The Allen Report: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals – Indianapolis, IN 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel up to the biggest 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals of the year at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Eight of the fastest, most competitive monster trucks in the nation were on hand to do battle on a modified “So-Cal style” race track. Mark Hall held the reigns of his usual Raminator. Mat Dishman was right behind piloting Rammunition as was relative newcomer Mike Miller in Mopar Muscle. But Team Bigfoot wasn’t going down easy as Dan Runte, running his own 25th Anniversary paint scheme on #18 and Larry Swim at the controls of Lucas Oil Bigfoot #19 ensured that The Original Monster Truck team would fight all the way to the end of the weekend. Returning to the Jamborees after a few years away were Jim Koehler driving Avenger with his brother Steve behind the wheel of General Tire, along with Dave Radzeirez and his signature diesel powered XDP Diesel Monster Truck. Elsewhere on the grounds, the world’s only electric powered monster truck, Odyssey Batteries Bigfoot #20 was on display.

Old school monster trucks were in the house as well. Monster truck creator Bob Chandler brought the legendary BIGFOOT 1. Past Monster Truck Hall of Fame Inductee Allen Pezo hauled in not only his own Predator 1, but a replica of the original King Kong, built by fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Dane. Both trucks would continue on to the International Monster Truck Museum a few hours north in Auburn following the weekend. IMTM President and creator Jeff Cook had his old school style truck Shotgun Harry on display for all to see. Moline, Illinois, resident Fil Tristan, owner and b4uilder of the beautiful black and orange Titan was part of the festivities – Titan was back under its own power for the first time in many years with a new motor and made a grand return to the Jamborees it frequented so many years ago. Finally, longtime mud racer John Nowacki showed off his Mud Monster old school style truck. On Sunday, between racing rounds, Bigfoot 1, King Kong, Predator 1 and Shotgun Harry did a parade in front of the main grandstand. Much to the delight of the fans, Kong had its hood and bed raised high in the air, true to the old school formula of appealing to the fans with tilt hydraulics.

The first race of the weekend showed clearly how tough a track this would be to master. In the last of the quarter final races, Avenger had the lead against teammate General Tire General only to come into the last of the three turns too hot and did a complete 360, giving up the win and the shot against reigning series champion Raminator. In the first semi final, Dan Runte proved his experience on these tracks, besting teammate Larry Swim. Mark Hall was just too fast for Steve Kohler and won to set up a classic Bigfoot/Raminator final round. Dan had the lead for the first two thirds of the race, but broke free around the final turn, costing him time and the race. In efforts to conserve their trucks for the entire weekend, Dave Radzeirez and Mark Hall pulled out of freestyle this first night. But the fans would not go home disappointed as Dan Runte and Jim Kohler both put together high speed, big air runs, each one including a massive jump from a moderate sized ramp, over a gap to a ten foot high plateau of cars. Both moves put a roaring cap on the first of four races.

Saturday would feature two races on the same day. The afternoon race featured a rematch from the night before, only this time in the first race of the night. Dan Runte continued to put pressure on his Dodge sponsored rivals by facing all three members of Hall Brothers racing and beating them all to head to the winner’s circle, catching up points-wise in the process. Once again, Dan Runte and Jim Kohler stole the show in freestyle, with big air, cross threads and, in Avenger’s case, terrific slap wheelies.

Between races, International Monster Truck Museum and Hall of Fame President Jeff “Wildman” Cook and Vice President Allen Pezo announced the fourth International Monster Truck Hall of Fame class, set for induction this November:
• Andy Brass, a legendary driver of both old school and modern day style Bigfoot trucks.
• Jon Breen, the owner and driver of Mad Dog and other memorable trucks and one of the sport’s early great innovators
• Kirk Dabney, a builder and driver of numerous monster trucks, from the monster car Blue Thunder all the way up to the more recent Maximum Overkill
• Michael Vaters, creator and driver of Black Stallion, a champion and owner of one of the sport’s longest running and most successful teams
• Diehl Wilson, the owner, builder and driver of Virginia Giant, one of the most beautiful monster trucks to ever run

Also before the second race on Saturday, Dan Runte’s 25th Anniversary as a member of Team Bigfoot was commemorated with a tribute video and a Harley Davidson motorcycle sporting a paint scheme to mirror that of his beautiful truck for this year. Dan’s friends at the Team Bigfoot shop had not told Dan ahead of time that they were doing this, and the veteran didn’t hide his thankfulness as his competition looked on.

Back on the track, Larry Swim in Lucas Oil Bigfoot went all the way to the finals. But a chance at a re-race with teammate Dan was ruined when Mat Dishman in Rammuntion beat the silver anniversary driver to the line. Mark Hall downed his own teammate to set up the third Hall Brothers/Bigfoot final round in as many races. Larry gave it all, but it just wasn’t enough to catch up to the Hemi-fueled Raminator, as Mark Hall got win number two of three throughout the weekend with only one more to go. With increasingly intense lightning in the surrounding area, race officials were forced to cancel freestyle. Even so, all signs pointed to a hot and heavy final race on Sunday.

