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Neil Elliott ascends to top of Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Stadium Series Green is packed with talent, accounting for three positions in the Monster Jam Power Rankings. Ryan Anderson recorded one of the most difficult combinations in the freestyle competition and advanced to eighth. Morgan Kane held onto a top-two spot on the chart. But it was Neil Elliott in the Max-D monster truck that ran away with the lead.

With 37 points earned, Elliott tied Anderson and Son-Uva Digger for the most at Anaheim last week, which was just enough to give him the No. 1 ranking this week. Elliott won the racing portion of the night over Megalodon and Cory Rummell. It was the first time for both drivers that they reached the final round.

The racing victory gave Elliott the confidence needed to win his fifth skills challenge of the year. And so far, he’s been nearly perfect in that session. Elliott failed to win the skills challenge only once in 2020.

More importantly, Elliott took the points lead in the series with 206 to Kane’s 200.

Kane and Grave Digger had a comparatively bad evening. He was unable to stage his truck for Round 2 in the racing competition and earned minimal points for the session. When the points were tallied at the end of the night, he was 10 below Elliott and Anderson.

Colton Eichelberger held onto the third spot in the rankings with a nearly perfect weekend in another Max-D truck. In the Triple Threat Central division, he scored the most event points in three of four races with 43 of 44 pocketed Saturday afternoon. Eichelberger won three of the four racing competitions at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena in addition to winning eight additional competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run
MORE: Adam Anderson and Grave Digger are a family affair for Monster Jam

Stadium Series Red’s Todd Leduc had the biggest gain of the week. He advanced three positions to land fourth in the Power Rankings. To see exactly how he accomplished the feat tune into the Indianapolis event, which airs Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming).

Leduc advanced with consistency and excellence. Earning 35 points and taking the overall win Saturday evening, he returned Sunday to put another 33 in the bank. That placed second to Cole Venard and Black Pearl for the afternoon and tied him with Monster Energy’s Linsey Weenk. Venard did not make the Power Rankings, but he had one of the sickest moves of the week when his pirate-themed truck walked the plank (backflipping to walking a wheelie across the stadium floor).

Coty Saucier rounds out the top five with a racing win Sunday afternoon in Houston and a second-place finish Saturday evening in Stadium Series Yellow.

Also of note this week was freestyle run of Ryan Anderson. In the Son-Uva Digger truck in Stadium Series Green, Anderson earned 9.619 in the freestyle competition – his best score to date. It is his third freestyle win of the season.

Power Rankings

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

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on NBCSN)

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 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.

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
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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