Monster Photos

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monster Photos: Monster Madness – Hillsboro, MO 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Madness
Venue: Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Location: Hillsboro, Missouri
Date: July 23rd, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Big Dawg (Josh Morris), Jailbird (Kaylyn Migues), Nitro Menace (Darren Migues), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Bash 2 – Quincy, IL 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Bash 2
Venue: Quincy Raceways
Location: Quincy, Illinois
Date: July 21st, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Basher (Jeremy Sharrett), Big Kahuna (Shane England), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Tail Gator (Doug Noelke), Venom (Denver Echternkamp), XDP (Dave Radzierez) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Summer Smash Monster Truck Show – Evansville, IN 2017

Event Information

Event: Summer Smash Monster Truck Show
Venue: Vanderburgh County 4H Center
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Date: July 14th-15th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), Brutus (Brad Allen), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Lucas Oil BIGFOOT #18 (Josh Gibson), Raminator (Mark Hall), Rammunition (Mat Dishman), Scarlet Bandit (Dawn Creten), USA-1 (Roger Gauger) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Throwdown – South Bend, IN 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Throwdown
Venue: St. Joseph County 4H Fair
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Date: July 8th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Ballistic (Mac Plecker), Barbarian (Devin Jones), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Reckless Drivin (Jeremy Hosman), Wild Side (Jay Beckner) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Throwdown – Marion, OH 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Throwdown
Venue: Marion County Fairgrounds
Location: Marion, Ohio
Date: July 7th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Barbarian (Devin Jones), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Samson (Rick Steffens) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Throwdown – Sun Prairie, WI 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Throwdown
Venue: Angell Park Speedway
Location: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Date: June 24th-25th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Brad Allen), Axe (Michael Thompson), Barbarian (Devin Jones), Miss Over Bored (Deidra Ballard), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Reckless Drivin (Jeremy Hosman) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Minnesota Monster Madness – Elk River, MN 2017

Event Information

Event: Minnesota Monster Madness
Venue: ERX Motor Park
Location: Elk River, Minnesota
Date: June 23rd, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Big Kahuna (Shane England), Black Stallion (Michael Vaters), Bounty Hunter (Christian Norman), Higher Education (Preston Perez), Incinerator (Ryan Rice), Iron Outlaw (Mikael Christensen), Iron Warrior (Matt Cody), Jailbird (Kaylyn Migues), Midnight Rider (Tom Herzog), Monster Patrol (Michael Phelps), Nitro Menace (Darren Migues), Overkill Evolution (Michael Vaters Jr.), Rat Nasty (James Trantina), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom), Summit Bigfoot #21 (Larry Swim), Twisted Addiction (Tim Jones) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: All Star Monster Truck Tour – Cresco, IA 2017

Event Information

Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Howard County Fairgrounds
Location: Cresco, Iowa
Date: June 21st, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Bounty Hunter (Christian Norman), Iron Outlaw (Mikael Christensen), Jailbird (Kaylyn Migues), Nitro Menace (Darren Migues) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals – Springfield, MO 2017

Event Information

Event: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals
Venue: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Date: June 16th-17th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), Barbarian (Devin Jones), Dirt Crew (Tim Missentzis), Equalizer (Joe Yatsko), Hot Tamale (Richie Yatsko), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Rage (Mike Thompson) [Read more…]

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Nationals – Springfield, IL 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Nationals
Venue: Illinois State Fairgrounds
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Date: June 11th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Bad News Travels Fast (Brandon Derrow), Basher (John Fitzgerald), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Hurricane Force (Steve Thompson), Lucas Oil Bigfoot #19 (Darron Schnell) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals – Miami, OK 2017

Event Information

Event: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals
Venue: Ottawa County Fairgrounds
Location: Miami, Oklahoma
Date: June 9th-10th, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Avenger (Jim Koehler), Axe (Mike Thompson), Barbarian (Devin Jones), Big Chief (Chris Trussell), Big Kahuna (Shane England), Dirt Crew (Jerry Beck), Equalizer (Mike Hawkins), Hot Tamale (Joe Yatsko), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Quad Chaos (Aaron Cain), Rage (Corey Rummell), Spike (Brad Allen) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Racing League – Indianapolis, IN 2017

Event Information

Event: Monster Truck Racing League
Venue: Indianapolis Speedrome
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: June 3rd, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Basher (Steven Snellen), Buckshot (Brandon Budd), Equalizer (Mike Hawkins), Heavy Hitter (Derick Anson), Hot Tamale (Joe Yatsko), Rap Attack (Dave Rappach), Snake Bite (Vinny Venom) [Read more…]

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2017.