The Allen Report: San Diego County Fair Monster Trucks – Del Mar, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we head to the annual San Diego County Fair in the picturesque town of Del Mar, CA. Our friends at WGAS Motorsports have been entertaining fans at the annual fair for 22 straight years with a vast variety of motorsports entertainment, from tuff truck racing, to UTV racing, to freestyle motocross, and much more. But on the closing days of the fair, the shows held at the Del Mar Arena were headlined by six dirt slinging, high flying, bumper dragging monster trucks in freestyle action.

From just up the road in Menifee, CA were the father and son team of Rick and Eric Swanson. Twenty year old Eric continued to run his 1968 Ford F-100 body on Obsessed while Rick carried on with his Top Notch Tee’s sponsored yellow body. For the first time ever, Jim Creten had all four of his trucks in the house. 2Xtreme drivers Mikeal Christensen, Christian Norman, Austin Minton and Sinjan Gergick all took turns driving Knucklehead and Iron Outlaw. Once more, Dawn Creten took the helm of her usual Scarlet Bandit and Jim Creten lead the charge in his traditional Bounty Hunter, complete with the updated version of his American Sniper Chris Kyle Foundation body.

As with years past, the afternoon shows were exhibition only while the evening shows would utilize the sport’s traditional freestyle scoring system to crown an Overall Day Champion. A tabletop jump, two wheelie bumps, a small roller with a kicker and the customary Del Mar huge hill were all in play. This meant that winning the Overall Day Championship would not come easy for any of the participants.

The first day of monster truck action got things off to a roaring start. Rick Swanson made several admirable attempts at slap wheelies while Mikeal Christensen made some massive leaps off the tabletop. Eric Swanson turned in a high speed, high energy run from start to finish with huge air and Dawn Creten combined consistent huge air and dirt churning cyclones to stay in the hunt for the Overall Day Championship.

But, the crowd favorite and former World Finals Champion was waiting in the wings. Jim Creten dug his truck’s wheelie bar into the dirt, shot for the sky multiple times and continued long after his two minute time expired. In the evening show with scores and a trophy on the line, the 2Xtreme Racing team owner and founder had just enough points altogether to take the Overall Day Championship on the first day of monster action.

As the next few days marched by, the action inside the arena only got progressively hotter. The second day of action saw each driver step up their game and great performances all around, but Jim Creten, even with the strong performances by all of those who went before him, was able to repeat as the Overall Day Champion.

The third day of action saw a special twist to the show format. Eric and Rick Swanson began the spectacular trend of team trucks performing freestyles at the same time. Their respective runs were topped off by Eric putting his truck’s tires on top of those of his father’s vehicle. In the evening show with judges watching, both trucks were scored together as a team and did very well. But Jim and Dawn Creten, ever the competitors, accepted the challenge. When they took to the track, the husband and wife team got frequent huge air and ended their runs with simultaneous, lightning fast cyclones. When the couple’s winning score was handed down by the judges, the capacity crowd roared with approval.

On the fourth and final day of the 102nd annual San Diego County Fair on Independence Day, WGAS officials had a surprise ready for the fans who showed up to the arena for the final time this year. From the opening freestyle onward, the action inside the arena only got more and more exciting. Each truck was almost done with their freestyle time when the next truck in line came roaring into the arena. This process continued on until the father and son Swanson were the only trucks still on the track. As one last thanks to the fans for coming, all the monsters did one noisy parade lap around the perimeter of the arena, bringing the curtain down on another successful year of WGAS monster truck action at the San Diego County Fair.

While the monsters were waiting their turn to take to the track, the crowds were entertained by several different kinds of scaled down race cars with young gals and guys at the wheel. Mini dwarf cars and junior outlaw sprint races showcased future race drivers in the kids behind the wheels. With many battles for position and several races ending in photo finishes, it was clear that these kids have just as big a will to win as the adult racers.

With Del Mar behind us for the year, we don’t get much time to rest as only two weeks later we take a familiar trip at a new time of year. We have followed monsters to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, CA in both the spring and fall, but this is our first time seeing them during the fair itself in late July. Coverage from there will be coming soon. That said, thank you for reading, a huge, heartfelt thanks to John and Charlene Borba, Chelsea Kessler, Greg and Carol Atherton and all of the WGAS Motorsports family for their warm hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals – Turlock, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the peaceful town of Turlock, CA. It’s a quiet place where most thrills are supplied by the sports teams of nearby big cities. But on the second weekend of May, the thrill seeking crowd was inside the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds ready to experience some thunderous, high flying, high speed monster truck action. Eight competitive monster trucks and one mini monster arrived to do battle in hot and heavy freestyle competition.

Second generation driver Hunter Souza brushed the off season dust off and took the wheel of the Wrecking Machine mini monster. International Monster Truck Hall of Fame member Terry Woodcock was in the house inside the cockpit of the 35th Anniversary Cyclops. All three of the “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canedo’s monsters came to town. Tony himself, as always, drove the new trophy truck bodied Play ‘n For Keeps. David Tucker was the pilot of the Survivor machine and was ready to make thunder around the arena and Jeff Souza, Hunter’s father, was ready to rumble as the driver of Enforcer. Eric Swanson and his beautiful 1968 Ford F-100 bodied Obsessed were locked and loaded. Father Rick Swanson would settle for nothing less than the win in his Top Notch Tee’s sponsored Obsession. Dawn Creten was ready to give the boys a run for their money in Scarlet Bandit. Finally, 2005 World Freestyle Champion Jim Creten had his eyes on first place with American Sniper Bounty Hunter in tow.

With two tabletop jumps, a big hill and a construction barrier for wheelies all on the track, it was going to take a great deal of effort to walk away with the trophy and celebratory champagne. Then, to top things off, a near capacity crowd filed in for both shows and all signs pointed to great monster truck action for all.

On Friday night, Scarlet Bandit set the pace with a good run featuring big air, hitting the arena entry construction barrier the wrong way and nice combos to score 75 points with perfection being 100. Next in line was Survivor, who had terrific cyclones and more big air, but just missed the lead by five points at a score of 70. Terry Woodcock and Cyclops had steering issues and did not make it out of the pits. Wrapping up the first half of the field was Enforcer. Jeff Souza delivered the biggest air so far, lightning fast cyclones and even cross threads to raise the bar to new heights with a score of 95.

Truck after truck came after the police themed monster vehicle, only to fall short. Then, Bounty Hunter came storming in with dirt digging slap wheelies, hitting the big hill the wrong way and massive air over the tabletop. When the judges score was handed down, Bounty Hunter and Enforcer found themselves tied for the win. The real winners, however, were the fans. And as the co-champions got into a champagne spraying battle, the spectators continued to cheer.

The final show of the weekend on Saturday evening saw freestyle once more a heated affair, with all drivers looking to better themselves from the day before. Former World Finals Freestyle runner-up Dawn Creten and Scarlet Bandit did just that, with great donuts, big air and hitting obstacles the wrong way upped her score to 80, five whole points better than the night before.

Terry Woodcock had worked much of Friday night and most of Saturday to fix broken steering in the hopes he could give a significantly better show the second night. It worked and the monster with a legendary name got great air and brought the front tires up in an almost perfectly vertical wheelstand right as time expired to temporarily take the lead by one single point at 81.

A potent combination of huge air, high speed, hitting obstacles sideways and then a nasty crash put Enforcer in a familiar place, the top of the leader board with a score of 95. In spite of the severity of the crash, Jeff Souza was unhurt. But Bounty Hunter was not to share the trophy a second time. Incredible speed, fantastic combos, vertical slap wheelies and dizzying cyclones had the crowd roaring and the judges were impressed. With a perfect score of 100 Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter took the freestyle trophy.

