Monster Photos

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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The Allen Report: San Diego County Fair Monster Trucks – Del Mar, CA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report” we travel to San Diego, California, a city with no shortage of sport and entertainment venues, from football’s Qualcomm Stadium to baseball’s Petco Park. But on the first few days of July at the San Diego County Fair, the big crowds were inside the Del Mar Arena. Six monster trucks arrived to do head to head battle in roof scraping, dirt slinging freestyle competition.

Making the trip from Tonganoxie, Kansas, were Jimmy Creten piloting Bounty Hunter with wife Dawn Creten right behind in Scarlet Bandit. From just up the road in Watsonville, California, were the father and daughter team of Kelvin and Rosalee Ramer. Kelvin was in his sleek 1934 Ford coupe Time Flys and Rosalee, the 2016 Monster Jam Rookie of the Year, in her usual Wild Flower. Finally, Rick and Eric Swanson arrived looking to bring the title back to their home state. Rick, once more, was driving his 20th Anniversary Obsession with Eric at the wheel of the Baja bodied Obsessed.

In the opening show on Friday, Obsession kept his speed up and turned in his customary great donuts for a reasonable score of 19. But Wild Flower was not as lucky. The camshaft got jammed within the engine that cut the power of the truck, causing internal motor damage and Rosalee was unable to fire back up. Kelvin’s luck wasn’t much better, for an attempt to crush the anti-breast cancer car in the middle of the arena floor tore a steering hose. But the Swanson family wasn’t safe from mechanical gremlins either. Obsessed had a great run going with lots of air when a head gasket blew, finishing the truck for the weekend. Driver Eric wasn’t finished, however, as he hopped in his father’s vehicle for the rest of the weekend. But Jimmy Creten could not be stopped. His signature coasting slap wheelies, incredible speed and multiple trips to the sky had the crowd roaring by the time the red flags waved, signifying the end of his two minute time. The crowd continued to cheer when Jim’s scores of tens across the board came up, giving him the win.

Over the course of the weekend, Jimmy Creten used terrific wheelies, ongoing high speed, great air and, most of all, kept his truck together through the whole run again and again to take the clean sweep of freestyle victories. Time Flys and Wild Flower would get fixed but as Kelvin was doing a wheelie on the second, a champagne snapped and the monster lost his left front wheel. Multiple teams pitched in and Kelvin’s ride was repaired in good time. Eric continued to showcase his talent for monster driving in his father’s truck, getting very good air, picking up the family tradition of great cyclones and often getting good scores for it. Wild Flower was put back together eventually and the crowd favorite Rosalee didn’t miss a beat, consistently putting together all around exciting runs.

During breaks in the monster action, the audience was treated to the future of auto racing as kids of various ages raced mini dwarf cars and junior outlaw sprints. The small scale of the race cars didn’t have much impact on the racing action itself; however, as multiple battles for positions, the occasional spin and great action all around had the crowd cheering again and again. Also performing were Shane Plato and Corbin Shockey in the Skull Krusher and Monster Buddy mini monster trucks. Based on the good performances of these two youngsters, the future of the sport is in good hands.

Also in attendance throughout the weekend was a retired FDNY firefighter who had been trapped by World Trade Center debris for three days after 9/11 before being rescued. Before each show, he gave a passionate speech on how blessed we as Americans are. We at “The Allen Report” were thrilled to hear such an American hero speak on Fourth of July weekend.

Next for us at “The Allen Report” is a show just up the road in Pomona, California, a town steeped in motorsport tradition. More monster action is expected to come from there. That said, thanks for reading, a special thank you to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler and all of WGAS Motorsports, not just for their great hospitality but also for letting your humble writer announce in front of the crowd for the very first time, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Freaks of Freestyle – Longview, WA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel north to Longview, Washington, a town with all sorts of automotive repair shops and beautiful scenery. It was into this great scenario for motorsport that International Monster Truck Hall of Famer Mike Welch brought his Freaks of Freestyle show to the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Four giant monster trucks would go take each other on in freestyle that was more intended for loud applause than high scores.