The fourth and final day of racing on the 4-Wheel Jamboree schedule was one for the history books. Team Hall Brothers continued to rain on Dan Runte’s parade with Mat Dishman knocking out the 25th Anniversary truck in the first round. But team driver Larry Swim was ready. The Lucas Oil Bigfoot defeated Rammuntion in the semi-finals to advance to the finals, where Raminator was there waiting. With all eyes on the finish line, Mark Hall finally pushed his truck too hard, spinning out in the final turn of the 2014 edition of the 4 Wheel Jamboree season, handing the last race win to Larry Swim. But Mark Hall, having participated in three out of possible four final rounds, and winning two, was once more declared the Monster Truck Thunder Drags Champion.

To salute the fans one more time, Dave Radzeirez had a plan. The double ramp jump from the first two days had been changed completely during the overnight into something meant especially for one trick. And at the end of the freestyle competition, the man called “Diesel Dave” and his XDP monster truck executed a picture perfect backflip, even with an imperfect reaction to the cars on the ramp. It was a wild finale to the Jamboree season, and you can bet that Team Bigfoot will be out to take the championship back in 2015.

With our very memorable first venture to the biggest 4-Wheel Jamboree of the year now history, we at “The Allen Report” will very soon catch a plane back to Indiana. Only this time, we will be bound for the 4th Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion in Auburn, just north of Fort Wayne. Tickets to the festivities, including a Meet and Greet on Friday, October 31st, and History Discussion, gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony itself on Saturday, November 1st are available on www.MonsterMuseum.org. We hope to see you there as the 5 legends of monster trucks mentioned above receive our sport’s highest honor. Well then, thank you for reading, a heart-felt thank you to Family Events for their wonderful hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Flip Fest – Pomona, CA 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we headed to the Fairplex in Pomona, California for the Los Angeles County Fair opening “Flip Fest”. Mark Schroeder arrived to pilot Devastator. For fans of Mark’s Felon, I’m happy to report that he’s bringing it back for first quarter next year. Also in the house was Marana, Arizona’s own Rod Wood driving McGruff. The father and daughter team of Kelvin and Rosalee Ramer came to town with Time Flys and Wild Flower. The incredibly talented seventeen year old was extremely popular with the audience. Crowd favorite Jimmy Creten stepped out of his usual Bounty Hunter and into Iron Outlaw, built especially for a huge, never before seen stunt to round out the night. Finally, making its world performance debut was the Knucklehead monster truck driven by rock band Five Finger Death Punch lead guitarist Zoltan Bathory.

To start the night’s insanity, Jim Fitzpatrick of the famous Metal Mulisha lead the charge in sky high, high danger freestyle motocross. When the initial competition ended in a two way tie, “Taco” Bell and Fitzpatrick were given one more jump each to win the crowd over. A huge Backflip Superman gave Fitzpatrick another mark in the win column.

In monster truck freestyle, vertical wheelies and good momentum put McGruff the Crime Dog in the lead early. Zoltan Bathory, despite having driven Knucklehead only once before, put the crowd on its feet with an exciting run. Rosalee Ramer got the fans pumped up with the biggest air of the night to this point followed by a rollover. The Devastator had some wheelies of his own, a big jump and even better speed to give him tens across the board from the judges. Living up to the event’s name, the epic finale showcased Time Flys and Iron Outlaw backflipping in unison just moments after a pair of FMX riders did the same right between them. The ensuing cheers from the capacity crowd were long and loud!

With another great show from WGAS Motorsports in the books, we at “The Allen Report” shall very soon jump on a plane bound for Indianapolis to attend the final and biggest 4 Wheel Jamboree of the season. Well, thank you for reading, a sincere thank you to our friend John Borba and the WGAS crew for their gracious hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Maverik Clash of the Titans – West Valley City, UT 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we once again make our way to motorsports venue Rocky Mountain Raceways to watch eleven monster trucks do battle on the sport’s only figure-eight race track. Jimmy Creten, as always, was driving Bounty Hunter Yellow while his wife Dawn Creten was right behind in Scarlet Bandit. Trent Montgomery returned behind the wheel of Bounty Hunter Black and newcomer Nate Kirchner took the reigns of Iron Outlaw. Representing Team Bigfoot were Kevin Koszala in Odyssey Batteries #11, Darren Schnell in Vi-Cor #15 and Larry Swim in Lucas Oil #19. Doug Charles arrived piloting Wild Thang. Hometown driver Ron Duncombe returned at the helm of Maverik Monster Trakker. Darren Migues drove his newly bought Just Get ‘R Done and Kreg Christensen took time off from his brand new truck Wicked to take control of RoboMachine to wrap up the field.