In other racing action, a new addition arrived thanks to WGAS Motorsports in Quad Wars ATV competition. It was Turlock riders against a rival CA team. Even controversial mid-race actions by the evil team couldn’t stop the hometown heroes from taking the main event wins both nights. Also in the arena was vehicle against clock tuff truck racing. The second night, the opening two vehicles in the street legal class got big air multiple times, culminating in much damage and loud cheers from the massive crowd. Finally, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, commander of the Fitz army and Cal Valone wowed the crowd with death defying, incredible tricks, climaxing in the fan favorite backflip train. The riders were hesitant to perform due to the gusty wind conditions, but when show-time arrived, both riders stepped up and made the best of the sketchy conditions.

All that said, we at “The Allen Report” are going to take a rest from monsters for a while. But we will return soon from one of our favorite shows every year, the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar. We are excited to give you Monster Truck loving fans more coverage from that venue. Well, thanks very much for reading, a huge “Thank-You” to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler, Greg Atherton and each member of the WGAS Motorsports crew for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monsters & Mud – Tuscon, AZ 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the Tucson Speedway asphalt oval track. It’s a NASCAR sanctioned home track that sees all kinds of auto racing weekend after weekend. But, on the last weekend of April, the Speedway was taken over by four massive monster trucks ready to duke it out in Wheelie Contest, Donut Contest and all out freestyle. In front of his hometown folk were Rod Wood and McGruff. Former Monster Jam on SPEED color analyst Mark Schroeder brought his wild looking Devastator to the Tucson track. Wrapping up the field and representing 2Xtreme Racing were Russell Steeley in the Iron Outlaw and Austin Minton in Knucklehead, the official monster truck of rock band Five Finger Death Punch.

In the wheelie contest, the slick paved third mile oval made wheelies tricky. Iron Outlaw made admirable efforts, spinning the tires trying to bring the front axle in the air. But Mark Schroeder did an excellent job of pointing his front tires towards the night sky. He easily won over the crowd and as the show was judged by the audience’s applause, took the Wheelie Contest win.

Going into the donut competition, McGruff had sadly broken the locker in the front axle and his performance status for the rest of the night was in danger. Devastator proved that he can do more than just ride a wheelie by turning in fast rotation to stay in the hunt. Russell Steeley proved that he still had what it takes by turning in super fast cyclones to stay alive. But newcomer Austin Minton had the crowd roaring by getting Knucklehead progressively faster and faster in his spin cycles, taking the win and ending Devastator’s chances at an evening’s clean sweep.

The freestyle track consisted of four crush cars, a construction barrier for wheelies and two jumps, one at the turn four end, the other and the turn one end. In the main event of the night, Iron Outlaw got things kicked off very well by hitting the van stack jump just past the start finish line, clearing the cars, inadvertently turning slightly mid wheelie and hit the van stack the wrong way to much applause from the spectators. McGruff was fixed just in time for the freestyle competition and put down a great run, causing a shower of sparks as he dragged his bumper across the front straightaway during one of his slap wheelies. Knucklehead was next on the track and gave the fans jumps, donuts and high speed energy. The final freestyle was Devastator and when Mark Schroeder was through there was no doubt who was the freestyle winner as the crowd cheered long and loud for his impressive performance. However, as far as the drivers were concerned, the fans were the winners on this clear and col night in Tucson.

While the monsters were resting or getting maintenance in the pits, the fans were treated to mud bogging in the infield and several kinds of mainstream car racing on the oval. Most of the races, both heats and features, were fast and entertaining with multiple attempts to take the lead and not many cautions.

Well, next on the agenda for us at “The Allen Report” is a trek to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, CA, where our friends at WGAS Motorsports have a traditionally great show waiting for us with ATV racing, tuff trucks, Fitz Army freestyle motocross and, of course, monster trucks. On that note, thanks for reading, a sincere thank you to Dave the Track Guy and Tucson Speedway for their great hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Washington State Spring Fair Monster Trucks – Puyallup, WA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the Washington State Spring Fair in Puyallup. It’s a fair that sees all kinds of entertainment from thrill rides to concerts. Adding to the fair’s opening evening entertainment on Friday, WGAS Motorsports brought ten of the best monster trucks to go to war in qualifying, Chicago style racing and the car munching, sky touching insanity of freestyle. This show is a rarity in the sport of monster truck competition as the performance arena had no dirt, the show taking place on the asphalt surface.

Making the trip from Bakersfield, CA, was International Monster Truck Hall of Fame driver Terry Woodcock and his beautiful 35th Anniversary Cyclops. Hometown hero from just up the road in Stanwood, WA, was Dave Smith and the sleek black Maniac. Coming north from Vacaville, CA, was the “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canado himself driving the red Play ‘n For Keeps while friend and Turlock, CA, resident Jeff Souza took the wheel of the police themed Enforcer. Hot off his excellent performance at Monster Jam’s Double-Down Showdown was Eric Swanson and his retro Ford pickup bodied Obsessed. Right behind him was teammate and father Rick Swanson and his Top Notch Tee’s sponsored Obsession.

Completing the field were all four members of the 2Xtreme Racing team. Piloting Knucklehead, the official monster truck of metal band Five Finger Death Punch, was a new driver for 2Xtreme racing Austin Minton. Behind the wheel of Iron Outlaw was Christian Norman, a young driver who has driven this truck three times previously. Per always, former Army medic Dawn Creten took control of Scarlet Bandit. Finally, team leader and founder Jim Creten was at the helm of the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter. Jim had driven almost three thousand miles from Charlotte, North Carolina to be in Puyallup for this show.

In qualifying, it didn’t take long for the action to unfold as Enforcer nicked the turning tire on his first run and sent him upside down. Jeff was okay and the damage to Enforcer was quite minimal. The past two times Rick Swanson had been here, he won and it appeared that a third win would not be far ahead as he set the new time to beat at 15.04 seconds. But the twenty-one year veteran’s happiness was short lived as former World Champion Jim Creten put together a storming run of 12.19 seconds. Truck after truck went after Jim Creten’s time, but the former Mr. Kansas bodybuilding champion was able to hold off the competition to take the number one spot headed into eliminations.

At the drivers meeting earlier in the day, WGAS officials decided that in spite of ten trucks participating, only those who qualified eighth or faster would race in the bracket. In the opening quarter final heat, Terry Woodcock tried his hardest against the fastest qualifier, but Bounty Hunter easily took the win to advance one step closer to the racing championship. Obsession stayed in the hunt to keep his win streak alive with a win over home state truck Maniac. In the semi-finals, Dawn Creten’s hopes of a husband and wife final were dashed when in the closest finish of the evening she came up only a few inches short to Obsession in the photo finish. Bounty Hunter disposed of team truck Iron Outlaw to meet the two time winner in the finals. The Menifee, CA, driver gave everything he had, but Jim Creten was just too fast, taking the Racing Championship.

With many crush cars in the center of the arena floor and all sorts of room for wheelies and donuts, freestyle was sure to be a heated affair. Scarlet Bandit set the bar for all followers with decent sky wheelies and smoke-causing cyclones. Her efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the judges either, her run being rewarded with a score of 70 out of a possible 100. Terry Woodcock gave a nice effort with cross threads and a nice sky wheelie to much positive response from the big crowd on hand. But Scarlet Bandit’s lead would remain intact until the second half of the field took to the track. Rear steer problems couldn’t stop Enforcer from a high energy run full of cross threads, lightning speed and tire smoking donuts taking the lead with a score of 80. The second to last truck was Enforcer’s teammate. Play ‘n For Keeps had great sky wheelies, big air and went into the spin cycle to put the freestyle championship within his reach with a score of 95. But Jim Creten was a man on a mission, and he drove accordingly. Hi high energy run included bumper dragging slap wheelies, high flying air and smashing flat the crush cars to garner a score of 98 and the double win.