From Tucson, Arizona were all three amigos in the Sam Sturges contingent. Once more, Sam Sturges himself drove the 1942 Dodge Panel Wagon Unnamed & Untamed and recently married Kendra Duggar took the helm of the 1963 Split Window Corvette Rat Attack. To complete the trio, Jason Hall, a former driver of numerous monsters built by Mike himself, stepped into the seat of the 1942 Willys Nasty Boy. Rounding out the field was Yakima, Washington’s Jeff Bainter and Captain USA. Jeff brought a surprise with him for the huge crowds that would turn up at the fairgrounds. Jeff had restored the World’s Largest Jeep, the legendary Hot Stuff and slightly revamped it into a ride truck. The vehicle had done some birthday parties and other occasions but this was the first appearance back in the motorsport spotlight. Jason Hall gave rides to all who desired before and after the shows, between them and during intermission. With a dirt-ramp-to-tires obstacle and several concrete blocks with steep dirt ramps on either side complimented by lots of room for wheelies and donuts, there was plenty of room for the monster trucks to play.

The real people deserving attention were the Freaks of Freestyle track maintenance crew. Heavy rain just hours before show-time prompted officials to replenish the messed up mud pits and to dry the main floor best they could. The track was ready for action just as the public filed in. We at “The Allen Report” gladly tip our hats to the track crew for their hard work and refusal to let the elements overpower them.

To open the monster action, Jason Hall and Nasty Boy made an admirable attempt at a slap wheelie and came around for another try. With the front axle about halfway up, the left rear planetary suddenly locked up, bringing his run to a premature end. Between shows, the Sturges team was able to fix the damage and Nasty Boy would return for the evening. Undeterred by the breakage, Sam Sturges went even harder and performed a beautiful slap wheelie to the applause of the spectators. Rat Attack reached for the sky over all the jumps multiple times and even performed some donuts. Jeff Bainter and Captain USA jumped high multiple times and tried to match the Sturges stable in the wheelies department multiple times and gave an all around great performance.

With the show back on again after intermission, Captain USA came right back out and gave big air and even a rare sky wheelie to get the audience pumped up. Rat Attack came back out and kicked up some muddy donuts. As driver Kendra Duggar came back past the pit area, that was Sam Sturges’ cue. He came out onto the fairground floor right behind his teammate and they did a spectacular pair freestyle to end the matinee show.

When another fantastic crowd filled the grandstands for the evening show, the pressure to perform was on, but the drivers were ready. Right out of the gate, Rat Attack picked up right where she left off, doing great cyclones and pumping the crowd for what was to come. Sam Sturges again went for the team’s signature slap wheelies, giving a great show. With the planetary all fixed, Jason Hall took to the floor out for revenge and he clearly won the day against the track, finding the wheelies he wanted several times. Captain USA continued to sky it for the Longview crowd and they were thankful, clapping and cheering as the Pacific Northwest legend drove back to the pits.

In the final runs of the evening, the monsters went all out on the fairground floor. Kendra and Rat Attack only furthered her cyclone assault and even let get a couple big tires get a little muddy at the finish line end of the mud pits. Nasty Boy nailed some slap wheelies and got good air to finish on a high note. Unnamed and Untamed performed well one last time as driver and team leader Sam Sturges looked towards the sky once more and got some good air to seal the deal. As Jeff Bainter freestyled the track, Jeff knew he had only one more chance to please the fans. So, the multi-decade veteran of monster trucks cross-threaded the mud pits to put the crowd on their feet one more time.

In other action, a trio of local favorite racers called the Wolfpack, piloting mega trucks took to the floor and tried to duplicate the action supplied by the monsters. They jumped over the concrete blocks, went up the dirt ramps and one truck even rolled over twice in the same show. Also, fans were treated to a different kind of burnout. Only one car appeared, but the ensuing burnout resulted in thick pink smoke. Fans were also treated to numerous classes of thick, oozy, side by side mud bog racing. Finally, History Channel star and stuntman Dr. Danger teamed up with another Mike Welch alum Sammy “The Rocka” Baca to bring the iconic Wall of Steel stunt. Both times the stunt was executed beautifully.

