Scott Douglass Picks - Double Down Showdown
THE 6th MONSTER JAM DOUBLE DOWN SHOWDOWN: MORNING LINE ODDS
Back with a new name and lots of fresh faces, the Double Down Showdown on Thursday, March 23 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas will showcase the up-and-coming talent in Monster Jam with more pure rookies in this field than ever before. So setting the odds on this group is simply a roll of the dice. I have seen each of these competitors in action so, while there is very little history or statistical analysis to fuel this list, I’ll just have to rely on the “eye test” in rating this wide open field. Here are the morning line odds for the Double Down Showdown and as always, they are presented for “recreational” purposes only.
12 -5 Monster Mutt® Dalmatian – Cynthia Gauthier: The top spot on this list goes to the French-Canadian Monster Mutt Dalmatian driver Gauthier based on her experience and track record in this event. She is racing at Sam Boyd Stadium for the 3rd straight year and last year made it all the way to the semifinal round. She’s had an outstanding season on the challenging Monster Jam Triple Threat West presented by AMSOIL series holding her own against a talented field week in and week out. It says here that Cynthia Gauthier/Monster Mutt Dalmatian is the favorite to win the Double Down Showdown.
3-1 Max-DTM – Jared Eichelberger: The son of record setting 11 time World Champion Tom Meents has his Max-D in this line-up for the second straight year and is a definite threat to win this bracket and advance into Monster Jam World Finals XVIII. Jared qualified 4th fastest for this event in 2016 and won his first round race but was eliminated in round 2 by eventual champion Scott Liddycoat in Dragon. He’s a good bet to go much further this time.
4-1 Pirate’s CurseTM – Camden Murphy: This pure Monster Jam rookie has been impressive since day one, finishing as the runner-up on the Monster Jam Triple Threat Central presented by AMSOIL tour. Murphy’s background makes him the most likely 1st year participant to make a splash here. Before strapping into Pirate’s Curse, Murphy raced in NASCAR and this big high speed track might be right up his alley. Sure this is dirt, not asphalt, but other drivers who have come in from other forms of motorsports have taken to this race course quickly (see Todd LeDuc and Lee O’Donnell as examples).
9-2 Rage – Cory Rummell: A strong 5th place finish in season points on the competitive Stadium Tour 3 should serve Rummell well as he competes in Sam Boyd Stadium for the first time. Racing each week on a series where drivers had to qualify among the 8 fastest to make the bracket saw Rage earn a spot in those fields the majority of the time and that experience this year on stadium tracks is a plus here.
5-1 Scooby DooTM – Bailey Shea: Joining Gauthier as the most experienced at Sam Boyd Stadium amongst the Double Down Showdown drivers, Shea brings her wildly popular Scooby Doo machine to Vegas for the 3rd consecutive season. She has been competitive in this event so the next step is to see if she can string together the four wins it will take to claim the Double Down Showdown. Having competed against the talented athletes on the Triple Threat East each week is another plus for her.
8-1 Saigon Shaker – Ryan Disharoon: Stadium experience makes Saigon Shaker a solid dark horse pick. Disharoon competed on the FS 1 Championship Series East each week and challenging the likes of Lucas Oil CrusaderTM, Grave Digger®, and Max-D on big stadium tracks on a weekly basis is great experience. This is Saigon Shaker’s second straight appearance in this event.
10-1 Blue Thunder – Matt Cody: This truck was in the 2016 Championship Race, but that was Tyler Menninga who moved to Grave Digger this year and won the Triple Threat East Series, earning an automatic bid into Monster Jam World Finals XVIII. Matt Cody took over Blue Thunder at the start of 2017 and has been impressive, especially of late, which should allow Matt to carry lots of confidence into his first time participation in Las Vegas.
12-1 Stinger – Zane Rettew: Not only does the unique body style of this truck catch your eye at the Pit Party, it has been strong on the track in Monster Jam competition. Rettew heads a hard working team that keeps its equipment together and running at peak performance. The Stinger truck is a tough piece that answers the bell round after round and keeping your equipment at its best throughout all the practice, qualifying, and racing rounds is tough to do. Stinger’s track record says this group should be able to answer that challenge.
13-1 EarthShakerTM– Tristan England: If we were actually using these odds for wagers, I’m guessing some “smart money” would be placed on England. His odds feel a little long as I write this but, as a pure rookie in this setting, they are in most cases. Make no mistake about it though, from week one to today there may be no one in Monster Jam that has progressed as quickly. The son of Big Kahuna driver Shane England has a big future and will surprise no one if he can get deep into this field.
15-1 Grave Digger – Krysten Anderson: The first female to drive the sport’s most famous truck, from the sport’s most famous family, this 19-year-old has gained valuable seat time on the Monster Jam Triple Threat Central presented by AMSOIL series this year and now will add to that experience with her first competition at Sam Boyd. She’s got the blood lines and will be receiving counsel from her brothers and father, who know what it takes to win here.
18-1 Team El Toro Loco® – Kayla Blood and Mark List: Blood will bring momentum with her team to this event fresh from winning her first Overall Event Championship on the Monster Jam Triple Threat East Series March 10th in Grand Rapids. This is her second invitation to compete here so she’ll hope the experience from last year and her recent tour success combine for a big night in Las Vegas. Mark List is a great story to follow for youngsters who dream of becoming a Monster Jam athlete someday. The native of Costa Rica began working with Monster Jam during the first ever events there, then began working for Monster Jam around the world on the track construction crew. But his dream of competing behind the wheel of a Monster Jam truck never waned and after a successful stint at Monster Jam University List joined team El Toro Loco a year ago. Now he is set to make his debut in the Double Down Showdown.
20-1 Obsessed – Eric Swanson: Making his 2nd appearance here, Swanson has lots of stadium experience to draw on, having competed this year on the Monster Jam FS1 Championship Series West. In his maiden voyage through Thunder Alley, Swanson struggled a bit, but we’ve seen that just the first time experience of running here pays off in the following trips to the desert.
22-1 Jester – Matt Pagliarulo: The first time I met Pagliarulo, he was a fan who had the honor of presenting an award at the Monster Jam awards ceremony. That was just a few years ago. Since then, he and his family-based team built their own truck and Matt got behind the wheel to live out his dream of competing at the sport’s highest level. That dream continues as he competes at Sam Boyd Stadium for the first time.
25-1 Alien InvasionTM – Bernard Lyght and ZombieTM – Ami Houde: The same as in previous years, no one is going to be rated at longer odds than 25 to 1, just due to the nature of this event that has been so unpredictable and this year features more new talent than ever before. Lyght and Houde are both products of Monster Jam University who have progressed on a weekly basis competing on the Monster Jam Triple Threat Central presented by AMSOIL series. Both are deserving recipients of their first invites to Las Vegas and both have big futures in front of them, but they have to rate as longshots until they post some laps on the fastest and toughest race track in all of Monster Jam.
The 6th annual Double Down Showdown, with the winner earning the final available berth for Monster Jam World Finals XVIII, is one of the many highlights on tap during the Double Down activities in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 23rd.