To close this first night of motorsport mayhem at Puyallup, an epic fireworks show shot high into the night sky that had the spectators cheering on and on. Next on the list of shows for us at “The Allen Report” is our third trip to Tucson, AZ, this year for a show at the NASCAR sanctioned Tucson Speedway. More coverage from there on the way. On that note, thank you for reading, a special thanks to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler and the whole WGAS crew for their gracious hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Maricopa County Fair Monster Trucks – Phoenix, AZ 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a short trip to the Maricopa County Fair in Phoenix, AZ. It sees all sorts of spectator entertainment over its five days every spring from farm animal auctions to BMX stunt shows and at the Sanderson Ford Arena on Friday and Saturday, the entertainment was supplied by six earth shattering, car smashing monster trucks.

Making the trip from Menifee, CA, were the father/son duo of Rick and Eric Swanson. Rick’s Obsession truck was sporting its brand new Top Notch Tee’s vinyl wrap. Also, Eric’s truck Obsessed showcased a classic 1968 Ford pickup body. The two were hot off their impressive performance from the Monster Jam Double Down Showdown in March. Coming from just down the road in Tucson was Sam Sturges behind the wheel of Unnamed & Untamed. This truck/driver combination was followed by his team mate in the bright red 1963 Split Window Corvette Rat Attack driven by Jacob Ladwig. Hailing from Marana, AZ, came Rod Wood and McGruff the Crime Dog. Finally, coming east from Lake Havasu City, AZ, was Mark Schroeder taking control of Devastator.

The opening show on Friday had Chicago style racing with right hand turns as opposed to the traditional left turns and freestyle. In the opening round of racing, Rat Attack pulled an upset win over Obsessed to advance to the semi-finals. The next race was Devastator vs. Obsession. Even though Devastator won the race, Obsession would still advance as the fastest loser. The championship round was a classic California vs. Arizona civil war between Obsession and Devastator. It was close and a great race, but Devastator took the racing win.

In freestyle, there were multiple construction barriers for wheelies, the race lane jumps and a massive hill at one end of the arena floor. Sadly, Obsessed had broken a steering hose and was out for the night. Unnamed & Untamed attacked the big hill going the other way and made decent attempts at wheelies to get the crowd excited. Rat Attack struggled to achieve wheelstands, but compensated with some terrific cyclones. Finally, Devastator performed great wheelstands again and again to close out the Friday night show.

Over the course of two shows the next day, there were many highlights. Devastator’s chances at a clean sweep were dashed when Sam Sturges beat him in the finals of Chicago style racing. In freestyle, Obsession put together great combos to stay in the hunt. Unnamed & Untamed performed the team’s signature move, slap wheelies. In the all freestyle final show, every truck went all out, taking advantage of its last shot to please the fans. Several trucks jumped the barricades into the arena to start their runs off on a high note. McGruff finished his run with some lightning fast cyclones that had the audience cheering long and loud. But the high point of the weekend for the monsters was the double freestyle with the father and son Swanson. Eric got the best air of the freestyle competition when his father fired up and joined him on the track. The crowd’s roar of approval clearly signified the Swanson boys as the winners.

In other motor race action throughout the weekend, there was smash ‘n bash Democross, a staple of promoter Grand Canyon State Promotions, which is a fascinating mix of off road racing and demolition derby. It is very entertaining with a lot of action. During the evening show on Saturday, there was death defying, trick busting freestyle motocross which had the fans screaming on and on.

Well, we at “The Allen Report” look north towards a massive ten truck field at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA, put together by our friends at WGAS Motorsports. So, thanks for reading, a special thanks to Zack McKinley and all of the GCS Promotions people for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Tournament of Destruction – Tuscon, AZ 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to the Tucson Rodeo Grounds for the very first time. It’s a venue that is no stranger to family entertainment as the host site of the annual Celebration of the Cowboys, but this time, the family entertainment was supplied by four dirt slinging, car clearing monster trucks scheduled to appear in drag racing, wheelie contest, roundy-round racing and freestyle.

Fresh off their performance at the Monster Jam World Finals were Jim Creten and the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter. Not far behind was former Army medic Dawn Creten piloting Scarlet Bandit. In front of the hometown folks was Tucson’s own Rat Attack, driven by Jacob Ladwig and rounding out the field was Nasty Boy, driven by Gary Ely, as Sturges Motorsports team owner Sam Sturges sold the truck to Gary not long ago.

In the opening round of drag racing, Bounty Hunter was quicker out of the gate and beat Nasty Boy for the opportunity to face Scarlet Bandit in the finals. In the finals Scarlet Bandit was quicker off the line. Jim Creten tried to make up the ground in the air but it was too late. Dawn Creten took the drag racing win. Up next was the wheelie contest. The muddy track made wheelies difficult, but all drivers gave great efforts regardless. The win, not surprisingly, went to Bounty Hunter.

On to roundy-round racing, where Dawn Creten bested Nasty Boy to advance to the finals where she got the rematch she wanted with Bounty Hunter, who had defeated a hard charging Rat Attack to make the championship round. But the former World Champion was not going to go down twice. Jim Creten kept his truck low over the crush cars and mastered the mud in the turns to get his revenge from drag racing by taking the win.

Finally, it all came down to freestyle. With both sets of crush cars, a van stack and a wheelie bump all fair game, there was plenty of room for the monsters to show what they could do. Nasty Boy got nice air and carried a great deal of speed to stay in contention. Rat Attack crushed the van and carried good sky wheelies to great response from the crowd. Scarlet Bandit crushed the cars and put together great move combinations, showing that she was for just as for real as the boys. But Jim Creten held nothing back. He carried terrific slap wheelies across the floor, cleared the cars and assembled an all-around fantastic freestyle run to claim the freestyle win.

Throughout the second and final show the following night, the competition was hot and heavy. At the top of the show, the announcer asked the crowd who their favorite was thanks to applause, monitored by a decibel counter. After it came down to Scarlet and Nasty Boy, the numbers on the machine showed that the female spectators had pulled through for Dawn Creten and Scarlet Bandit. However, Jim Creten was not to be denied a second time as he won the drag racing final, again with Scarlet Bandit staged against him. The drier track was much more suited for wheelies and Bounty Hunter took full advantage, putting the front tires in the air most of the length of the floor to sweep wheelies.

In roundy-round racing, Rat Attack put up a good fight against Bounty Hunter in the finals, but Jim Creten was just too fast, taking the clean sweep of what promoter M80 Productions called “Chase racing”. Lastly, in freestyle, all drivers gave good efforts, but again Jim Creten threw down with an all around amazing freestyle to put the spectators on their feet one last time.

While the monsters were resting in other parts of the show, the fans were treated to figure-8 trailer racing. In this offbeat form of motorsport, the objective is to be the last vehicle standing by knocking the trailers towed by the other cars off. The crowd was very much entertained by this as well as both a car and truck demo derby at different points throughout each night.

With this behind us, we at “The Allen Report” turn to our own back yard and the Maricopa County Fair where monster trucks as well as a hybrid of off-road racing and demolition derby known as “Democross” await us. Well, thanks for reading, a sincere thanks to Dale Penn and M80 Productions for having TheMonsterBlog.com back for the first time in several years, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a road trip to the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah for the second consecutive year. Six roof-shaking, noise-making monster trucks arrived to go to war in Best Trick competition, Side by Side Drag racing and the high flying, car munching insanity of freestyle.

In front of his home state crowd was West Jordan’s own Ron Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. From the southern city of Hurricane, Utah, was Brian Christensen, son of Kreg Christensen, and his ogre-themed monster truck called D’Sturbed. The other competitors this weekend were all part of the Straight Up Racing stable. John Bruce drove the brand new, ferocious looking, bulldog themed 10,000 Pound Hound. This truck attracted long autograph lines at the pre-show pit parties. Also present was Dallas Glenn Rogers in Identity Theft. Ezra Wilson arrived in the sleek black 1934 Ford Sedan, California Kid. Finally, team co-owners Bill and Lorna Payne in Rock Star.