Finally, the intermission in both shows ended with the doctor appearing to “blow up” some persons and lighting them on fire. The fans were advised to “not try this at home as these performers were professionals with special safety gear”. Both times this highly dangerous stunt was done successfully, safely and no one was injured.

Well, we at “The Allen Report” now turn our attention towards the majestic, peaceful and 30 degrees cooler Del Mar, California, where our friends at WGAS Motorsports put on an exceptional show every year. Well, thank you for reading, a sincere thank you goes out to Mike Welch and the Freaks of Freestyle crew for a great show and a great time, enjoy the photos, and cheer on!

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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Show – Xenia, OH 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Show
Venue: Kil-Kare Raceway
Location: Xenia, Ohio
Date: June 4th, 2016
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

Bad News Travels Fast (Brandon Derrow), Holman’s Beast (Bobby Holman), Predator (Allen Pezo), Samson (Allison Patrick), Son of Beast (Cody Holman), Virginia Giant (Diehl Wilson) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship Weekend – Loveland, CO 2016

Event Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship Weekend
Venue: Budweiser Events Center
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Date: April 8th-9th, 2016
Photographer: John Roberts

Truck Lineup

Dawg Pound (Vern House), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Dan Runte) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: 4-Wheel Jambore Nationals – Lima, OH 2016

Event Information

Event: 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Venue: Allen County Fairgrounds
Location: Lima, Ohio
Date: January 15th-16th, 2016
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

General Tire (Dale Benear), Lucas Oil Bigfoot #21 (Larry Swim), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke), Venom (Denver Echternkamp) [Read more…]

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

“The Allen Report” is back and we return to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, California, this time in the month of May for the popular Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals. Turlock is a relaxed, peaceful town where the biggest disturbance is normally the frequent freight train. However, there was some additional noise in the air on Friday and Saturday night where seven high flying, car smashing monster trucks arrived to do battle in bus munching, donut spinning freestyle.

Making the trip from Tonganoxie, Kansas were Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter. Popular hometown driver Russell Steeley stepped up to drive team truck Iron Outlaw for the final time so he could give his pulling truck his sole attention in the near future. From just down the road in Menifee, California, were the father/son duo of Rick and Eric Swanson. Former Monster Jam Young Guns Shootout competitor Eric was behind the wheel of his pickup bodied Obsessed and Rick continued his 20th anniversary of professional monster trucking in his breathtaking Obsession, complete with a film strip featuring just a fraction of his numerous TV and commercial appearances running down either side. Rounding out the field was Tony Canedo, who brought all three of his trucks, ready to give a good show to the crowd. David Tucker would take the wheel of Survivor and Jeff Souza would pilot Enforcer while Tony himself stuck to his usual Play ‘N for Keeps.

With two buses to crush, a van stack at the arena entry, two great spaces for getting into the spin cycle and several tuff truck jumps to get the monsters off the ground, there was no room for error and every freestyle point would count. As the huge crowd filed in for the pre-show autograph session and the show on Friday night, the drivers could feel the pressure.

First truck out was Jeff Souza and Enforcer who immediately got huge air over the bus stack. Obsession with Rick Swanson at the wheel came out next, got good air and great donuts. The third truck in the order was Survivor, and the iconic Pacific Northwest name under new ownership put together a great run, clearing the tuff truck jumps and doing a nosedive over the bus that saw driver David Tucker just barely bring it back down onto all fours. Next in line was Iron Outlaw, who cleared the entire bus stack completely, kept the speed up the whole run and did some lightning fast cyclones as Russ Steeley finished up his second to last ever run in a monster truck. His effort rewarded him with a score of 86 with 100 being perfection. Truck after truck came after him but it wasn’t until the last truck in line and former World Champion hit the floor. Jimmy Creten matched Russell jump for jump, but carried several great wheelies across the fairgrounds floor to take the lead and the Friday night victory.

