Weenk, Lucas Oil Crusader Back To The Top
Jun 18, 2013
It’s been a good year, at times bordering on being a great year, for Linsey Weenk and the Lucas Oil Crusader Monster Jam® team, and last weekend’s huge racing victory on the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® Path of DestructionSM at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, took a year that has had its share of ups and downs back to a real apex, Team Lucas Oil Crusader standing atop the mountain after a high powered racing bracket unfolded in the shadows of New York City.
So far in 2013 Weenk has driven Lucas Oil Crusader to a slew of wins and the stats have been impressive. He entered the battle last weekend at MetLife Stadium with 22 racing round wins in stadium competition this year and he had claimed the championship racing trophy in two of those mega Monster Jam events. His racing rounds win total ranks as the second best in the sport. But that was the problem. You see, Weenk and his Crew Chief Mike Christensen believe in the old Dale Earnhardt Sr. adage: ‘second place is just the first loser”. These guys love the spotlight and they spend plenty of time there. Earlier this year they were honored as part of the unit that won the prestigious “Team of the Year” award at the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. Still, in racing, the Lucas Oil Crusader was just another Monster Jam truck in the racing pack heading into East Rutherford.
That’s because the New York City style bright lights were all focused instead on one of Weenk’s biggest rivals, Adam Anderson and Grave Digger the Legend® during the build up to one of the sport’s highest profile events. In racing, Adam has been The Man in 2013. Not only did The Legend win this year’s Monster Jam World Racing Championship but Anderson’s statistical sheet has bordered on sheer racing dominance this year. The Legend roiled into MetLife Stadium with a 17 round racing winning streak and a string of four straight championship race trophies having been claimed by Adam, Crew Chief Cole Venard, and The Legend team, having won the Championship Round race at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World FinalsSM XIV presented by NGK Spark Plugs in Las Vegas, and then the opener of the 2013 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® Path of DestructionSM in Baltimore consecutively. The Legend team sits number one on every stadium racing stat category for the season. And to make matters worse from Weenk’s perspective, Adam beat Linsey the only time they have raced each other on a stadium track this year.
Every one of the 15 other superstar teams competing in Jersey put a big target on The Legend, and it would be Grave Digger® and Dennis Anderson that would actually break his son’s round racing win streak in the second round there. The biggest prize though was not about stopping the incredible momentum of The Legend, it was about that trophy that said “MetLife Stadium Racing Champion” on it, and after a series of amazing races, including an incredible semifinal round photo finish battle where Lucas Oil Crusader eliminated Grave Digger by .009 of a second, it was Linsey Weenk and Lucas Oil Crusader back on top of the racing heap, hoisting that coveted trophy high into the air to the cheers of the huge crowd on hand in MetLife.
The elimination in round two slows the roll The Legend has been on, but doesn’t change the amazing numbers Adam Anderson has put up in stadium racing this year. The Legend is still number one in 2013 on the stat sheet in stadium championships won, total rounds of racing won, and Adam has the best winning percentage in the sport on these big tracks. And oh yeah, he is the 2013 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Racing Champion.
Any way you analyze it; this has been the year of Adam Anderson and Grave Digger the Legend in Monster Jam racing. But the major stadium portion of the campaign now pauses for a few months and despite The Legend’s gaudy list of accomplishments, it is the Lucas Oil Crusader team that heads into the summer months basking in the glow of the racing championship at the final stop on the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Path of Destruction.
There’s still lots of great action in the sport scheduled in the coming months, but since it will be a while until we return to the big stadium racing events, Weenk, Christensen and the Lucas Oil team have plenty of time to admire that MetLife Stadium trophy while looking to build on that incredible accomplishment since all Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam roads lead to the biggest event in the sport’s history, Monster Jam World FinalsSM XV next March in Las Vegas where the 32 greatest race teams in the game will battle for the World Championship, a goal that remains number one on the list for Linsey Weenk and the Lucas Oil Crusader..