Points were on the line for each competition on the card. A perfect score in Best Trick would be 20, while one could garner up to 30 points from winning drag racing and a maximum of 40 points for winning freestyle. Points would be tallied throughout each show and whoever had the most points after all three competition elements would be the Overall Show Champion.

In the weekend opener of Friday night, it didn’t take long for things to heat up on the track. In Best Trick, each monster had only one shot to do whatever trick they could as spectacularly as possible. Identity Theft and Maverik Monster Trakker both made admirable attempts at sky wheelies off the back sides of the racing lanes. The second to last truck out was D’Sturbed, who put forth a beautiful sky wheelie and garnered a score of 15. This threw down the gauntlet to Bill and Lorna Payne, but the couple was ready. The two walked the truck across and down the racing lane jump with fantastic balance and control to take the win with a score of 18, taking the early lead on the road to the Overall Championship.

In drag racing, reaction time off the starting line was going to be crucial in deciding the results. Rock Star and 10,000 Pound Hound disposed of their respective opponents to advance to the semi-finals. In an incredible photo finish, Maverik Monster Trakker squeaked out a narrow victory over D’Sturbed. Brian Christensen would still advance, however, as the fastest loser and get a rematch with Ron Duncombe. Ten-Thousand Pound Hound upset team truck Rock Star and Maverik Monster Trakker went two for two against D’Sturbed to set up the championship race. Monster Trakker got off the line first and never looked back, crossing the line first, taking the Racing win and staying in the hunt for the Overall Championship.

In freestyle, there was no time limit and the entire track was fair game, all but ensuring an all out battle for the freestyle and Overall Titles. Sadly, 10,000 Pound Hound had broken an input shaft in the transmission, taking him out for the night. Fortunately, the truck would be fixed in plenty of time to perform in both shows the next day. Identity Theft put together decent sky wheelies and going over the double jump the wrong way to put together a respectable run and a score of 21. The bar was raised to a new standard when California Kid came out. Ezra Wilson walked the truck down both race lanes extremely well, had high speed and smashed the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 30. D’Sturbed went out next and put together a storming run, pointing his front tires in the air more than once, carrying consistent high speed and even making fine tries at donuts. Getting into the spin cycle would prove difficult for even the experienced drivers as it was tough to lose traction on the tacky, grip-filled dirt inside the Maverik Center. The last truck to go, Rock Star, had super speed going and had done awesome sky wheelies before an awkward hit sent the truck onto its roof. Bill and Lorna were okay and Rock Star suffered only minimal damage. When the score of 34 was handed down and the points measured, Rock Star had done enough to claim the Overall Championship to much adulation from the spectators.

The last two shows of the weekend the next day would prove action packed. Two streaks would continue in the matinee performance, with Maverik Monster Trakker taking two trophies in two racing competitions. However, Rock Star took both of the other two competitions to win his second straight Overall Championship.

In the last Best Trick of the weekend, Brian Christensen and D’Sturbed went far beyond vertical, even bringing the rear tires off the dirt, and brought it back down on all fours to bring the crowd to its feet. The cheering continued when an almost perfect score of 19, and eventually, the Best Trick win, was rewarded. Maverik Monster Trakker took out 10,000 Pound Hound, D’Sturbed and Rock Star to nail a clean sweep in Racing.

In the last competition of the weekend, California Kid again took the lead early in freestyle with a score of 31. Brian Christensen became the new leader with very high speed, the best cyclones of the weekend and great air over the double jump to secure the lead in both freestyle and the overall by one single point, a score of 32. Bill and Lorna Payne had a streak to defend in freestyle, but the first jump busted a $7 bolt on one of the front four link bars, forcing the officials to shut off the truck for safety purposes. This meant the end of Rock Star’s chances of an Overall Championship clean sweep as D’Sturbed ended the weekend on a high note as the final Overall Champion, or “All Star of the Night”, as the All Star Monster Truck Tour officials called it.

Also featured in the night was bar to bar, wheel to wheel ATV racing. One heat saw a rider take off from the start before the green flag. Another saw the lead rider with one lap to go start to head back to the pits in victory one lap too early, costing him the heat race victory and a shot at a front row starting spot in the main. Finally, a tradition continued inside the Maverik Center with a unique twist to it. After years of side by side racing, tuff trucks would race solo over a lap and a half track against the clock. With multiple races decided by less than a single second, the action was heated.

We at “The Allen Report” now turn our attention towards a new adventure with our friends at WGAS Motorsports as we look to go to their annual Riverside County Fair show in Indio, California. John Borba has always put on great shows for us to cover for years and we look forward to venturing to this particular show for the very first time.

All that being said, we want to send a huge, sincere “Thank You” to Bryan Wagner and the whole All Star Monster Truck Tour for hosting us again, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Toughest Monster Truck Tour – Rio Rancho, NM 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our first venture to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on the northwest side of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is a town well familiar with motorsport greatness as it is the home of Indianapolis 500 legend Al Unser Sr. But our focus was on the Santa Ana Star Center, where six of the best car smashing, dirt slinging monster trucks the USA can offer convened for the Toughest Monster Truck Tour. Vertical wheelie contest, tight Chicago-style bracket racing and anything goes freestyle would test the abilities of both driver and truck as points were on the line for each contest and consistency would reward just one driver with the night’s Overall Toughest Monster Truck Championship.

The field of competitors for the weekend’s action was headlined by the old rivalry of Firestone Bigfoot #21 driven by Larry Swim and Snake Bite driven by Vinny Venom. Snake Bite was even decked out in the iconic retro red paint scheme. Vinny was on a mission to find new fans and massive lines for him at the pre-show pit parties both nights ensured that his efforts were not in vain. Looking to slow down monster trucking’s greatest hero and villain was Derick Anson and Heavy Hitter. In only his second competitive weekend out of retirement was former Maximum Destruction and Stone Crusher driver Kevin Lewis, piloting the “farm fresh” themed Basher monster truck, the newest addition to Derick Anson’s growing team. Making the long haul from the state of Virginia were Michael Hawkins and backflip club member Equalizer, and teammate Brandon Budd and his trusty Red Solo truck. Red Solo Truck and Snake Bite would meet for the first time since the horrific crash at Wildwood, New Jersey last summer. With the arena filled to the rafters both nights, the pressure was on.

In the show opening Wheelie Competition, Heavy Hitter was the first truck out and put down barn burner wheelstands over the race lanes the wrong way to bring the bar to incredible heights early in the night with a score of 17 out of a possible 20. None of the trucks that went after him could score higher and Heavy Hitter got off to the best start on the road to the Toughest Monster Truck Overall Championship.

In roundy-round racing, Bigfoot, who had finished a disappointing third in Wheelies, was looking to make up ground in his quest for the overall title. His first two races did just that as Larry Swim disposed of Red Solo Truck and fastest loser Basher on the road to the finals. He would not get a chance at his old rival Snake Bite, however, as Wheelies winner Heavy Hitter eluded the snake’s venom to march to the finals and a chance at going two for two in the night. Over the first two passes over the finish line it was neck and neck. With all eyes on the finish line, both drivers put the heel to the steel with Bigfoot posting a nice win to claim the Racing championship.

In the main event of freestyle, Derick Anson and Heavy Hitter quickly got back to potential winning form, clearing the double car stack multiple times, pointing his tires toward the sky over the jammer stack and keeping fluid momentum going most of the run. When the judges’ score of 33 out of 40 was handed down, it became evident that defeating the Wheelies winner and Racing runner-up was not going to be easy. The last truck in the order, Snake Bite, came the closest, missing his target by three points at 30. When the evening’s points were tallied up, Heavy Hitter’s nigh perfect run of two wins and one second place finish easily garnered him the night’s Toughest Monster Truck Tour Overall Title.