The second and final night of monster truck competition saw a big crowd and bigger efforts by every monster pilot in the field. However, the end of the night came a little too soon for the first truck out Enforcer. Coming down from the van stack awkwardly, the 1990s West Coast monster legend in its new form blew the left front tire. Jeff Souza wasn’t hurt, however, and that was the closest to a major incident the whole night. In his last ever appearance behind the wheel of a monster vehicle, hometown hitter Russell Steeley gave huge air over the bus, and an admirable wheelie attempt to put him back in the lead with the championship in sight. The young rising star Eric Swanson pushed his machine to its limit, clearing the bus stack both ways and turning in his family’s usual great donuts to get the crowd screaming. Last out was the only driver who could earn back to back titles. Jimmy Creten gave everything the fans wanted; big air, wheelies and donuts. It was not an unrewarded attempt either as the second perfect score in as many nights garnered Bounty Hunter the double victory. Both the 2Xtreme drivers were interviewed for the crowd and were thankful to the fans for showing up to support them.

In other race action, Jeff Souza’s son Hunter, Lee Plato’s son Shane and Corbin Shockey practiced for the big leagues with the Wrecking Machine, Skull Krusher and Monster Buddy mini monsters, respectively. Also there was one at a time, vehicle against timed tuff truck racing which saw the crowd cheering the reckless drivers and booing the cautious ones. One of the tuff truck participants was former Mike Welch Motorsports driver Sammy Baca out of Modesto, CA. Finally, the future of racing was on full display as kids drove Junior Outlaw Sprint and Mini Dwarf racecars on a tight oval around the bus stack with very little room to overtake. This made the racing exciting for all in attendance. During opening ceremonies for both shows, a moment of silence was held for longtime WGAS announcer Lloyd Massey who tragically passed away just days before the Monster Jam World Finals this year.

Okay, now we at “The Allen Report” look to make a return to Longview, Washington, to support Mike Welch Freaks of Freestyle and we do so hoping for better weather this time. In the meantime, thank you for reading, a special thank you to Chelsea Kessler and the entire WGAS crew for having us, enjoy the photos, don’t forget to follow us in real time under the name “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris” on Facebook and Instagram, and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Maricopa County Fair Monster Trucks – Phoenix, AZ 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report, we make a short trip over to the Arizona State Fairgrounds, which sees a wide variety of entertainment forms over the course of a calendar year, from expos and trade shows to concerts and, on two of the last three days of the 2016 Maricopa County Fair, earth shaking, sky touching monster trucks. Six of the best monster trucks in the southwest arrived in the Sanderson Ford Arena to do battle in an all freestyle event on Friday, and side by side racing as well as freestyle on Sunday.

Making the trip over from Menifee, California were the father and son duo of Rick and Eric Swanson. Rick drove his beautiful 20th Anniversary body on his usual Obsession while former Young Guns Shootout competitor Eric took time off from his trophy truck body and reverted to his longstanding pickup shell on Obsessed. Driving up from Tucson, Arizona were all three trucks in the Sturges Motorsports entourage. Per usual, Sam Sturges drove the 1942 Dodge Panel Wagon Unnamed & Untamed. Longtime friend Gary Ely took the helm of fan favorite Nasty Boy and Cesar Nunez made the trip across the border from Mexico to pilot the 1963 split window Corvette Rat Attack. Finally, Rod Wood’s stepson Murphy McCrorey got behind the wheel of McGruff the Crime Dog.

To open the freestyle only show on Friday evening, each monster made a jump over an obstacle on the floor one after the other. Unfortunately for Sam Sturges, the intro saw an input shaft in the transmission break, bringing his night to a premature end. To raise the curtain on the competition, Rick Swanson played it cool, getting decent air off the cross thread jump in the middle and finishing it up with his customary donuts. Next up was Murphy in McGruff, in his first monster truck action since a car accident a few years ago. Murphy lived up to his nickname “Werewolf”, starting with a great entry jump, cleared the double in the middle of the floor, and got some great cyclones, making it look like he had never left the driver’s seat. Cesar Nunez was not to be outdone, getting even bigger air and continuing the donut craze. Last out was the 20 year old rising star Eric Swanson. Early in his run, he shot for the moon off the cross thread jump and landed hard on the left rear tire, causing all kinds of damage to the rear end of the truck. Despite the mishap, the crowd was roaring for the kid. With the next show not until Sunday, all the teams with broken trucks had no shortage of time to get their machines back together.

