Morgan Kane, Grave Digger dominate St. Louis Monster Jam

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Morgan Kane in Grave Digger won his second consecutive event championship in the Monster Jam Series Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Dome America’s Center. With overall wins in both nights, Kane gained a 10-point advantage over Neil Elliott in the Max-D truck.

“This is what it’s about man,” Kane said after winning at St. Louis. “Full-on teamwork here. We came a way with two overalls this weekend. Both shows. The sweep; won racing. We brought it home North Carolina style.”

This was the second show for the Stadium Series Green tour. Kane finished third overall January 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

On Saturday Kane got off to a strong start with a second-place finish in the racing competition and a win in freestyle. Racing around a figure-eight style course against Ryan Anderson in Son-Uva Grave Digger, Kane drifted slight left as Anderson squared off the corner to score his fourth race competition win in five tries.

Neil Elliott in Max-D did his best to maintain the points’ lead by winning the Skills Challenge, but it all came down to the freestyle in one of the closest margins in Monster Jam history.

Kane beat Elliott in the freestyle by 1/1000ths of a point in a decision based on fan voting.

How did he get there?

“Consistency,” Kane told NBC Sports. “Everything about Monster Jam events is focused around being consistent. Fill 30 seconds with safe jumps. At 75 seconds I’ll head for the backflip, then try to fill the rest of my freestyle with a crazy save and huge air.

“That’s my plan every time.”

On Sunday, Grave Digger and Kane were back on top of the board in the race competition. He was supposed to match up again Anderson for the second straight night, but the engine on the Son-Uva Grave Digger expired and put BroDozer on the  track with Cam McQueen behind the wheel.

McQueen came up one position shy of winning the race competition, but he made up for that with his first skills’ win of the season in the second round of competition. With a quick engine change and service, Son-Uva Digger was back on track for the freestyle competition.

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on NBCSN)

Houston: February 4 (Tuesday); 6 p.m.
Tampa: February 11 (Tuesday); 10:30 p.m.
Indianapolis: February 18 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
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.
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.

Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.