On Saturday, Trent Montgomery showed how quickly he’s learning from the best as he took the number one qualifier spot. From there, he went all the way to the semi-finals before getting knocked out by Vi-Cor Bigfoot, who had advanced as fastest loser from the quarter-finals. To advance to the finals, the 2Xtreme Racing owner had to face every Bigfoot truck once, but won all three match-ups to make it to the two lap super final, where a rematch with Vi-Cor was there waiting. A mistake free run ensured that Jimmy Creten took the night one Racing win.

Closing Saturday night was a wheelie contest. Late in the truck lineup, Trent Montgomery continued to show he was for real with a 9.7 score. However, the big boss and new Racing champion continued his three year domination of wheelies, edging Trent by just five hundredths of a point at 9.75.

On to Sunday where they raced all over again and went for broke in freestyle. Again, Trent Montgomery in Bounty Hunter Black was fastest qualifier but, his Sunday night Racing ended a little sooner when he followed his teammate, Nate Kirchner and Iron Outlaw, across the finish line. Both semi-final heats were 2Xtreme vs. Bigfoot races. Vi-Cor “Bessie” Bigfoot won his race and Bounty Hunter Yellow did the same, setting up a rematch from the night before. The multi-year Bigfoot driver fought all the way to the end, but Jimmy Creten won racing for the second night in a row. Now, Jimmy set his sights on the clean sweep.

With two minutes to work with and the entire track fair game, the Maverik Clash of the Titans was sure to end with high competition in freestyle. Midway through the battle, the sophomore driver in Bounty Hunter Black put the crowd on its feet with an exciting, fast run where he hit everything. His efforts were rewarded with a score of 35.5 out of a possible 40.0. Maverik Monster Trakker, Iron Outlaw and the three Bigfoot trucks gave it their best shot. But dusty donuts, huge air and slap wheelies, all in a class of their own, ensured Bounty Hunter Yellow was unstoppable. With a score of 37.5, two whole points above his teammate, the 2005 World Freestyle Champion finally took the clean sweep at RMR that had eluded him for so many years, until now.

We at “The Allen Report” look forward to the annual event at RMR every year, and this weekend was a blast to watch. Thanks so much to Rocky Mountain Raceways for their hospitality, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Extreme Monster Air – Longview, WA 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we go up north to the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds in Longview, Washington to watch six monster trucks do battle in three rounds of freestyle. Promoter and Monster Truck Hall of Famer Mike Welch and his “Freaks of Freestyle” tour brought in Monroe, Washington’s Seth Fisher driving Tow Monster. Also there was veteran Jeff Bainter behind the wheel of Captain USA. Selma, California’s Randy Hoegh had the keys to the brand new, old school built, farming inspired identity Raging Raisin appearing for the very first time. Roger Stidell was in the house with Destroyer. Rounding out the battleground were Tyler Groth in Double Trouble and twin brother Travis Groth piloting Survivor.

The real heroes of the weekend were the “Freaks of Freestyle” track crew. Rain over the past day and a half threatened to make the venue a rodeo arena sized mud pit. But the crew smoothed out the track surface, making both mudslinging cyclones and good traction for sky high jumps equally possible. With two dirt-ramp-to-row-of-tires obstacles to hit and no shortage of room go into the spin, all signs pointed to hot and heavy, fast paced freestyle action.

As usual, the most popular competition in monster trucks today was a heated affair. Seth Fisher managed a few good hits on the tire-row obstacles and some fine donuts even with a broken steering pump. Roger Stidell had the crowd cheering with super-fast cyclones and great jumps in Destroyer before a broken transmission ended his day. Jeff Bainter showed no signs of slowing down with high speed and a jump onto the center landing ramp that brought the crowd to its feet. In the third and final round, Captain USA threw down with superb cyclones, lots of speed and big air. But the crowd cheered loudest of all for the show-ending pair freestyle starring Double Trouble and Survivor. Starting as a game of Follow the Leader, the two gradually went their own ways to entertain the huge crowd. Travis succeeded in bringing Survivor into dizzying donuts while Tyler jumped higher and higher over the tire rows every hit. The crowd went wild, clearly choosing the twins as the co-winners.