On Sunday a huge crowd piled into the grandstand ready for some hot and heavy, heads up competition. In the opening round of reverse Chicago style racing, innocence briefly trumped experience as Eric Swanson in his fully repaired Obsessed upset the Unnamed and Untamed vehicle. Sam Sturges still advanced, however, as the fastest loser. When both Rick and Eric dispensed of their semi final round opponents, all signs pointed to a great final. And it didn’t disappoint, with the father getting the jump over the son off the start line, but Eric had made up the ground halfway home. With all eyes on the finish line, Eric just barely hit his finish line jump before his dad, taking the racing win.

In freestyle, Sam Sturges was angry after losing twice in racing, and it showed in his driving, getting huge air off the double and carrying on a team tradition with gorgeous slap wheelies. During one of these moves, Sam kept the move going right over the grandstand side racing jump. Murphy McCrorey was on another roll with McGruff before the head gasket in the transmission snapped, ending his weekend. Gary Ely gave an admirable effort in Nasty Boy with very good hang time and decent attempts at slap wheelies. Much to the delight of the fans, both Rick and Eric Swanson entered the floor right behind the other and started a game of follow the leader. The fans were on their feet for the father and son pair as they stepped out of their monsters to end the afternoon show.

In the fair closing evening show, Obsessed got a bye run with only five trucks. But in the semi final round against Rat Attack, Eric never got going, giving an easy win to the sleek hot rod monster and with it a berth in the finals. Rick Swanson ended Unnamed and Untamed’s racing night to advance to the finals and one last shot at a racing win. Rick poured on the gas in the straightaways and took the win to evenly split the racing glory between his son and himself.

In the last monster competition of the weekend, Sam Sturges gave excellent slap wheelies, continued to reach for the sky and turned in an overall exciting run. Cesar Nunez refused to be upstaged and turned in some great air off the double jump and some fast donuts to put himself in the hunt for the win. But the fans got on their feet once more when again Eric and Rick Swanson took to the floor in their monsters at the same time. Both went the wrong way up the rarely used step up behind the double, and turned in some dizzying donuts to end the monster entertainment at the fair.

In other action, the crowd was treated to smash n bash, all or nothing democross racing, a combination of off road racing and demolition derby. Fans cheered on and on as intentional spinouts, heavy contact and all around vehicular assault played out in front of them. Well, next we at “The Allen Report” seek to return to Turlock, California, for the popular annual Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals, featuring eight big monster trucks, two mini monsters, ride trucks and freestyle motocross. Look for more coverage coming then. Well, thank you for reading, a special thanks to Zack McKinley and all the Grand Canyon State Promotions crew for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Columbus, OH 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Date: April 2nd, 2016
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

El Toro Loco (Mark List), Grave Digger (Cole Venard), Maximum Destruction (Jared Eichelberger), Monster Mutt Dalmation (Cynthia Gauthier), Monster Mutt Rottweiler (Daron Basl), NEA (Aaron Basl), Scooby Doo (Brianna Mahon), Zombie (Bari Musawwir) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Toughest Monster Truck Tour – Stockton, CA 2016

Event Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Stockton Arena
Location: Stockton, California
Date: March 25th-26th, 2016
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Double Trouble (Tyler Groth), Obsession (Rick Swanson), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Summit Bigfoot #18 (Larry Swim), Trouble Maker (Travis Groth) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Fort Wayne, IN 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date: March 11th, 2016
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

Bigfoot #19 (Darron Schnell), Holman’s Beast (Bobby Holman), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Son of Beast (Cody Holman) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Toledo, OH 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: The Huntington Center
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Date: March 4th, 2016
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Truck Lineup

