All-Star Challenge Day 1 Notebook
Authored by Larry Jewett on October 12, 2019
Brianna Mahon prevailed in the Best Trick Competition. She hung onto the lead as 14 challengers tried to get the top spot, but no one was able to muster a score above 9 through the rest of the competition.
Team Fire managed to secure some top finishes to pull closer in the point race for top team. At the conclusion of the first day, Team Ice unofficially had 317 points with Team Fire standing at 283.
After 12 trucks have attempted the planned routines in the Best Trick Competition, the provisional leader is Brianna Mahon in Whiplash. Her wheelie into a corkscrew has drawn a score of 9.053. The top three are Mahon, Jim Koehler (Avenger - 8.618) and Bari Musawwir (Zombie Fire- 7.343).
Though Team Ice has the top spot, Team Fire is making a respectable showing, but there are six from each team still to go.
The inaugural All-Star Challenge would come down to Ryan Anderson and Todd LeDuc. The duo have met 12 times in the past five years and Anderson has won 9 of those races. LeDuc hasn't beaten Anderson since they met in Stockholm in 2016. In the end, Anderson charged to the line, recording a time of 33.900, the fastest time of the night. Ryan Anderson is the first All-Star Challenge Racing Champion
Unofficial point standings after racing - Team Ice 183, Team Fire 117
Drama wasted no time in showing up for the semi-finals. Todd LeDuc had an electrical issue thaht called for crew to bring the jump box out just in time. The race went green and both were maintaining a fast pace under an accidental RII signal brought Neil Elliott's ride to a stop. Officials determined the race would be re-run and again LeDuc would require assistance to start. Elliott made it to the first turn before coasting to a stop as LeDuc went on to victory. The other semi-final saw Ryan Anderson with the fastest of the night for the second time, ending Coty Saucier's hopes.
Quarterfinals saw the elimination of Team Fire for the Friday racing. Tyler Menninga was the only member of Team Fire to advance to that round and Menninga rolled his truck in his race against Todd LeDuc. The outcome clinched the points for Team Ice, but the individual title was still to be decided. Neil Elliott eliminated Jon Zimmer, Todd LeDuc benefitted from the Menninga miscue, Coty Saucier ended the Cinderella story of teammate John Gordon while Ryan Anderson defeated Brianna Mahon with a wild finish. Anderson used the fastest time of the night (34.876) to earn the victory.
Round two saw Neil Elliott defeat Cory Rummell, Jon Zimmer topped Heavy D, Tyler Menninga defeated Team Fire teammate Bryce Kenny, Todd LeDuc scored for Team Ice over Scott Buetow, Coty Saucier put up the fastest time of the night at 35.192 to beat Colton Eichelberger, John Gordon chilled Jim Koehler, Brianna Mahon bested Krysten Anderson and Ryan Anderson lined up against Camden Murphy, but Bakugan Dragonoid had a transmission issue and could not finish, giving Anderson a bye run to get a time for lane choice. He clocked a 35.456. Team Ice is dominating the competition.
Round One Racing is complete - Moving on to the second round are Neil Elliott, Heavy D, Tyler Menninga, Scott Buetow, Colton Eichelberger, John Gordon, Krysten Anderson and Ryan Anderson. Ryan Anderson had fast time with a 35.962 and Tyler Menninga put up a 35.971. Team Ice won five of the first 8 races.
There will be a new truck competing in future Monster Jam events. During the All-Star Challenge preshow, the Diesel Brothers revealed that a past project will be coming to life as a Monster Jam truck. The BroCamino will be driven by Diesel Dave. The schedule and details will be announced at a later date.
Pit Party Opens
The Monster Jam All-Star Challenge has opened up at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
Highlights included the reveal of new paint schemes for Grave Digger, Bad Company, Great Clips Mohawk Warrior and Avenger.
During the Pit Party, Team Fire captain Tom Meents and Team Ice captain Scott Buetow gathered to decide the racing bracket and the competition order for Best Trick. Here’s how that came down.
Race 1 - Team Ice will send Neil Elliott (Max-D) against Team Fire’s Charlie Pauken (Grave Digger). Elliott has a 12-6 advantage over Pauken in racing since 2014. The winner will face Team Fire’s (Megalodon Fire), which received a first round bye.
Race 2 – Team Fire will bring Heavy D (BroDozer) to the line to face Team Ice’s Cynthia Gauthier. This will be the first meeting between these two drivers. The winner will go against Team Ice’s Jon Zimmer (Dragon Ice).
Race 3 – Cole Venard (The Black Pearl) will represent Team Ice while Team Fire will counter with Tyler Menninga (Grave Digger). This will be their ninth head-to-head and each has won four. The winner goes on to meet Team Fire’s Bryce Kenny (Great Clips Mohawk Warrior).
Race 4 – Team Fire captain Tom Meents (Max-D Fire) issued the captain’s challenge to his counterpart, Team Ice leader Scott Buetow (El Toro Loco Ice) to go head-to-head. Buetow accepted the challenge. The winner will go against Team Ice member Todd LeDuc (Monster Energy)
Race 5 – Team Ice will bring Cam McQueen (Northern Nightmare) to face off against Colton Eichelberger in Team Fire’s Max-D entry. The two haven’t faced off since 2016. The victor advances to face Coty Saucier (Monster Energy), who received the bye for Team Ice.
Race 6 – Team Fire’s Bari Musawwir (Zombie Fire) lines up against John Gordon in the freshly redesigned Bad Company for the Ice squad. It will be their first meeting ever. The winner will have a date with Team Team Fire’s Jim Koehler (Avenger)
Race 7 – It’s all female matchup as Team Ice driver Krysten Anderson (Grave Digger) will square off against Team Fire racer Linsey Read (Scooby-Doo). To make it more interesting, the winner meets Brianna Mahon (Whiplash) of Team Ice
Race 8 – The final race of Round 1 will pit brother versus brother. Adam Anderson (Grave Digger) gets the call for Team Fire with Ryan Anderson (Son-uva Digger) representing Team Ice. Last week, in Glendale, Ryan beat Adam…revenge? The winner will have a go with Camden Murphy (Bakugan Dragonoid), who represents Team Fire.
The highly anticipated Best Trick competition promises to add significantly to the Friday night excitement. Here’s how they will take the track
Linsey Read – Team Fire
Jon Zimmer – Team Ice
Cory Rummell – Team Fire
Cynthia Gauthier – Team Ice
Bari Musawwir – Team Fire
Coty Saucier – Team Ice
Charlie Pauken – Team Fire
Scott Buetow – Team Ice
Jim Koehler – Team Fire
Brianna Mahon – Team Ice
Bryce Kenny – Team Fire
John Gordon – Team Ice
Heavy D – Team Fire
Cam McQueen – Team Ice
Camden Murphy – Team Fire
Krysten Anderson – Team Ice
Tyler Menninga – Team Fire
Cole Venard – Team Ice
Colton Eichelberger – Team Fire
Todd LeDuc – Team Ice
Adam Anderson – Team Fire
Ryan Anderson – Team Ice
Tom Meents – Team Fire
Neil Elliott – Team Ice