Also on the card was a mixture of classic and current filler acts as mud bog drag racing had the crowd making noise as did the burnout contest. We at “The Allen Report” sincerely urge fairground owners to contact Mike Welch to bring this great quality show to their venue. Next on the calendar for us at “The Allen Report” is monster truck figure-8 racing at the Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah. Until that day, thank you for reading, a heartfelt thanks to all the Freaks of Freestyle staff for their hospitality, please don’t forget to “Like” the Freaks of Freestyle tour on Facebook, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: 3rd Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion – Auburn, IN 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report” we again look back to 2013, when we caught a plane to northern Indiana to make the 3rd Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Ceremony and Reunion in Auburn, Indiana, just outside Fort Wayne in the northeastern part of the state. Nearly 300 people came from many different places to see the following monster truck personalities get inducted:

• Allen Pezo of Predator
• Dan Patrick of Samson
• Gary Porter of Carolina Crusher & Grave Digger
• Scott Stephens of King Krunch
• Army Armstrong – announcer for both live events and television

During the weekend’s festivities, four monster trucks and one special monster vehicle were on display for one and all to examine up close. These included:

• Past Hall of Fame inductee Bob Chandler’s BIGFOOT 1
• Current inductee Allen Pezo’s Predator 1
• Alan Tura’s Goliath
• IMTM President and event co-emcee Jeff Cook’s Shotgun Harry
• Tommy Borders’ three-wheeled “Total Xtreme” super trike, complete with monster truck sixty-six inch tires

The afternoon of the big induction ceremony, the annual IMTM History Discussion was held with the inductees reminiscing about both monster truck history and personal careers. Some stories provoked laughs, others sympathy. Later that evening, a gourmet dinner was served, accompanied by induction videos from the first two Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Following dinner the induction ceremony commenced and each new inductee into the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame was rewarded with a standing ovation both preceding and following his induction and Question and Answer session hosted by TMB’s Ross Z. Bonar.

We at “The Allen Report” were honored to be part of the ceremonies and urge everyone who loves Monster Trucks and Monster Truck history to make the Hall of Fame ceremony a must this year – the date has just been announced and it will be going down on Saturday, November 1st, 2014. Visit www.MonsterMuseum.org for more information and watch for tickets to go on sale.

Now that we’ve caught up with 2013, be looking for our huge recap of the 2014 Monster Jam World Finals coming very soon. So, thanks for reading, a gracious thank you to the International Monster Truck Museum and Hall of Fame for hosting this great event, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we look back to the end of last year, when a familiar sight returned to the Arizona State Fairgrounds with an interesting twist. Six monster trucks arrived over the first weekend of November. However, both halves of the field would be split into different shows over the weekend. Six shows happened over the three days. Every win was rewarded with points. Shows number one, three and five starred Rod Wood in El Perro Loco, Nasty Boy piloted by Travis Sturges and team owner Sam Sturges back in Unnamed and Untamed. All the other performances showcased Jimmy Lyons in Firedrill, Dawn Creten in control of Iron Outlaw and Darren Migues behind the wheel of Bounty Hunter.

In the first group of shows, Rod Wood had increasingly higher competition. He started his weekend with a clean sweep of wheelie contest, S-track obstacle course racing and freestyle on Friday. His opponents started to catch up when Nasty Boy got a win in wheelies, only to have his right front tire snap off upon landing. Undeterred by the snap of his streak, Rod just started another, winning both obstacle course and freestyle to maintain his lead. But when Sunday arrived, Nasty Boy shed off the pit rust quickly, winning both of the first two competitions before the Crazy Dog finally got his groove back with a 27 point win in freestyle.

Over in the other group, Bounty Hunter continued the game of “anything you can do, I can do” by duplicating Rod Wood’s clean sweep in his group’s first show. That evening, Darren started to do the same with a win in wheelies. But in obstacle course, Bounty Hunter suddenly shut off with the finish line just ahead, giving the win to Iron Outlaw. Darren Migues had everyone on notice in freestyle with an exciting run. But he could only tie with Dawn Creten. In the weekend’s final show, Jimmy Lyons finally found his winning wheelies, even with only rear wheel drive. But Darren Migues won in obstacle course and laid it all out in his final freestyle.

When all the points were tallied up, Rod Wood and El Perro Loco were declared the Arizona State Fair Overall Champions. The weekend also featured some thrilling “tuff truck” action and rides for all with the Boogie Monster.

For us at “the Allen Report”, next up caught a plane to northern Indiana to watch five legends of the monster truck sport receive induction into the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame. You’ll see that next week as we catch up on action from the end of 2013, thank you for reading, a grateful thank-you to All-Star Monster Trucks for hosting these great events, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Kaboom – Pomona, CA 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we head up to the annual KaBoom show at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California where the show is sold out for the 11th consecutive year. There, five of the west coast’s meanest monster trucks fight for survival as well as each other in the dirt track course in the infield of the horse racing track. This year’s track warriors are: Roger Stidell in Destroyer, Tony Canedo in the legendary Play N’ 4 Keeps, California’s own Pat Gerber drove Shocker, and Tucson, Arizona’s Rod Wood in El Perro Loco. And finally, perennial Pomona favorite Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter, who had made the voyage up from Del Mar earlier that day.