Over the second and final weekend show on Saturday night, it was all about the classic rivalry in the sport. In his second wheelie attempt of the night, Larry Swim got a little too heavy on the loud pedal and put Bigfoot so far past vertical it ended in a rollover. Larry was unhurt and the crowd gave him adulation anyway. Snake Bite walked his wheelies beautifully and kept it on all fours to boot, but a tie with his on-track arch rival meant the win was in the spectators’ hands via cheer-off. Bigfoot got the nod from the crowd and he was the Wheelies winner. Vinny Venom got the rematch he wanted in the Racing finals. With only one turn to go, Snake Bite looked like he had evened the odds only to hit a turning pole, costing him five seconds and the race. The mysterious masked man would finally taste victory by upending his foe by one single point in freestyle after a breathtaking run with a score of 35, but it was not enough to stop Bigfoot from taking the Saturday night Overall Toughest Monster Truck Title.

Also on the card for the weekend’s action was a jet powered Smart Car. It poured heaps of flame from its afterburner, shaking the arena with noise and throwing heat that could be felt by the crowd. In addition, kids and adults alike were amazed by the car eating, flame throwing theatrics of the three-story mechanical dinosaur Megasaurus.

We at “The Allen Report” are currently unsure where our next adventure will be, but you can count on us for great event photos and coverage. Well, thanks for reading, a special thank you to Brian Manson and all the Toughest Monster Truck Tour team for having us for the first time, as well as the Santa Ana Star Center for their hospitality. Enjoy the photos and be sure to check our travels under “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris” on Facebook and Instagram, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Budweiser Monster Truck Fall Nationals – Turlock, CA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a long trek to Turlock, California for the second time in 2016, and third time overall. Upon our arrival, we headed to the Budweiser Monster Truck Fall Nationals at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, presented by our friends at WGAS Motorsports as their last show of the season. Six high flying, ground pounding monster trucks came to the fairgrounds to slug it out in the car munching madness of freestyle.

From just a few hours away in Vacaville, CA was the team of Tony Canedo. Teammate and friend Jeff Souza drove team truck Enforcer while “The Flying Spaniard” Tony himself, as always, got behind the wheel of his bright red Play’n for Keeps. Rosalee Ramer took a weekend off from studying at Georgia Tech to take the wheel of her Wild Flower monster truck. Her father, Kelvin Ramer, took to the track in his trusty 1934 Ford Coupe he calls Time Flys. Finally, husband and wife Jimmy and Dawn Creten arrived, ready to invade the fairgrounds and defeat the competition. Once more, Dawn was behind the wheel of Scarlet Bandit, with the words “You can’t catch me!” displayed with pride on the tailgate. Jimmy Creten was piloting his usual American Sniper Bounty Hunter. With professional judges ready and a perfect score of 100 on the line, every move would count and consistency was crucial.

During the driver’s meeting earlier in the day, a random draw was held to determine freestyle order, a rare moment for WGAS Motorsports. Much to the dismay of the Grand Champion from the spring event last May, Jimmy Creten, he was out first. But in true Bounty Hunter fashion, the former World Champion came out with a storming run. One of Bounty Hunter’s first moves was a sky wheelie on top of a pair of pink-painted vans which crushed them down flat, but he also performed some beautiful slap wheelies, big air and even a rare triple combination of moves across the motorsports arena floor to set the standard for those still to come. With a score of 95, it wasn’t going to be easy for the remaining monsters to clear the bar set by Jimmy Creten.

Tony Canedo hit the tuff truck jumps and nailed slap wheelies for an admirable effort and score of 87. Time Flys continued the wheelie assault and hit the van stack with power. Jeff Souza and Enforcer smashed the crush cars and reached for the sky in another great freestyle. The last run of the afternoon went to the 2016 Monster Jam Rookie of the Year, Rosalee Ramer and Wild Flower. The young lady set to compete on the Monster Jam FS1 West points championship next year had a fantastic run going with huge air and a spectacular slap wheelie when she got a little too close to the arena boundaries and she had to be shut off by the event officials. Upon restart, Wild Flower was in great shape to continue on, but then a steering line blew and the run ended then and there. None of the competitors that had gone after Bounty Hunter achieved a higher score and Creten was the afternoon champion, but it wasn’t game over yet for his rivals, as there was still one more show to go that evening.

In the evening show, all drivers gave great freestyle efforts as they tried to top each other in a different order from the afternoon. Big air was accomplished, donuts were spun and what was left of the crush cars were smashed down even further. In a rare moment, Jimmy Creten was beaten in the evening show by Kelvin Ramer and Time Flys. Both had put together incredible efforts to impress the professional judges and when the scores were handed down, Bounty Hunter had fallen short of Time Flys by one single point. But the honest competition over two shows and very decent crowds both times had assured a very good season ending weekend for the WGAS Motorsports crew.

But the big monsters weren’t alone at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. Jeff Souza’s son Hunter brought his Wrecking Machine mini-monster to give a good show and, in the evening, brought the crowd to its feet with a sky wheelie that was a little too steep, ending in a backwards rollover. Hunter was just fine and the spectators loved it anyway. Also, there were two rounds a show of two different classes of tuff truck racing, creating four rounds of tuff truck racing altogether. Fastest time in both sessions was the winner. The competition was a heated affair, with drivers of both classes pushing hard to take the winner’s plaque.

On that note, we at “The Allen Report” are in the middle of preparation for the 6th Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Ceremony & Reunion in Auburn, Indiana. On the eve of Friday, November 11th, there will be a meet n’ greet with both past and incoming inductees as well as other classic monster truck owners and drivers. In the late morning of November 12th, there will be a history discussion with the inductees followed that evening by an inductee autograph session, a hearty meal and the Hall of Fame ceremony itself. We hope to see you there.

Well, thank you all for reading. We especially want to extend our gracious thank-yous to John Borba, his daughter Chelsea Kessler and the whole WGAS Crew for having us this weekend and past all this past year, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram under the name “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris”, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals – Indianapolis, IN 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we go far from home to Indianapolis, Indiana, a city where motorsport has thrived for decades with open wheel racing’s Indy 500, stock car racing’s Brickyard 400 and drag racing’s U.S. Nationals all hugely popular events on the calendar. Another such occasion this past September was the historic 35th Anniversary of the Lucas Oil 4 Wheel Jamboree Fall Nationals at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Seven of the nation’s fastest and most destructive monster trucks were on hand to settle the Monster Truck Thunder Drags Racing and Freestyle Points titles. On the racing side of things, the series returned to its roots with a simple two obstacle drag race track with no turns. Reigning champion Larry Swim pulled in with the Lucas Oil Bigfoot #21. The old rivalry in monster truck competition continued as the mysterious Vinny Venom, nephew of Colt Cobra, arrived in the retro Snake Bite. From Champaign, IL were no less than three different Hall Brothers Racing team trucks. Team co-founder Mark Hall, as usual, drove the sleek black Raminator. Mat Dishman came to town in the bright red Rammunition and Dale Benear completed the Hall Bros team triple threat behind the wheel of the General Tire Monster Truck. Returning to the 4 Wheel Jamboree circuit after a few years elsewhere was Doug Noelke and the Tail Gator monster truck. Finally, series newcomer Denver Echternkamp and his Venom Chevrolet monster rounded out the field.

There was non-competitive, display-only monster presence on the grounds too. Jeff Krekeler had recently bought the iconic High Roller monster truck from a long time ago and, with some help, the truck has been restored and it certainly looked great. Also, Alan Fenstermaker brought his former mega truck turned Stage 1 old school truck Earthquake to the fairgrounds. Finally, International Monster Truck Museum and Hall of Fame creator and President Jeff Cook had his 1934 Coupe monster Hot Rod Harry in tow. Jeff set up a tent to advertise the Hall of Fame ceremony in Auburn in a couple short months, complete with this year’s Hall of Fame banner and flyers to pass out.

