Photo courtesy of IMSA

Lally comes ‘home’ to Magnus Racing for 2018

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Andy Lally’s one-year move to the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 program produced the new GT3 car’s first two wins and several podiums, but he’ll be back with Magnus Racing in 2018.

Lally was a Magnus regular from 2012 through 2016, with a number of accolades achieved including: its first win in the 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a Brickyard win, Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup titles and 2014 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2016 Daytona wins.

“I couldn’t be happier to return to my family at Magnus,” Lally said. “Some of my best memories in my career are with the team, and it’s great to return with them in 2018. I would really like to express my gratitude to Michael Shank Racing and HPD for a tremendous 2017, and it was not an easy decision to return to John Potter and everyone at Magnus, but it felt like the right move. There’s a lot in motion right now, but I believe we’ll immediately be in a position to contend, and I’m excited to get the season going.”

Lally is the second Shank driver to have found another slot next year, Jeff Segal having been confirmed as a fourth driver for the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Scuderia Corsa alongside that car’s new full-season pairing of Alessandro Balzan and Cooper MacNeil, and third driver Gunnar Jeannette. Katherine Legge may return to the Shank Acura program and Ozz Negri, a Shank lifer, is sorting out his 2018 plans at the moment as well.

Magnus hasn’t formally confirmed which series it will compete in next year, but it’s anticipated to move back to IMSA competition after a one-year sojourn to Pirelli World Challenge per Sportscar365 and other sources to NBC Sports. If the California 8 Hours was Magnus’ PWC swan song, it was a good one, as the Audi Sport Team Magnus lineup won it with Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock and Kelvin van der Linde.

“It’s great to have Andy back with the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “The relationship between Andy and our team has always been strong, and we’re thrilled to see him return for 2018. The extent of our program is still a work in progress, but it’s a great testament to our organization that Andy is willing to return after having a strong 2017, and we’re thrilled to have him. The specifics of next year are still a work in progress, but we’re excited to secure a major piece of the puzzle.”

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.