With an odd-numbered field, the racing bracket was changed. Reigning champion Bounty Hunter would get a bye all the way to the final round and race the winner of a standard four-truck bracket. To start racing, Destroyer had a better card than Play N’ 4 Keeps. Then, Shocker put El Perro Loco in the dog pound to face Destroyer. In a photo finish, Shocker won the race. But in the process he broke the four-link bar, surrendering his chance at facing Bounty Hunter. For the money, Bounty Hunter nailed the tight hairpin turn at the far end then was first past the exit ramp of the freestyle mound to take the racing championship over Destroyer.

Shocker would be unable to freestyle as there was more broken than just the four-link bar. El Perro Loco, the wild dog from the high desert set the bar early with wheelies and smashing one of the motor homes. He was rewarded with a score of 34 out of 40. Destroyer would also give an honorable run, but Jimmy Creten was not to be denied. Clearing the huge center mound’s exit ramp, coasting through wheelies and fast, dusty cyclones had the crowd going wild. To finish his run, Bounty smashed a “double wide” motor home. Right on cue, the pyro experts sent off the preview fireworks, which set the stage for the annual grand final, the 4th of July fireworks. A perfect 40 erased all doubt who the winner was.

As well as the monsters and fireworks, four of the most daring freestyle motocross riders in the country warmed up the crowd with gravity-defying tricks like the “Indian-Air” and the “Superman”. But the crowd was calling for the favorite backflip, and the riders didn’t disappoint.

The next stop for us at “The Allen Report” is the world’s best monster truck figure-8 race at multi-purpose racing facility Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah. That being said, thank you for reading, a special thank you to our great friends at WGAS Motorsports for putting together this fun yearly event, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our annual trek to the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California for a series of showdowns between a national name and a home state hero. For the past several years, Kelvin Ramer and his Time Flys machine have made several attempts to replace Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter as King of the Del Mar monster trucks. And he was going to try again this year. However, this was no two truck show. Right behind Jimmy was Trent Montgomery in Iron Outlaw. But Kelvin had backup of his own. That was his own daughter, young Rosalee Ramer, driving Detour. Rick Swanson returned with Wrongway Rick to the place where it debuted one year ago. Son Eric Swanson drove his trophy truck bodied-monster wearing the normal Obsessed logo to round out the field.

Day one of three at Del Mar was the unique High Jump competition under NCAA rules. Bringing the bar down three times meant elimination. Clearing the bar meant raising it. The last truck that could still clear the bar was the winner. In the afternoon show, Bounty Hunter not only won but kept all four tires still on with a height of 8 feet, 2 inches. The evening show started the showdown. First, the 1934 Ford Coupe with Kelvin at the wheel threw down the gauntlet of 9 feet, 3 inches. Jimmy had the officials raise the bar even higher and still cleared it. Not to be outdone, Iron Outlaw and Detour jumped in to help their teammates. But when those two left the building, the game of “Top this!” truly began. It went on and on until the bar couldn’t go any higher. At a venue record 10 feet, 9 inches, Jimmy and Kelvin would tie for the win. But things were just getting started.

Day two was a wheelie competition. Longer distance plus higher vertical equaled more points. Trent Montgomery had come a long way in one day from smashing the High Jump bar the day before with an honorable run in the evening that held the lead until the last two and finished the day in third place. The elder Ramer showed he meant business, getting the loudest applause of the show up to that point in Time Flys. But Jimmy Creten won the Wheelie Competition at Del Mar last year and started the repeat with the crowd roaring for him. In the evening show, Time Flys gave it one last shot with power, slap and sky wheelies all in the same run. But Bounty Hunter rarely shares the trophy a second time. Double wheelies, tons of momentum and excellent pre-wheelie air gave the Tonganoxie, KS native the Wheelie contest win for the second year in a row by better than 10 points over second place. With only a day of all or nothing freestyle to go at Del Mar, Kelvin had only one more try to prevent Bounty Hunter from cleaning house.

Day three was all out freestyle. Bounty Hunter only pulled further into the lead in his first run with a very high score. But the win did not come without a price. Moments before his time expired, Jimmy blew a rod in his engine. Despite the crew’s best efforts, Bounty was out for the day, ending his chances of a clean sweep. With that, all signs appeared to point to Kelvin Ramer sharing the crown with the Bounty Hunter driver. But Time Flys would also find engine trouble. Eric Swanson and Obsessed had finished third place every competition they entered. This was the third day of at least one competition for Eric. By getting scores on the board and finishing his run, third time was the charm for Eric to take the day win. With three different winners in three days, the competition in the Del Mar arena remains tighter than ever.