As far as points were concerned early Friday, Larry Swim was the betting man’s favorite, needing to win five rounds of racing at the least to retake the title. Snake Bite, however, was running away with the freestyle championship and a win on Friday night would lock up the win for the Snake Bite team. With every round of racing and every freestyle run counting, it wasn’t going to be easy for any of the teams eligible for either championship. Bearing this in mind, the drivers strapped into their trucks and the weekend of competition began on Friday. Even a horrible rainstorm just a few hours before Friday’s show time couldn’t keep the monsters off the track as the Family Events staff dried the track quickly as best they could to ensure a fast and even racing surface and the freestyle obstacles would not be a hindrance.

In the first heat of Round 1, the Bigfoot team’s chances of a second straight title got off to a bad start when Larry Swim barely lost in the first round to Rammunition. It was no easier for Mat Dishman in the semi finals, however, as the opponent was teammate Mark Hall. But Mat duplicated his speed and finesse from the round before, punching his ticket to the finals. The rival for the racing win would be Snake Bite. Vinny Venom pushed as hard as he could, but the power of Rammunition was too much, taking the first win of the weekend and closing ground on Bigfoot in the points.

In freestyle, the Hall Brothers team trucks all gave very good efforts, doing tire smoking cyclones, some hitting the bus at the finish line end of the track and putting together all around exciting runs. Snake Bite, however, hit the cars on top of an eight foot hill sideways, did some drifting around the far end of the track with one rear wheel over the edge of the banking and did excellent slap wheelies to take the freestyle win and the points championship in the freestyle category.

Over the course of the weekend, the side by side racing remained intense and fast, with many heats decided by less than a truck length. Freestyle was also a heated affair, with multiple trucks getting big air and others going progressively faster on donuts. With only freestyle in the second show on Saturday, Snake Bite shed his fiberglass skin from the cab forward early in the run and later crushed it, causing much cheering from the spectators.

When all was said and done in racing on Sunday, Larry Swim and Bigfoot became the first person all weekend to defeat Rammunition in the racing semi-finals and winning a second consecutive series championship by just one single race in doing so. When his opponent in the finals, General Tire, could not return, Larry took it easy over the course and snagged the Sunday racing title. Dale Benear in General Tire had just barely beaten Doug Noelke and Tail Gator but landed awkwardly and suffered a horrible crash which saw the truck tumble both end over end and side over side. In spite of the severity of the crash, Dale walked away unhurt.

Between shows on Saturday, the 2016 International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Class was revealed on the main stage at one end of the grounds to much positive adulation. This year’s inductees include:

• Bob George, promoter and founder of the USHRA. Coined the term “monster truck”.
• Charlie Pauken, driver of famous trucks including Excaliber and Grave Digger.
• Jerry Richmond, owner and driver of Lethal Weapon and Weapon 1 and builder/driver of Overkill and Maximum Overkill.
• Terry Woodcock, owner, builder and driver of numerous monster trucks including several bearing the on-screen identities of 1990s wrestling superstars and the legendary Cyclops name.

All of us at The Allen Report sincerely congratulate this year’s Hall of Fame class and we look forward to seeing them inducted into monster truck immortality in just a matter of weeks.

When the monsters were not racing, there was no shortage of other four wheel drive action going on throughout the weekend. On Saturday, a new Jamboree tradition was born in the UTV Side by Side Shootout. A burnout contest was held as well, which had the audience cheering long and loud. Also, there were tough trucks racing each other head to head on a special figure-8 course that included elements of the monster truck race track. Finally, four young people of eight to fifteen years of age showcased what they could do in their mini monsters. Even a rollover here or vehicle breakage there could not dampen the happy spirits of both the kid drivers and the crowd.

Well, tickets for the International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion are now on sale. There will be a meet ‘n’ greet the evening of Friday, November 11th and a history discussion with the inductees in the late morning of November 12th. This will be followed by an autograph session and hearty dinner on Saturday evening prior to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony later that night. We hope to see you there.

With this weekend behind us, we at “The Allen Report” turn towards a month of October jam packed with monster truck shows her in the Southwest. After a weekend with our friends at WGAS Motorsports in Perris, CA, the Arizona State Fair will receive new participants with a new promoter and we will cover the long-awaited return of monsters to the drag strip of Wild Horse Motorsports Park, formerly Firebird Raceway.

Thank you ALL for reading, a special thank you to Family Events for having us, don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and Instagram under the name “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris”, enjoy the photos, and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Madness – Tucson, AZ 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to Tucson Speedway, a three-eighths mile NASCAR Home Track where opportunities abound for motorsport entertainment. And on the third weekend of August, four southwestern, household names arrived to do battle in wheelies, donuts and freestyle Monster Truck competitions.

From Menifee, California, Eric Swanson in his trophy truck bodied Obsessed arrived. Coming the other way from New Mexico was recently announced International Monster Truck Museum 2016 Hall of Fame Nominee Jack Koberna and the Tuff-E-Nuff monster. Making a hometown appearance was Murphy “Werewolf” McCrorey driving for his step-father, Rod Wood, behind the wheel of McGruff. The show was being held at night, so all would find out if Murphy lived up to his nickname. Rounding out the field was former Monster Jam on SPEED announcer, hailing from Lake Havasu, AZ, Mark Schroeder piloting Felon. The show was held on the front straightaway of the speedway, so there was little room for error, but the drivers were undeterred by the tight performance space.

The speedway management had a wide variety of obstacles for the monsters to hit. Three crush cars were on hand, as was a K-rail for wheelies. There also were two major jumps, one at each end. At the turn one side, a big hill with a van and car half buried into it. At the turn four end, a jump lined with tires that lead straight onto the show floor. With such a great track in so small a performance area, all signs seemed to point to a great show for all involved.

In the show opening wheelie contest, the monsters had a stack of three crush cars and a K-rail to get the front axle off the ground. First out of the chute was thirty year plus veteran Jack Koberna. He went straight up and down on the cars the first try and then repeated the feat going the other way. Felon hit both the cars and K-rail to get excellent forty-five degree wheelies, much to the spectators’ delight. Obsessed and McGruff all put together great runs, but were unable to match the western Arizona driver as Felon opened the show with a win.

Next was the always popular donut competition. Tuff-E-Nuff had great speed and gave an admirable effort all around. McGruff was going very fast in his revolutions and had the crowd cheering, putting himself in the hunt for the win. Felon went faster still when it was his turn, smoking the tires on the main straightaway pavement. But Eric Swanson went deep into the spin cycle and kept rotating for a brief moment after applying the brakes. This outstanding performance won donuts for Eric, tying the event score between Felon and Obsessed with one event each with only freestyle remaining.

Jack Koberna got off to a roaring start, sailing over the crush cars and hitting the performance area entry jump with much speed. During an attempt to cross thread the cars, only one of Tuff-E-Nuff’s tires hit the last car in line and Jack rolled over. It was only a minor crash, however, and Jack was just fine, even after a brief methanol fire that was quickly extinguished by the Tucson Speedway safety crew. Hoping to make it three different winners in as many competitions was Murphy McCrorey and McGruff. He hit the big hill on the turn one side, something no one else had done thus far and got very good air over the crush cars to put himself in the chase for the championship. Felon upped the ante by clearing the big hill at the turn one end, flew into the show area over the jump and put together more spectacular wheelies to make it known that he was fighting hard for the freestyle win. But former Young Guns Shootout Competitor Eric Swanson was not to be denied on this night, getting big air over what remained of the car stack, hitting the big hill flat out and doing cyclones for sixteen straight seconds to win the capacity crowd over and take the freestyle title and overall night championship.

While the monsters were resting between events, there were both heats and mains of Super Stock and Hornet car racing to keep the fans on their feet. The racing was close and exciting. One winner even took a page out of NASCAR superstar Carl Edwards’ book and did a backflip off his car while celebrating his victory.

