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World Finals XXIII is just a month away and with the field of competitors set to begin being announced soon, one question that always weighs on me is, “Who will be the next driver to win their first World Finals championship?”

 

Last year we got to watch history go down at Nissan Stadium as three first-time champions were crowned with Tyler Menninga winning Skills, Colt Stephens taking Freestyle, and Tristan England grabbing the Racing title. So, who’s next?

 

Let’s look at a few drivers who may be ready for the Hollywood spotlight at SoFi Stadium…

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Camden Murphy/Bakugan Dragonoid

Camden is the ultimate underdog, but I have never witnessed an underdog who could drive the wheels off anything such as the Itasca, IL, native can. Murphy has always been competitive and has seemingly just been one race away or one wow moment away from a championship. The Bakugan Dragonoid driver finished second in Freestyle in 2019 and second in Racing one year ago and would have to be a heavy favorite as a contender should he get an invite to Inglewood. Camden winning a World Finals Championship would be the ultimate Hollywood movie ending.

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Bryce Kenny/Great Clips Mohawk Warrior

Bryce Kenny is one of the most popular drivers in the sport and he should be. He has the combination of talent, charisma, and is genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet, however that doesn’t always translate to wins. Kenny went viral last weekend for launching Great Clips Mohawk Warrior into outer space. If he does that at SoFi Stadium, he will find his way to the podium. More importantly he will have redemption on his mind after not earning a score in Nashville and with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Hollywood sign, Bryce could win it all on May 18th.

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Weston Anderson/Grave Digger

The tale of Weston Anderson still has many chapters to be written as he is only in his third season, but the story so far has been incredible. As the season winds down, Weston is set to clinch a third straight series championship to start his career. However, the question remains as to when will he add another World Finals title to the Anderson trophy case? Anderson admittedly put a lot of pressure on himself in Orlando and went into to Nashville with a different mindset. Although he has yet to make it past the 2nd round of racing, I look for that to change this year and if he can top his fourth-place freestyle run from last year. Weston Anderson could be a first-time World Finals Champion.

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Bari Musawwir/Zombie

Mr. Consistency nearly won his first World Finals championship back in 2019 but has yet to make it back to the final round of racing. Could 2024 finally be his year? Bari has made a career out of coming up huge in big spots (who can forget his viral jump over Grave Digger) and if anyone of these drivers knows what it takes to win a title at the biggest event of the year, it’s the driver who has been to the big dance nine times. Musawwir has shined in arenas, stadiums, and even internationally where he now pilots The Black Panther and with all that seat time over the last 14 seasons, “Bigtime” Bari is primed for a championship run.

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Kayla Blood/Soldier Fortune

Finally, we come possibly the best pure athlete in Monster Jam in the Lafayette, Louisiana native. Monster Jam World Finals XXIII is set to take place in southern California. Guess who wins a lot of Freestyles in southern California? Kayla ‘Freakin” Blood does, that’s who. There is something about that Los Angeles area dirt that just drives Kayla to victory and if given the opportunity to compete, I think Kayla is the ultimate longshot that could come up huge. When it comes to Freestyle, California, and Kayla Blood, I’m all in!

So, there you have five active superstars who are primed and ready to hoist their first world championship trophy. Now when it comes to Monster Jam history, in my opinion, Neil Elliott was the greatest driver to never win the big one. He came extremely close back in 2017, where he would finish second, but the former Max-D driver has long since retried, opening this conversation as to who might be next.

 

Let me know your thoughts on who you think is the best active driver looking to win their first World Finals trophy.