Along with the monsters, trophy karts started the show on days one and two, while scaled down versions of mid-twentieth century dirt racing jalopies called mini dwarf cars did on day three. Next on the calendar for us is just a few hours up the road at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA, for the annual KaBoom with freestyle motocross, monster trucks and fireworks extravaganza. Well then, thank you for reading, a warm thank you to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Stadium Super Trucks – Los Angeles, CA 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we follow Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks series to the venue where Mickey Thompson first created stadium off road racing: the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Monster trucks had not been here since the dusk of the 1990s. In addition, stadium off road racing had not happened at the Coliseum for almost 20 years. So history was being made all night long. The mechanical gladiators of the night included not one, not two, but four Bigfoot trucks. Counterattacking the Bigfoot invasion were Darren Migues and Trent Montgomery in Bounty Hunter Blue and Iron Outlaw. The father and son Swanson team of Rick and Eric ran their new trophy truck bodies to wrap up the starting grid. Rick’s was purple and Eric’s was his signature blue.

The monsters had to race roundy-round “Chicago Style” on a half-blacktop, half dirt figure 8 track with a crossover jump in the middle with the winner first back to his starting jump. Once each lap, the drivers had to climb towards, drive through and around and free fall back down from the venue’s world famous arches. Getting a 12 foot wide monster truck through a 13 foot wide arch twice proved a formidable task.

Bigfoot trucks are always tough on long courses, as evidenced by every spot in the semi finals occupied by a team Bigfoot truck. The end of the night came a little sooner for Phoenix Champion Darren Migues, who saw his chances at repeating slip away when he had to back up to avoid cutting a turn beyond the arches too sharp. With two Bigfoot relative newcomers in one semi-final and two veterans of the same team in the other, the original monster truck team’s domination was unstoppable. The world’s only cow-themed monster continued to tame the tough track with a win over Kyle Doyle and Firestone #14 in the first semi-final race. Larry Swim and SPEED Energy #19 bested Dan Runte and Summit #18 to meet “Bessie” in the finals.

In the feature, Darron Schnell finally fired a blank as Larry Swim went on to victory for his truck’s sponsor, SPEED Energy, which made it an all orange night for eventual SST main event winner Robby Gordon. In other action, a former competitor in the Mickey Thompson Off Road Series named Jerry Whelchel was shown the money with a win in the Super Buggies main event.

Next up for us at “The Allen Report” is a monster marathon of three back to back days at the San Diego County Fair and the annual 4th of July Pomona, California, KaBoom event, all put together by our friends at WGAS Motorsports. That being said, thanks for reading, we wish much success to SST, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report – Monster Truck Show – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, five regional favorites are pushed to the limit in two shows in a single day, the last day of the Maricopa County Fair. It was here, one year ago, where Grand Canyon State Promotions ventured into the world of monster trucks for the very first time. With the big crowd that followed last year, it made sense the monster trucks came back this year. The lineup looked like this: Tucson’s Rod Wood was in McGruff and Ronnie Sturges, as always, piloted Nasty Boy. His brother Travis filled in for their Uncle Sam in Unnamed & Untamed and a friend of the Sturges’ from just across the border in Mexico named Cesar Nunez took the helm of the sleek ’63 Corvette named Rat Attack. Finally, Jack Koberna, as always, drove Tuff-E-Nuff.

The race course of choice was “Minneapolis Style”, with the trucks starting in the middle and working their way around with the third jump representing the finish line. After Nasty Boy put McGruff in the dog pound, Rat Attack took the place of Unnamed against Tuff-E-Nuff after the 1942 Panel Wagon locked up both axles on the way to the starting line. Rat Attack won the right to face Nasty Boy in the first semi final. In the consolation race, McGruff got his groove back and tamed Tuff-E-Nuff to get another shot at the main event where Nasty Boy, having beaten Rat Attack, was there waiting. But history repeated itself when McGruff spun out in the final corner, giving the racing title to Ronnie Sturges. In the exhibition only freestyle, McGruff had some great air and kept the speed up very well. But the highlight came when Rat Attack launched off a starting line jump and followed it up with a slap wheelie before a tuff truck jump sent him on his side, much to the delight of the fans.

The evening show would see only 4 vehicles as Rat Attack’s rollover broke his hub inside the axle and it could not get fixed in time. But Unnamed & Untamed was back in the game with both third members in the axles fixed. In racing, McGruff rolled the dice one more time with Unnamed and won to advance to the finals. Nasty Boy downed Tuff-E-Nuff in the other semi to face Rod Wood for the third time in the same day. But first, the dark cloud finally lifted off of U & U when Travis Sturges drove to victory over New Mexico’s Jack Koberna in the third place race. In the main event, Rod Wood just could not stop the domination of Team Sturges at the Maricopa County Fair. Nasty Boy swept racing. To finish the night, all 4 trucks gave it all in a wild exhibition only freestyle. Jack Koberna, the southwest monster truck legend from New Mexico, threw out some huge air, a near vertical slap wheelie and some dusty donuts, much to the delight of the fans.

