season is officially upon us and there are worlds of possibilities for how this season will turn out. But as we begin the journey towards another Open Championship, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the major stories that we’ll be watching as this season progresses.
Can anyone stop Tyler Menninga?
Last season TYLER MENNINGA became the first driver to win three Open Championships and already this year he has built a huge lead through the first three months. Tyler has won the Open while touring both with the Monster Jam Arena tour and the Stadium tour.
He boasts a 32-3 record through the first three months of the season and will soon be running on the Monster Jam Stadium East tour which offers the winner 420 points for each event. Last year, Menninga won 9 of the 23 Stadium Series Blue events and was in the finals 13 times! That was the most of any driver on that series. This year he’ll be competing head-to-head with top racers like Todd LeDuc, Cole Venard, Bryce Kenny, Ryan Disharoon, John Gordon, defending Monster Jam World Finals Racing Champion Tristan England, and the soon-to-be-retiring legend Tom Meents.
Can either Adam Anderson or Coty Saucier finally reach the top?
ADAM ANDERSON finished as the runner-up in 2021 and 2022 and finished third in 2023. He has come tantalizingly close to his first Open Championship but twice lost out to brother Ryan and last year was edged out by Tyler Menninga and Coty Saucier.
This season, Anderson has both the blessing and the curse of running on the highest-ranked series: Monster Jam Stadium Red. The 12 scheduled drivers have an average rating of 1.188 (out of 1.500) which means the winner of each event will get a staggering 480 points! So Adam will have the chance to rake in big points each weekend, but that’s only if he can get around top competitors like Cory Rummell, Bari Musawwir, David Olfert, Kayla Blood, World Final Racing runner-up Camden Murphy, and two-time Open Champion Ryan Anderson.
Like Adam Anderson, COTY SAUCIER has been runner-up twice in the Open Championship. He came very close to winning the 2020 championship and likely would have done it if the 4-Wheel Jamboree series has included side-by-side racing. This past season, Saucier snuck into the 2nd spot in the final week of the season after a strong first quarter that saw him win 12 of 20 events from February to April.
Saucier will be running on the Monster Jam Arena East tour which is the highest-ranked arena series for the first quarter with a 0.969 average rating and offering 291 points to the winner each night. He’ll be facing Armando Castro—who is another strong racer to watch—and strong independent driver Zack Garner plus the former two-time Open Champion Mark Hall.
Which rookie will have a break out season?
BRANDON ARTHUR came on the scene last year for Monster Jam and started getting wins right away while doing cameo appearances across several series. He started the 2024 Open season with wins on the Monster Jam International Tour and is currently ranked 9th overall, but he does not have a ride for the first quarter and so will likely be losing ground for a while until a seat opens up. Since he already has 11 events under his belt, he only needs 9 more to qualify for the year-end rankings, so hopefully he’ll get to run those races during the summer months.
PRESTON COLLINS went 19 races without a win to begin his rookie season last year with the Monster Truck Wars crew, but then rattled off 10 wins in 17 races last year and now already had 6 wins and 11 finals to start 2024. He looks to be the man to beat on the Wars tour and might be able to have big success like Preston Perez and Alex Bardin have done on the tour. He is scheduled to drive Shark Attack on the Monster Truck Wars West tour.
BRETT FALVEY began racing for the Triple B Motorsports team and started his career last summer with 10 consecutive final round appearances including 7 wins! While that hot streak eventually cooled off, Falvey still managed another 2 wins to close out the season. We’re sure that the Triple B team will see plenty of action this season, but our big question will be whether or not we can get the results. Much of their races last year were on the Nitro Tour and we do not have any dedicated reporter for that series.
TIM HALL JR first got behind the wheel in late May last year for Team Throttle Monster but won on his 2nd night out in Saint George, Utah. He won again in July with Throwdown on Ontario, he ended the season on a two-race winning streak with the Nitro Tour, and he came very close to winning 7 other times where he was the runner-up. Right now he does not have a consistent tour to race for, but Team Throttle Monster is expected to have a busy schedule all season long, and so another strong summer showing might be enough to get Hall Jr back into the rankings to improve upon his 77th place finish in 2023.
It seems like there are a lot more independent drivers to keep an eye on this season. We haven’t had an independent Open Champion since Mark Hall in 2006 and 2007 but there are several teams this year that may have a chance at reaching the top spot.
JIMMY CRETEN has been in the Top Ten 8 of the 9 years we have been calculating rankings and is always a favorite to win. He has the advantage of running on his own tour with a stacked line-up and a full schedule, but is hampered by small field sizes. Points are awarded by rounds and the 2Xtreme’s 4-truck field does not offer a lot of points each week. Despite that, Creten still managed a 4th place finish in the 2023 Open.
