(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)
This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a road trip to the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah for the second consecutive year. Six roof-shaking, noise-making monster trucks arrived to go to war in Best Trick competition, Side by Side Drag racing and the high flying, car munching insanity of freestyle.
In front of his home state crowd was West Jordan’s own Ron Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. From the southern city of Hurricane, Utah, was Brian Christensen, son of Kreg Christensen, and his ogre-themed monster truck called D’Sturbed. The other competitors this weekend were all part of the Straight Up Racing stable. John Bruce drove the brand new, ferocious looking, bulldog themed 10,000 Pound Hound. This truck attracted long autograph lines at the pre-show pit parties. Also present was Dallas Glenn Rogers in Identity Theft. Ezra Wilson arrived in the sleek black 1934 Ford Sedan, California Kid. Finally, team co-owners Bill and Lorna Payne in Rock Star.
Points were on the line for each competition on the card. A perfect score in Best Trick would be 20, while one could garner up to 30 points from winning drag racing and a maximum of 40 points for winning freestyle. Points would be tallied throughout each show and whoever had the most points after all three competition elements would be the Overall Show Champion.
In the weekend opener of Friday night, it didn’t take long for things to heat up on the track. In Best Trick, each monster had only one shot to do whatever trick they could as spectacularly as possible. Identity Theft and Maverik Monster Trakker both made admirable attempts at sky wheelies off the back sides of the racing lanes. The second to last truck out was D’Sturbed, who put forth a beautiful sky wheelie and garnered a score of 15. This threw down the gauntlet to Bill and Lorna Payne, but the couple was ready. The two walked the truck across and down the racing lane jump with fantastic balance and control to take the win with a score of 18, taking the early lead on the road to the Overall Championship.
In drag racing, reaction time off the starting line was going to be crucial in deciding the results. Rock Star and 10,000 Pound Hound disposed of their respective opponents to advance to the semi-finals. In an incredible photo finish, Maverik Monster Trakker squeaked out a narrow victory over D’Sturbed. Brian Christensen would still advance, however, as the fastest loser and get a rematch with Ron Duncombe. Ten-Thousand Pound Hound upset team truck Rock Star and Maverik Monster Trakker went two for two against D’Sturbed to set up the championship race. Monster Trakker got off the line first and never looked back, crossing the line first, taking the Racing win and staying in the hunt for the Overall Championship.
In freestyle, there was no time limit and the entire track was fair game, all but ensuring an all out battle for the freestyle and Overall Titles. Sadly, 10,000 Pound Hound had broken an input shaft in the transmission, taking him out for the night. Fortunately, the truck would be fixed in plenty of time to perform in both shows the next day. Identity Theft put together decent sky wheelies and going over the double jump the wrong way to put together a respectable run and a score of 21. The bar was raised to a new standard when California Kid came out. Ezra Wilson walked the truck down both race lanes extremely well, had high speed and smashed the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 30. D’Sturbed went out next and put together a storming run, pointing his front tires in the air more than once, carrying consistent high speed and even making fine tries at donuts. Getting into the spin cycle would prove difficult for even the experienced drivers as it was tough to lose traction on the tacky, grip-filled dirt inside the Maverik Center. The last truck to go, Rock Star, had super speed going and had done awesome sky wheelies before an awkward hit sent the truck onto its roof. Bill and Lorna were okay and Rock Star suffered only minimal damage. When the score of 34 was handed down and the points measured, Rock Star had done enough to claim the Overall Championship to much adulation from the spectators.
The last two shows of the weekend the next day would prove action packed. Two streaks would continue in the matinee performance, with Maverik Monster Trakker taking two trophies in two racing competitions. However, Rock Star took both of the other two competitions to win his second straight Overall Championship.
In the last Best Trick of the weekend, Brian Christensen and D’Sturbed went far beyond vertical, even bringing the rear tires off the dirt, and brought it back down on all fours to bring the crowd to its feet. The cheering continued when an almost perfect score of 19, and eventually, the Best Trick win, was rewarded. Maverik Monster Trakker took out 10,000 Pound Hound, D’Sturbed and Rock Star to nail a clean sweep in Racing.
In the last competition of the weekend, California Kid again took the lead early in freestyle with a score of 31. Brian Christensen became the new leader with very high speed, the best cyclones of the weekend and great air over the double jump to secure the lead in both freestyle and the overall by one single point, a score of 32. Bill and Lorna Payne had a streak to defend in freestyle, but the first jump busted a $7 bolt on one of the front four link bars, forcing the officials to shut off the truck for safety purposes. This meant the end of Rock Star’s chances of an Overall Championship clean sweep as D’Sturbed ended the weekend on a high note as the final Overall Champion, or “All Star of the Night”, as the All Star Monster Truck Tour officials called it.
Also featured in the night was bar to bar, wheel to wheel ATV racing. One heat saw a rider take off from the start before the green flag. Another saw the lead rider with one lap to go start to head back to the pits in victory one lap too early, costing him the heat race victory and a shot at a front row starting spot in the main. Finally, a tradition continued inside the Maverik Center with a unique twist to it. After years of side by side racing, tuff trucks would race solo over a lap and a half track against the clock. With multiple races decided by less than a single second, the action was heated.
We at “The Allen Report” now turn our attention towards a new adventure with our friends at WGAS Motorsports as we look to go to their annual Riverside County Fair show in Indio, California. John Borba has always put on great shows for us to cover for years and we look forward to venturing to this particular show for the very first time.
All that being said, we want to send a huge, sincere “Thank You” to Bryan Wagner and the whole All Star Monster Truck Tour for hosting us again, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!