The shows also featured some tuff truck racing, freestyle motocross action and hilarious side by side SUV racing on the tuff truck course. For us at “The Allen Report”, we are headed over to Los Angeles next to cover Robby Gordon’s SST race at the venue where stadium off road racing all began, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. So, thank you for reading, a huge thanks to Grand Canyon State Promotions for their hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Autism Speaks – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

At the time of this writing, just days remain before the first ever Stadium Super Trucks race at University of Phoenix Stadium. But before that, Team Bigfoot had some special audience members to please: Young people with autism. On World Autism Awareness Day dozens of families gathered in the stadium’s parking lot to watch Bigfoot #20 crush cars to benefit the team’s newest sponsor, Autism Speaks.

Driving duties went to Monster Truck Hall of Famer Jim Kramer. And there was no problem whatsoever with noise. Bigfoot #20 is the worlds first and, thus far, only all electric powered monster truck. So the biggest noise came from the cars themselves as the 66 inch tall tires rolled right over them. The night culminated in the unveiling of Team Bigfoot’s Autism Speaks body, complete with the company’s signature puzzle piece logo. The families must have loved it because they clapped and cheered and took many pictures of the new body.

Now the curtain is about to rise on Robby Gordon’s reboot of stadium off road racing, and more highlights are on the way from us here at “The Allen Report” from just that event. That being said, thank you for reading, thanks so much to University of Phoenix Stadium for hosting this touching event, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: NAPA Final Event Spectacular – Chandler, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

After 30 years of offering a vast variety of motorsports to auto racing fans in the Valley of the Sun, Firebird Raceway in Chandler, AZ, will close. It was decided, however, to put on one more huge show and what better way to close things out on the Saturday before Easter than to do it with monster trucks, jet cars and Robosaurus. The NAPA Auto Parts Final Event Spectacular was a Saturday night only event. The featured monster trucks included: Jimmy Creten in the new Bounty Hunter Silver and wife Dawn Creten, as always, in Scarlet Bandit. Steven Thompson drove Iron Outlaw and Darren Migues flew the Red Baron. Team Bigfoot was in the house courtesy of Dan Runte in Summit Bigfoot #18. Finally, World Finals Young Guns Shootout competitor JR McNeal was in the driver’s seat of Razin Kane and TJ Tripp had Ice Cream Man at the ready.

Before the night’s mayhem began, a tremendous crowd piled in and stood in line to get autographs from their favorite drivers. The sun set and the action on the quarter-mile drag strip heated up. Jet cars versus funny cars started the action with passes down the strip of over 250 mph. This was followed by the finals of the drag racing whose heat races were run earlier in the day. The fans were then treated to Ed “the Outlaw” Jones in his wheel-standing horseless carriage who made a full quarter mile pass in 12 seconds only on his rear wheels.

Then it was time for the Monsters! The competition was to be freestyle and it got bigger and better with each truck. JR McNeal threw down the gauntlet early with a score of 27. Red Baron and Ice Cream Man also gave great efforts, but could only tie the current best score of 27. Scarlet Bandit and Iron Outlaw also excited the crowd with car crushing action but failed to wrestle the lead from the trio holding on to the high score. Dan Runte’s farewell freestyle to one of his favorite places to perform came to an end sooner than expected thanks to a flat tire after hitting the drag strip’s concrete wall. But for years, Jim Creten and The Bounty Hunter had had a lock on the Firebird Champion’s trophy. Over the years, many had tried to take the title from him, but all had failed. This year was no exception as two tremendous jumps threw away the key to that lock. The first jump had bright blue fireworks on either side of him as he entered the drag arena and the second was completely over Iron Outlaw and Red Baron parked side by side. He nailed a perfect 30, making him the Final Champion of Firebird Raceway. An incredible fireworks show followed the Monster Truck action then the stage was set for the car eating, fire breathing madness only Robosaurus can bring.

Up next for us at “The Allen Report” will be a demonstration car crush of the all electric Bigfoot #20 and the unveiling of the Autism Awareness Bigfoot #18 on Tuesday, April 2, which is World Autism Awareness day. Autism is very near to the heart for us at “The Allen Report” and we are very proud to be able to cover this very special event.

We will also be attending the first ever Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks race just down the road from us in University of Phoenix Stadium. There will be a full field of Monster Trucks providing racing action in addition to the Super Trucks. We will have a report.

Until then, thank you for reading, a very special thanks to Firebird Raceway for 30 years of motorsports action and hosting this great event one more time, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Stadium Super Trucks – Glendale, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we cover NASCAR and off road favorite Robby Gordon’s effort to revive Mickey Thompson style stadium off road racing. The inaugural event of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks featured eight of the best monster trucks in the west and it was just down the road from us at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. No less than five Bigfoot trucks were in the house. The rest of the competition was Darren Migues and Bounty Hunter along with the father and son team of Rick and Eric Swanson running special bodies on their Obsessed and Obsession chassis.

