Battle for the Bid
With Monster Jam World Finals® XVIII (March 23-25) less than six weeks away, competitors in five Monster Jam® tours are battling for an automatic bid to the event. This year, the point champions of the FS1 West, FS1 East, Triple Threat Series East, Triple Threat Series West presented by AMSOIL and Triple Threat Series Central presented by AMSOIL will punch their tickets to Monster Jam’s showcase event. Each series is now past the halfway mark, but anything can happen in the remaining dates.
Leader: Todd LeDuc (Monster Energy®)
Since taking the seat in week two, LeDuc has been on fire, winning Freestyle in San Diego, then adding a Double Down (Racing & Freestyle) in Glendale. A Freestyle win in Houston propelled the team to the top, but the margin is far from comfortable.
Top Contender: Neil Elliott (Max-DTM trails by 5 points)
As early season leader, the 2015 FS1 Championship Series winner cannot be counted out when there are points on the line. Elliott has qualified for each Racing field, but two early exits have cost valuable points.
In the Hunt: Marc McDonald (El Toro Loco® trails by 6 points), Adam Anderson (Grave Digger® trails by 10 points)
Events Remaining: Jacksonville (Feb. 18-19) and Atlanta (Mar. 4 and 5)
Leader: Linsey Weenk (Lucas Oil CrusaderTM)
Weenk has been virtually unstoppable since opening the season with a Double Down in San Antonio. The sweeps of Racing have been big, but Freestyle is the Achilles’ heel as Lucas Oil Crusader has been out of the top five on two occasions.
Top Contender: Colton Eichelberger (Max-D trails by 14 points)
Since assuming the ride from his father (Tom Meents), Eichelberger has driven to a Freestyle win (Arlington) and a Racing final (Indianapolis). A little more seat time with the remaining shows could bring a Racing win and make this race very interesting.
In the Hunt: Morgan Kane (Grave Digger trails by 17), Chuck Werner (El Toro Loco trails by 20)
Events Remaining: Houston (Feb. 18) and Detroit (Mar. 4)
Triple Threat Series West presented by AMSOIL
Leader: Cole Venard (Grave Digger)
Consistent performances have proven to be the key for Venard, who is seeking his second Monster Jam World Finals appearance. Venard has been steadily stretching his lead weekly after taking the top spot at the end of the second week. Sacramento was a big boost for the championship effort. There are still plenty of shows to settle the score, so Venard will not be letting up.
Top Contender: Jared Eichelberger (Max-D trails by 84 points)
In just his second year of competition, Eichelberger is staying on top of his game to keep pace in the variety of competitions offered through the Triple Threat concept. In competitions where Max-D does not win, Eichelberger is usually among the top finishers.
In the Hunt: Mark List (El Toro Loco trails by 224 points), Cynthia Gauthier (Monster Mutt® Dalmatian trails by 226)
Events Remaining: Albuquerque (Feb. 17-19), Portland (Feb. 25-26), Tucson (Mar. 3-5) and Fresno (Mar. 10-11)
Triple Threat Series Central presented by AMSOIL
Leader: Justin Sipes (MegalodonTM )
Sipes is trying to go wire to wire in pursuit of making an impression in his rookie season. The former Supercross rider grabbed the lead after week one and has made the challenge of the chase difficult for the rest of the field. Sipes has the most wins this season in six of the seven categories.
Top Contender: Camden Murphy (Pirate’s CurseTM trails by 138)
Murphy’s oval track racing background has served him well as the main contender. He has won half of the racing competitions to lead the category and holds second in many others, but is still looking for a first Freestyle win.
In the Hunt: Armando Castro (El Toro Loco trails by 178), Matt Cody (Blue Thunder® trails by 195)
Events Remaining: Rosemont (Feb. 17-20), Baltimore (Feb. 24-26), Allentown (Mar. 3-5) and Providence (Mar. 10-12)
Triple Threat Series East
Leader: Blake Granger (Max-D)
Assuming the ride in week 5, Granger was quick to understand his role at keeping the rest of the field at bay. He scored an event championship in just his fifth show, riding his ATV experience and quick learning of Monster Jam truck action to stay in the thick of things.
Top Contender: Tyler Menninga (Grave Digger trails by 38)
In his second season of competition, Menninga has displayed mastery of the Monster Jam truck in competitions, leaving veteran observers to wonder what he can do next. Hampered by inexperience in the ATV and Speedster action, Menninga has nonetheless been piling on the points to narrow down the battle for the bid.
In the Hunt: Bari Musawwir (ZombieTM trails by 149) , Tristan England (EarthShakerTM trails by 204)
Events Remaining: Cleveland (Feb. 18-19), Wilkes-Barre (Feb. 24-26), Bridgeport (Mar. 3-5) and Grand Rapids (Mar. 10-12)