El Toro Loco (Marc MacDonald), Grave Digger (Charlie Pauken), Mad Scientist (Lee O’Donnell), Mechanical Mayhem (Jim Burns), Monster Mutt Dalmation (Candice Jolly), Team Hot Wheels Firestorm (Scott Buetow), Thunder 4×4 (Jim Bendzick), Zombie Hunter (Miranda Cozad) [Read more…]

The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to West Valley City, Utah, just outside Salt Lake. It’s a city with an extensive sports résumé from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, to minor league baseball, to major league hockey and basketball. But on this weekend, the All Star Monster Truck Tour arrived in the Maverik Center with six car crushing, high flying monster trucks. All the way from Lafayette, Indiana was Aaron Cain piloting the world’s largest ATV, Quad Chaos. Right behind was teammate Jerry Beck behind the wheel of the world’s only flying dump truck, the Dodge bodied Dirt Crew. During the pit parties, there were some construction toys behind Dirt Crew for the kids to play with. Tucson, Arizona’s own Unnamed & Untamed was in the house, driven by Sam Sturges, as was Nasty Boy with Derek Ritter at the controls. Defending the Utah home turf was West Jordan’s Ron Duncombe and the Maverik Monster Trakker. Finally, Kreg Christensen from South Willard took time off from the Australian monster truck circuit to bring his radical looking part Studebaker, part Camaro monster known as Wicked to the arena.

Wheelie contest, single pass obstacle course racing and freestyle were the weekend’s competitions for the monsters. With points on the line for every discipline to determine an overall champion in each show, every round counted and consistency would win.

On Friday evening, things got off to a wild start when Nasty Boy, the first truck out in wheelie contest, went far beyond vertical and rolled onto its side. The driver was okay, but making only one of a maximum of two attempts meant his score wouldn’t be much, only 10 out of a possible 20. Unnamed & Untamed, a monster set up very well for wheelies, gave an admirable attempt off both the step up obstacle and the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 13. The very next truck was Dirt Crew and he gave an excellent run, pointing the dump truck’s nose towards the ceiling of the Maverik Center. The judges rewarded him with a score of 14. Jerry Beck was able to hold off both of the last two competitors to take the wheelie contest win and take the points lead.

In obstacle course, the imperfect figure 8 style track proved tricky for even the experienced drivers, as Sam Sturges turned in a lap in just under 22 seconds. Looking to better his chances at the overall championship, Jerry Beck threw down a very good pass to take the new fastest time at 18.54. But the twenty four year veteran of the sport, Kreg Christensen went even faster, clocking in a time of 16.37. The last truck in the order, Quad Chaos, couldn’t do better and Wicked stormed into the overall championship lead with only freestyle to go.

In the main event, Monster Trakker went out first as electrical problems kept Nasty Boy off the floor and out of the competition. Ron Duncombe’s efforts, including a decent sky wheelie and good air off the step up garnered him a score of 25 of a possible 40. Dirt Crew was fourth in line of the six trucks and put together an all-around exciting run. The professional judges gave him a score of 28 with only Wicked and teammate Quad Chaos left to go. But Kreg Christensen was a man on a mission, getting huge air off the FMX mountain, nailing a reverser over the crush cars and rarely letting off the loud pedal to get the crowd roaring. The judges rewarded his run with a 35 point score. Quad Chaos just couldn’t match the international superstar and Wicked took the freestyle and overall event championships to start the weekend.

In the first of two shows on Saturday, Sam Sturges improved greatly from the first show, pointing U&U’s nose at the roof of the arena. His efforts did not go unnoticed by the judges as his score was 14, leaving only a six point window in which Sam could be overtaken. Wicked and Dirt Crew both gave everything they had, but could only tie for second. Sam Sturges won the wheelie contest, making it two different winners in as many wheelie competitions.

Full of confidence after getting his first win of the weekend, Sam did not let up in the obstacle course, finishing his lap in a time of 20.91. Wicked was the fourth truck out in the ladder and slowed down a little from the first show with an elapsed time of 18.32, but it was still good enough to take the top spot on the grid. Next up was Quad Chaos, who fell short of the number one spot by just six-tenths of a second. The last truck in line, Dirt Crew, was a full second off the high watermark, giving back to back obstacle course wins to Kreg Christensen.

On to freestyle, where Ron Duncombe’s weekend came to a premature end when a hard landing off the FMX mountain blew out the rear shocks on both sides. Despite the damage, Ron’s score was still very good at 30, just ten points shy of perfection. Starting the second half of the field was the two time obstacle course winner, who soared through the afternoon sky off the FMX ramp, again hit the cars in reverse and stood on the throttle again and again to receive a score of 35. The last two monsters just couldn’t clear the bar and Wicked got back to back overall championships. With only the evening show to go, there was one more shot for the other drivers to stop the clean sweep from the twenty four year veteran.

When the biggest crowd all weekend piled into the Maverik Center for the last show, the stakes were high, and the drivers didn’t disappoint. Jerry Beck and Dirt Crew gave a spectacular wheelie contest run and got a score of 17 to boot, leaving the window of opportunity very small. Two time overall champion Wicked came the closest at 15, but it wasn’t enough to stop Dirt Crew from becoming the multi-time wheelie contest winner for the weekend.

During obstacle course racing, things got wild with the first two trucks in line. Unnamed & Untamed got up on two wheels but saved it. The lack of time on the board due to a DNF wasn’t enough to silence the crowd. Nasty Boy, even fighting electrical issues between shows also bicycled for a moment before saving it, all this before driver Derek Ritter had even staged for his run.

This gave the fans an even bigger reason to cheer. When Wicked took to the track, the time he had to beat, 19.39, had been laid down one run earlier by Dirt Crew. Kreg was up to the challenge, and he stepped up. The hybrid hot rod turned in a time that was faster than his nearest competitor by almost three seconds at 16.5. This meant that the overall championship clean sweep was within reach and the same feat for obstacle course had been done.

On to the crowd favorite freestyle, where Unnamed & Untamed got off to a fast start with wheelies and even donuts to get a score of 27. Quad Chaos went for one last shot to take a win with big air and clearing the crush cars. A score of 34 meant there was still room left for the two winningest trucks that had still to run. Both Dirt Crew and Wicked had incredible runs that had the crowd cheering on and on. In a strange turn of events, both trucks tied with scores of 35. But Wicked had more points coming into the cheer off, so the former Dragon Slayer owner and past Maximum Destruction driver already had the overall championship swept for the weekend. And when the crowd erupted in Kreg’s favor during the freestyle deciding cheer off, it was clear that the weekend sweep of the crowd favorite competition belonged to Wicked as well, closing out the weekend.

During a winning interview, Kreg revealed to an enthusiastic audience that the year 2017 marked his twenty-fifth year in the business and, with it, the return of the Dragon Slayer monster Hummer. Other action saw highly competitive Pro Arena Truck racing, a longstanding tradition at the Maverik Center. The racing was tight and fast with three different winners in as many races. Also, freestyle motocross rider Paul “Smitty” Smith gave the fans a wide variety of gravity defying, death cheating tricks, culminating in backflip variations.

Well, we now turn our attention to the biggest monster truck event in the world, the Monster Jam World Finals. The next edition of “The Allen Report” is currently slated to come to you from the Maricopa County Fair in our hometown of Phoenix. For up to the minute, instant updates from our travels, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram under “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris“. On that note, thank you for reading, a sincere thank-you to Bryan Wagner and the entire All Star Monster Truck Tour staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Lake Charles, LA 2016

Event Information

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Lake Charles Civic Center
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Date: February 26th-27th, 2016
Photographer: Matthew Ison (Check out Matthew Ison Photography on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Dawg Pound (Vern House), Ghost Ryder (Larry Quick), Girl Power (Shannon Quick), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Summit Bigfoot #18 (Larry Swim) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Toughest Monster Truck Tour – Saginaw, MI 2016

Event Information

Event: Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Dow Event Center
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Date: February 12th, 2016
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Dawg Pound (Vern House), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Dan Runte) [Read more…]