The first ever SST race featured a rare occurrence in that racing would be the only competition for the monster trucks. It was fascinating to watch the monsters battle each other side by side on an off road style track, with over-under jumps, hairpin turns and mid-race lane choice. Without a single true finish line, the winner would be first back to his starting line jump.

Once the quarter finals were complete, only Dan Runte and Larry Swim were still alive for Team Bigfoot with Bounty Hunter and Eric Swanson taking the other two spots in the semis. Darren was just too fast for Dan’s new Autism Speaks Bigfoot #18, but Larry Swim in the SPEED Energy Bigfoot machine downed Eric’s bright purple trophy truck to set up a classic Bounty Hunter/Bigfoot 2-lap finale.

In the main event, Bounty Hunter had the inside lane at his starting point and took full advantage of the route’s benefits. Despite Larry’s best efforts, the first ever Stadium Super Trucks Monster Truck Division Champion was Darren Migues and Bounty Hunter.

In front of a modest crowd, the first ever win of the Stadium Super Trucks main event, the “big show” of the series, went to Rob MacCachren. Rob is a former champion of SST’s predecessor, the Mickey Thompson Off Road Championship Gran Prix and was clearly thrilled to receive the first ever main event trophy. So, until you hear from us at “The Allen Report” again, thanks to University of Phoenix Stadium for their hospitality, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Jam – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, the biggest field in the history of Monster Jam in the “Valley of the Sun” played their game to a sold-out crowd at Chase Field. The field of 16: Charlie Pauken represented Team Grave Digger. Familiar faces Batman with Norm Miller at the helm and Devastator driven by Mark Schroeder were also in the house. West Coaster Daron Basl drove King Krunch while sharing the seat of team truck Nitro Hornet with former Bigfoot and FELD driver Sky Hartley. Rookie Shane England rounded out the camp in Big Kahuna. Todd Leduc was back driving Metal Mulisha. Scott Buetow came piloting Team Hot Wheels Firestorm. Steven Hill took the wheel of Ground Pounder. Right behind him in the teammate Amsoil Shock Therapy was Dave Radzierez. Damon Bradshaw was present in Monster Energy. Hometown driver Rod Wood was there as always in McGruff. Mitch Tulachka and Shane Phreed returned in Jus’ Geter Done and Robo Machine. Pat Gerber and Shocker appeared and rounding out the field was first year driver J.P. Ruggiero in El Diablo.

From the first green light of the So-Cal style of racing, the monster from the Mulisha compound and the black and green wrecking machine were on a collision course with each other. Just four-tenths of a second separated them in qualifications. From there, the two bulldozed down the opposition. However, as Grave Digger came back to the pits after defeating Monster Energy in the semi-finals, there was smoke pouring from GD’s motor area. Unable to get fixed in time, Monster Energy took Digger’s place at the starting line where Metal Mulisha was there waiting. Halfway home at the “jammer” obstacle, Todd, a former short course off road racer, drifted a little too far out. From there, the win was Monster Energy’s. But the night’s action was far from over.

Nitro Hornet stung the field early with a score of 23. The Oregon native would remain the “hot seat” for a large part of the night. Then came the truck conceived by “the General” Brian Deegan and the other straight from the top secret Hot Wheels test facility. They both scored a 27 with the “coolest” monster truck around having a hair-thin edge of a single bonus point. Then on came the “Bad to the Bone” music. With the crowd roaring and the engine running on only seven cylinders, the 2010 Freestyle World Champion nailed huge air and had incredible speed followed by dizzying three-wheeled cyclones to take the winning score of 31, twenty-seven in regulation and no less than four bonus points for the win.

In other action, Team USA defeated Team Mexico in fast and furious quad war action. In addition, Tom Cunningham won the “off road truck-cross” main. From here, we at “The Allen Report” head out to Firebird Raceway for the last ever two day monster truck marathon on the merciless drag strip in Chandler, AZ. Till then, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Speedworld Off Road Park Exhibition – Surprise, AZ 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

We at The Allen Report were fortunate enough to have two monster trucks perform practically in “our backyard” at racing facility Speedworld Off Road Park in West Phoenix for the very first time. Eric Swanson, as usual, piloted Obsessed while his father Rick was at the helm of the new WrongWay Rick.

Much to the delight of the crowd, both monsters gave special pair freestyles especially for the short course off-road racing fans in attendance. Both Rick and Eric put on a great show, which was a great addition to coverage schedule as the year winds down.

Thank you for reading, a special thanks to Speedworld for their hospitality, enjoy the photos, and cheer on!

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