Now, we at The Allen Report are currently scheduled to go way out of our normal travel zone to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the historic 35th Anniversary of the 4-Wheel and Off Road Jamboree Fall Nationals, where Larry Swim and BIGFOOT will attempt to defend his championship from one year ago. We will also witness the 2016 International Monster Truck Museum 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees be announced. You will hear from us again at that time. ‘Til then, thank you for reading, a special thanks to our hosts at the Tucson Speedway for a great show and super hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: 2016 Rocky Mountain Raceway Maverik Clash of the Titans

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to West Valley City, Utah, a state full of motorsport history as some of the biggest names in speed have gathered at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats to be the fastest man on wheels. However, on the second weekend of August, Rocky Mountain Raceways holds its traditional Maverik Clash of the Titans monster truck figure-8 race event, this year for the historic twentieth consecutive year. To commemorate the event, a record sixteen monster trucks were invited, the most ever at this event.

Leading the charge were all four members of Jimmy Creten’s 2Xtreme Racing. Jimmy himself drove the American Sniper Bounty Hunter while wife and teammate Dawn, as usual, took the steering wheel of Scarlet Bandit. Tim “Mullet” Missentzis piloted the pickup Iron Outlaw. And the lead guitarist of metal band Five Finger Death Punch himself, Zoltan Bathory from Hungary brought his insane looking 3D-bodied Knucklehead to compete. From just up the road in South Willard, Utah was Kreg Christensen in his hot rod hybrid Wicked on Sunday. On Saturday, Kreg’s stepson Paul Jensen drove Wicked before stepping into the radical trophy truck bodied monster in its first public outing, Kamikaze on Sunday. Twins Travis and Tyler Groth arrived to do battle; Travis in his orange Trouble Maker and Tyler in the bright green Double Trouble.

Another set of twins was in the house this weekend as Aaron Basl filled in for David Smith in King Krunch while brother Daron, as usual, took the helm of the reborn El Matador after several years of the Nitro Hornet identity. Darren Migues (pronounced Me-guess) had both trucks in tow. Darren himself hopped in the driver’s seat of Nitro Menace while his daughter Kaylyn continued her blossoming monster truck career in Jailbird. From West Jordan, Utah was Ron “the Dunc” Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. Returning to the Raceway for the third straight year were Doug Charles and Wild Thang. Rounding out the field was southwestern monster truck legend Jimmy Lyons stepping in for Rod Wood to drive McGruff and Lake Havasu, Arizona’s Mark Schroeder in the cockpit of Felon.

On Saturday qualifying to open the weekend, Bounty Hunter set the pace as the first truck out at a time of 30.97 seconds. None of the trucks that followed him could go faster and Jimmy Creten got off to a strong start as the number one qualifier. In the opening round of eliminations, Scarlet Bandit and Iron Outlaw both crossed the finish line first in their respective heat races to face each other in the quarter finals. On the opposite side of the bracket, the brothers Groth both won their first round races, but would have to race against each other in the third heat of the second round. In the final opening round race, Kaylyn Migues was unable to defeat the more experienced Mark Schroeder, but garnered a good ovation from the crowd nonetheless. Bounty Hunter would out-race Maverik Monster Trakker and Iron Outlaw over the next two rounds, earning his spot in the championship race. Double Trouble did the same by defeating his own brother in the quarters and Felon in the semis to meet the former World Champion in the two lap finals. The championship round was one for the history books. Jimmy Creten got the jump off the line and had a clear cut lead going into the second half of the race. With only one corner to go, Tyler Groth whipped his truck around the turn and past an unsuspecting Jim Creten to take the Racing title.

To close the Saturday night show, a donut contest was held for the very first time after many years of wheelies, billed as a “Twister” competition. Despite being down about five hundred horsepower, Jimmy Lyons gave an admirable effort and low scores couldn’t keep the noise from the spectators down. Former Australian Monster Finals competitor Paul Jensen quickly shed the rust by turning the half Studebaker, half Camaro monster Wicked into the spin cycle and being rewarded with a good score of 8.75, with 10.0 being perfection. The very next truck out was Aaron Basl and King Krunch. His run had the crowd picking up noise as he picked up speed and cleared the bar set by Wicked with a hard to beat score of 9.35. Truck after truck came after him, but it wasn’t until the Racing champion came out when the legendary Texas monster was beaten. Tyler Groth spun Double Trouble so fast he was bicycling on two wheels before laying off the throttle to bring it down on the rubber side. The crowd was roaring and the professional judges were impressed too, giving the Gig Harbor, Washington driver the Saturday Twister win and the clean sweep.

On Sunday, a big crowd filed in for the pre show pit party and into the stands for the final night of the twentieth anniversary of the event. Scarlet Bandit was the first truck out for qualifying and she put together a very nice run, punching in a time of 31.94 seconds. By the halfway point of qualifications, Trouble Maker held the lead with a time of 31.35 seconds. But Jim Creten, the ninth of sixteen drivers out, set a new standard of 30.39, bettering his time from Saturday. That time took the lead and held it to the end. In the third heat of the first round of eliminations, Zoltan and Knucklehead won against a struggling Aaron Basl and King Krunch. In the first race of the second round, Bounty Hunter faced off against former teammate driver Kreg Christensen and Wicked. The superstar in both America and Australia put up a good fight right up until the third of the four corners, where the truck did a complete 270, ensuring that Bounty Hunter was one step closer to getting another shot at the racing win. Reigning racing champion Double Trouble was out to defend his crown and got off to a great start, dispensing of Monster Trakker and Wild Thang to reach the semi finals. But his twin Travis was there waiting. Travis gave it everything he had, pushing Trouble Maker to the limit, but Tyler could not be stopped, punching his ticket to the two lap finals for the second straight night. After beating teammate Iron Outlaw in the semi-finals, Jim Creten got the rematch he wanted. This time, the 21 year veteran of the sport could not be stopped, sliding Bounty Hunter around the turns beautifully and standing on the loud pedal down the straightaways. Tyler Groth raced as hard as he could but the power of Bounty Hunter was too much, as the Tonganoxie, Kansas native took the racing championship that had eluded him the night before, fair and square. With two minute freestyle next in line to end the event, the battle was far from over.

The track construction crew had put together a great track with a wheelie bump at one end, a ramp for big air at the other and a double van stack off the back straightaway, all fitting considering the magnitude and prestige of this year’s event.

To open freestyle, Darren Migues and Nitro Menace got off to a great start, hitting all the obstacles with gusto, doing great donuts and not stopping until his brake rotors were glowing and shooting sparks. Kamikaze, for a brand new truck with a driver who had spent a few years out of the sport, did a very good job by hitting the cars the wrong way, doing some donuts and overall getting the crowd excited. Maverik Monster Trakker nailed several slap wheelies, had great speed and consistently got good air, never breaking down and driving out under its own power, officially ending the bad luck streak that has plagued this driver and team for so many years here. His efforts did not go unnoticed, either, as the truck sponsored by the local Maverik convenience store franchise took the lead with a score of 28.5. A couple trucks later was Felon, who used several slap wheelies, lightning fast cyclones and big air to take the lead with a score of 35.5.

The very next truck was Wicked, and Kreg Christensen stood on the throttle most of the run, matching the former Monster Jam on SPEED announcer jump for jump and for velocity. The judges gave him a score of 34.75. The third to last truck out was Trouble Maker, who bent the champagne early in his run, but kept going for as long as he could, hitting numerous obstacles while the left front wheel was still attached. He finished his time, ensuring a score, just as the tire came off. Trouble Maker was towed out onto the grass and out of the way to make room for the remaining monsters. His score reflected his efforts, taking the lead at 35.5. Sadly, Iron Outlaw and Double Trouble received no score for failing to finish their two minute time. But Jimmy Creten and the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter would settle for nothing less than the double victory. Huge wheelies, getting into the spin cycle and big air multiple times had the crowd roaring and the judges most impressed, giving Creten the freestyle championship to end the historic weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceways.

