Week 3 shakes up Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Anyone who has ever spent time with a toddler is familiar with the concept of trying to put a square peg in a round hole. With seven tours and a huge number of drivers who don’t compete head to head, that is the situation that Monster Jam has found themselves in. Until this year.

Monster Jam has instituted some innovative ideas in the past, like allowing fans judge the skills and freestyle competition, but new for 2020 is their Power Rankings – a way to measure drivers from various tours.

With his dominant St. Louis victory in which he swept two nights of competition, Morgan Kane jumped to the top of the list this week.

“Everything about Monster Jam events is focused around being consistent,” Kane said after winning last week. “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.”

The first 30 seconds of a freestyle run has become incredibly important. If a driver does not hit that mark because of a mechanical failure or wreck, they will not earn any of the 14 points available for the competition. Notably, it was a bad performance in the Tampa freestyle event that delayed Kane’s appearance into the top 10.

In Monster Jam, different tours have a different number of events, so the Power Rankings seeds them based on percentage points: the number of points they earn compared to what they might have earned. Zero points in any of the competitions severely impact their ability to achieve a high percentage.

Second to Kane this week was Neil Elliott and the Max-D truck. Also racing in the Stadium Series Green tour, he has not scored below nine in the fan voting so far in 2020.

It took a win in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome in the Stadium Series Red to elevate former off-road truck racer Todd Leduc to third in the standings. Consistently high marks in all three competitions and a win in the racing portion of the event gave him the points’ lead in that tour.

Tristan England and Earthshaker climbed two spots to fourth last week and is the highest ranked driver from one of the Triple Threat Series. Racing in the West, that tour made a stop at Sacramento where England swept the 2 Wheel Skills competition.

Rounding out the top five this week was a driver who has not yet competed in 2020. Tom Meents in another Max-D truck holds his spot because of the preseason rankings.

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

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Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter