Monster Photos

Monster Photos: Monster Nation – Beaumont, TX 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Nation
Venue: Fork Park
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Date: February 24th-25th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Basher (Kevin Lewis), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Larry Swim) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Indianapolis, IN 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: February 11th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), Brutus (Brad Allen), El Toro Loco (Chuck Werner), Fluffy (Kevin King), Gas Monkey Garage (BJ Johnson), Grave Digger (Morgan Kane), Hooked (Bryan Wright), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Colton Eichelberger), Saigon Shaker (Ryan Disharoon), Scooby Doo (Brianna Mahon), Slinger (Scott Hartsock), Stone Crusher (Steve Sims), War Wizard (Shane Phreed) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – St. Louis, MO 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: The Dome at America’s Center
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Date: February 4th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Barbarian (Devin Jones), Black Stallion (Michael Vaters), El Toro Loco (Becky McDonough), Grave Digger (Carl Van Horn), Jester (Matt Pagliarulo), Mechanical Mischief (Jim Burns), Monster Energy (Coty Saucier), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Overkill Evolution (Sean Duhon), Rage (Cory Rummell), Samson (Rick Steffens), Son Uva Digger (Ryan Anderson), Xtermigator (JR McNeal), Wrecking Crew (Michael Thompson) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Nationals – Madison, WI 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Nationals
Venue: Alliant Energy Center
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Date: January 27th-29th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

BIGFOOT #19 (Darron Schnell), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Hotsy (Dale Benear), Predator (Dalton Vanskyock), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Toughest Monster Truck Tour – Youngstown, OH 2017

Event Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Covelli Centre
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Date: February 3rd-4th, 2017
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

Basher (Kevin Lewis), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Larry Swim) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Detroit, MI 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Ford Field
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Date: January 28th, 2017
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

Big Kahuna (Shane England), Dragon (Jon Zimmer), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Hurricane Force (Steve Thompson), Mad Scientist (Lee O’Donnell), Mechanical Mischief (Jim Burns), Metal Mulisha (Matt Buyten), Monster Mutt Dalmation (Candice Jolly), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Raminator (Mark Hall), Samson (Rick Steffens), Soldier Fortune (Chad Fortune), Storm Damage (Tim Mente), Xtreme Diesel (Dave Radzierez) [Read more…]

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)(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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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2017.

Monster Photos: Monster Nation – Bossier City, LA 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Nation
Venue: CenturyLink Center
Location: Bossier City, Louisiana
Date: January 20th-21st, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Ballistic (Mac Plecker), BIGFOOT #19 (Darron Schnell), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Snake Bite (Andy Anaconda), Twisted Addiction (Tim Jones) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Toughest Monster Truck Tour – Southaven, MS 2017

Event Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Landers Center
Location: Southaven, Mississippi
Date: January 13th-14th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Basher (Kevin Lewis), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Larry Swim) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monsters on the Beach – Wildwood, NJ 2016

Event Information

Event: Monsters on the Beach: WWNJ Monster Truck Beach Races
Venue: The Wildwood Beach
Location: Wildwood, New Jersey
Date: August 19th-21st, 2016
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Cory Rummell), Bigfoot #19 (Darron Schnell), Crushstation (Greg Winchenbach), Equalizer (Mike Hawkins), Lumberjack (Tom Durkee), Red Solo Truck (Brandon Budd), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Wrecking Crew (Mike Thompson) [Read more…]

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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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2016.

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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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2016.

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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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2016.

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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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Nationals – Springfield, IL 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Nationals
Venue: Illinois State Fairgrounds
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Date: June 4th-5th, 2016
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Bigfoot #19 (Darron Schnell), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more…]