ROB POUTRE will be piloting Bounty Hunter for the first quarter while Jimmy Creten recovers from surgery. Poutre was a strong racer last season with 14 wins and 30 finals for a 31st place ranking. That included a frustrating 8-27 record against Jimmy. With Jimmy on the sidelines and Rob driving Bounty Hunter now, however, he may have a chance to amass some big points early in the season and help his cause for the 2024 championship.
TEAM THROTTLE MONSTER has been making lots of headlines recently. They’ve expanded their team significantly and have been competing weekly across several series, not to mention launching the first prototype of a hydrogen-powered monster truck. Beyond that, the team has been winning lots of races. David Olfert and Devin Winfield start the season in the Top Ten and have the skills to stay there for the duration of the season. Keep an eye on the Throttle Monsters as their full schedule, big fields, solid equipment, and winning experience may prove to be a winning combination this season.
ZACK GARNER has finished in the Top Ten 3 of the past 5 years and is back on the Monster Jam Arena tour where he’ll be facing off with last year’s Open Championship runner-up Coty Saucier and Armando Castro. Running with Monster Jam offers consistent access to points each week, and last year Garner won 10 of his 58 Monster Jam Arena events, which placed him 9th overall, which ties his career best. If he can put together a few more wins this season, he might be able to reach new heights in the standings.
ALEX BARDIN dominated the Monster Truck Wars tour for the past few years and is now getting the call to drive Stone Crusher on the Monster Jam Arena tour. Bardin is a proven winner on tight arena courses and will actually be the highest ranked racer on the Monster Jam Arena Central tour. One big advantage over the Wars tour is that Monster Jam runs 3 rounds of racing and 3 or 4 events each weekend, so Alex will have more opportunities and more points available each night (237 to be precise). If he can master the round-the-pod racing, he has the chance to rack up some big points in the first quarter.
JOHN GORDON and RYAN DISHAROON have won some big Monster Jam Stadium events over the past few years, and Gordon was also a repeat winner at the Back-to-School Bash. However, neither have had the consistency necessary to supplement those wins and stay high in the rankings. If their teams can figure out the magic from those wins more often, they will have plenty of points available on the Monster Jam Stadium East and other big independent summer events to compete for the championship. However, they also have the unenviable task of racing directly against the defending champion Tyler Menninga through the first quarter.
There has been big news for some big independent events this summer, too! We all know about the big summer events like Monsters on the Beach in Virginia, the Back-to-School Bash in Charlotte, and the Outlaw Nationals in Miami, Oklahoma. But we’ve had a few other big summer events announced including a 9-truck race with Overdrive north of Pittsburgh and another big event from Never Lift Motorsports west of Pittsburgh. The Metal Shop will be running monster trucks on the sands of Ocean City, Maryland later this year. If we’re lucky, the summer nationals in Evansville, Indiana will bring racing back for their 12-truck field, as well. Having more and larger events for independents is important for helping them keep up with the Monster Jam Tours which regularly run 8 and 12 truck fields in multiple brackets each weekend.
The first quarter tours all look pretty solid for independents, too.
Monster Truck Wars is running two tours, although the smaller 4-truck fields will keep the points totals lower. The All Star Tour has six top trucks picked for their first quarter points series and will be offering up 240 points each event. The headliners there will be the Robbins (Triton and Montana) taking on the Zimmers (Jon Sr and Jon Jr) in what may end up being some of the most intense racing of the first quarter.
And the Toughest Tour earns that title this year as they have the highest-rated independent series (0.958) of the first quarter and out-rank both the Monster Jam Arena Central and Arena West tours in terms of average driver ranking. Defending champion Tim Jones will be battling against not only Jack Brown and Jerry Beck from last year’s tour, but will also be up against Aaron Basl, Travis Groth, and Tyler Groth. Anyone could win this one!
Ten Years of Open Championship!
Technically this is only year six of the Open Championship, but as some of you may remember, we originally started this endeavor back in 2004 with the World Monster Truck Racing League (WMTRL). We ran that for four seasons before taking some time away and then relaunched with the Open Championship in 2019.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us through these years! It is a lot of work and effort to assemble all of this information together, and even more work to get it all posted online in a timely manner. We’re always looking for more help with reporting and scoring events, so if you have any talents you can offer, feel free to reach out and let us know! We’re excited to be going strong for our tenth season and are looking forward to another year of exciting monster truck racing with you!