In other racing action, the Raceway featured Super Stock and fan favorite Pro Truck Racing, the latter similar to NASCAR’s Camping World Truck series, to compliment the monster action. Next, we at “The Allen Report” turn south towards the Tucson Speedway, where four western favorites arrive to tear up the front straightaway. More coverage coming from that event later. Well, thanks for reading, a special thank you to Dan Breach and all the Rocky Mountain Raceway staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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TMB TV: Monster Sights & Sounds 3.5 – Toughest Monster Truck Tour – West Plains, MO 2016

tmbtv_mss_header

Episode Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Heart of the Ozarks Fairgrounds
Location: West Plains, Missouri
Date: August 5th-6th, 2016
Videographer: Rajeana Bonar

Featured Monster Trucks

Dawg Pound – Vern House
Dirt Crew – Jerry Beck
Heavy Hitter – Derick Anson
Quad Chaos – Aaron Cain
Summit Bigfoot #18 – Larry Swim

Featured Links

www.Bigfoot4x4.com
www.DirtShows.com
www.ToughestMonsterTrucks.com

[Read more…]

2016 International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

(Auburn, Indiana – IMTM PR) – The International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame is very proud to officially announce the 20 nominees for the 2016 IMTM Hall of Fame class.

Members of the official 2016 IMTM Nominating Committee, consisting of 25 people from all aspects of the monster truck industry, were charged with the process of narrowing the great number of candidates who have excelled in the monster truck industry over the years, down to an official voting ballot of 20 names. Each committee member submitted a form listing up to 20 names they wished to nominate, along with a brief explanation of the qualifications of each.

When all the nominating forms were received, the IMTM Board of Directors tabulated the results and are now very excited to announce the 20 names submitted most across all nominating committee member forms, the official 2016 IMTM Hall of Fame Nominees:

16halloffame

– Jeff Bainter (1st nomination)
– Gary Bauer (2nd nomination)
– Jesse Birgy (1st nomination)
– Mark Bendler (2nd nomination)
– Bennett Clark (2nd nomination)
– Jan Gabriel (1st nomination)
– Mike Gallaway (3rd nomination)
– Marty Garza (1st nomination)
– Bob George (5th nomination)
– Bobby Holman (4th nomination)
– Jack Koberna (2nd nomination)
– Don Maples (2nd nomination)
– Dave Marquart (5th nomination)
– Mike Nickell (2nd nomination)
– Jim Oldaker (2nd nomination)
– Charlie Pauken (3rd nomination)
– Jim Ries (1st nomination)
– Jerry Richmond (3rd nomination)
– Cliff Starbird (4th nomination)
– Terry Woodcock (3rd nomination)

The International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame would like to congratulate each of these legendary monster truck figures on officially being nominated for induction into the IMTM Hall of Fame. We would also like to thank the 25 members of the Nominating Committee for their efforts in helping honor some of the most significant figures in the history of monster trucks.

With the nominating process now complete, an official voting ballot will be created, listing all 20 nominees. Members of the IMTM Board of Directors, along with previous Hall of Fame Inductees will each receive a voting ballot. They will vote for 4 of the 20 nominees and return their ballot. The 4 nominees receiving the most votes will be inducted into the IMTM Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 12th in Auburn, Indiana. These 4 inductees will be announced to the public on Saturday, September 17th at the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Tickets to attend the 6th Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion will go on-sale Monday, September 5th and will be available online at www.MonsterMuseum.org.

About the International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame

The International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame was established in 2010 with the mission of collecting and archiving the history of the monster truck sport and related aspects of the high performance aftermarket, focusing upon capturing history from the surviving pioneers and legends. Each year, the International Monster Truck Museum will honor the most accomplished and significant people in the history of monster trucks with induction into its Hall of Fame.

Through the accumulation of vehicles, oral histories, videos and still images, the International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame will provide a documented history and an entertaining and educational retrospective display about the birth and growth of a purely North American year round motor sport that is geared toward the entire family and the industry it launched for future generations.

More information on the International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame can be found on the organization’s official website, www.MonsterMuseum.org. All of the latest news and updates can be followed on the organization’s Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MonsterMuseum.

The Allen Report: Kaboom Monster Trucks – Pomona, CA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to Pomona, California, a town rich in motorsport history as the home of one of the first professional drag strips and that of the official NHRA museum. But on this day, five giant monster trucks took to the Pomona Fairplex to do battle in head to head racing and motor home munching, high flying freestyle.

Jimmy Creten came to town in his slick looking Yellow Stripe Bounty Hunter with East Coast regular Matt Cody behind the wheel of the pickup Iron Outlaw. Rod Wood, piloting McGruff, made the trip from just outside Tucson, Arizona. Rounding out the field was Vacaville, California’s Tony “Flying Spaniard” Canedo driving Play ‘n 4 Keeps with teammate Jeff Souza in tow, who took the wheel of Enforcer. This is a name that garnered legendary status throughout the West Coast under ownership of Terminator’s Gary Schott in the ‘90s before being retired. However, the name was brought back into the public eye at this venue two years ago as the third member of Tony’s trio of monsters.

WGAS officials constructed an interesting double-semi-oval race course. Both trucks would race down off the giant tabletop in the middle of the floor in opposite directions. Next the monsters would go around a hairpin turn before putting the heel to the steel and jumping past each other over the finish line ramp. With the odd number of monster vehicles in the field, reigning champion Bounty Hunter got a bye to the finals where he would await the winner of a standard four truck bracket.

To open racing, Jeff Souza and Enforcer upended McGruff and Iron Outlaw beat Play ‘n 4 Keeps to advance to the semi-finals. With the right to face Bounty Hunter on the line, both trucks ran a great race, but it was Iron Outlaw who took the win. The championship race was one for the history books. The finish was so close, officials could not agree on who to call as the winner. So it was decided to rerun the championship race. With the title still undecided as the green flags waved again, both drivers pushed even harder, but this time, the race was more decisive, with Bounty Hunter narrowly taking the win and retaining his championship. But freestyle was still to come.

Upset about his racing loss, Jeff Souza went out first. With a good run going, his rear axle got away from him coming down from the big hill and blew the rear tire. McGruff put himself in the hunt with great slap wheelies, smashing one of the two motor homes and having consistent good speed. Play‘n 4 Keeps destroyed the other motor home, carried beautiful wheelies and even performed some dusty donuts to the delight of the crowd. Even a bent champagne couldn’t keep the veteran from having a great run. But Bounty Hunter could not be stopped. Driver Jimmy Creten gave the judges everything they were looking for and so much more. Right as his run ended, the other trucks that were still mechanically good came back on the floor. For the finale, all the monsters came down the side of the big hill and went right into cyclones. That was the cue for the preliminary pyrotechnics. This set the stage for the fireworks, a longstanding tradition at the KaBoom! event. Once more, the display from smiley faces, to all sorts of color combinations, to the usual red, white and blue, the Fourth of July tradition of fireworks had the fans cheering the whole time.

In other action, Chachi “The Rocketman” Valencia loaded himself into a cannon and shot himself one hundred and sixty-three feet through the air and landed perfectly in his safety net. As you can expect, the crowd was going nuts. Another KaBoom! tradition continued with four of the top freestyle motocross riders in the nation delivering a wide variety of death defying tricks, the most notable of which were backflip variations.

Well, we at “The Allen Report” are turning our attention to the month of August and the biggest monster truck event in the state of Utah, the 20th Anniversary Maverik Clash of the Titans. This year is slated to be the biggest of them all with no less than 16 trucks on the card for figure 8 racing, wheelie contest and freestyle. Well monster truck fans, thanks for reading, a sincere thank-you to Chelsea Kessler and all the WGAS officials for another great time on Independence Day, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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