The Allen Report: Monster Trucks & FMX – Phoenix, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we go to the Arizona State Fairgrounds, a venue that has pretty much seen it all for the past one-hundred and thirty years, from the pre-war capital of motor racing in the city of Phoenix to a premier rodeo venue. And, of course, the Sanderson Ford Arena has seen no shortage of monster truck action, as it did over the fair closing weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Six gear grinding, ground pounding monster trucks arrived to do battle in six shows throughout the weekend. The shows consisted of wheelie contest and freestyle over Friday and Saturday before the High Jump and freestyle competitions on Sunday.

The shows featured Lake Havasu City, Arizona’s Mark Schroeder and his Felon truck. From just a few hours south of Phoenix was Rod Wood and his McGruff monster, ready to take a bite out of the competition. There also was Mexico’s Cesar Nunez driving the sleek 1963 split window Corvette Rat Attack. There also was the California based father and son team of Rick and Eric Swanson. Rick, as usual, piloted his bright yellow trophy truck Obsession and twenty year old Eric took the helm of his blue pickup truck bodied Obsessed. Rounding out the field was Tucson’s Sam Sturges in his 1942 Dodge Panel Wagon Unnamed & Untamed.

The heads-up competition only got hotter as the weekend went on. In wheelie contest on Friday evening, all trucks gave great efforts, each driver pushing his truck to the limit to get the best wheelie possible. Things quickly boiled down to a showdown between McGruff and Rat Attack, both going vertical with regularity, often to good response from the huge crowd. In freestyle, the two wheelie bumps, a set of crush cars and a huge center ramp were all fair game to win over the audience. Both Rat Attack and McGruff got huge air over the center ramp while Felon worked his signature wheelies and did some cyclones that truly were dirt slinging to end the opening show on Friday.

On Saturday, the veteran Sam Sturges and Unnamed & Untamed got off to a fast start in the wheelie contest, going straight up and down to push way ahead of father and son Swanson. But in doing so, Unnamed broke an axle. The California team caught up quickly in freestyle, however, as both Rick and Eric smashed the crush cars and soared over the arena floor thanks to the big ramp in the middle, plus some great cross thread moves, all attempting to win over the fans. Because of Sam Sturges’ breakage, Cesar Nunez in Rat Attack stepped up to take his place. Not resting on his laurels from the first two shows, the corvette monster had an excellent power wheelie while the Obsession trucks struggled to do the same. But when it came to freestyle, Rick and Eric did not back down, getting increasingly big air into the night sky and crushing the cars multiple times to thunderous applause from the capacity crowd.

In the third show of the weekend midway through Saturday, McGruff was in a class all his own, breaking away from the competition. He did so with a great forty-five degree angle wheelie and changing things up with a terrific sky wheelie off the crush cars. And the fans ate it up. In freestyle, the end of Felon’s weekend came a little premature when the motor broke and the damage was not repairable. This left a shootout between Rat Attack and McGruff. But ignition problems plagued Rat Attack from the very start, giving the best run to the Tucson native behind the wheel of McGruff.

On the final day of the fair, show organizers changed things up for the crowd by having McGruff take the place of Obsessed. This led to a battle in wheelie contest for the ages. Both the Tucson representatives in McGruff and Unnamed & Untamed stood straight up and down with no clear winner between the two.

In the final show of the weekend, the High Jump competition had the crowd cheering on and the drivers continued to push their machines. Each monster got two jumps each to outperform the others. No official winner was announced to the enormous number of spectators in the stands, but Obsessed and Rat Attack clearly went the highest of all. In the fair closing freestyle, both Rat Attack and Unnamed & Untamed went for broke with superb slap wheelies, but McGruff put together an exciting run that had the fans cheering practically from start to finish by smashing the crush cars, and great sky wheelies to wrap things up for the monsters at the fair for 2015.

In other action, four daredevil freestyle motocross riders including a member of the famous Metal Mulisha wowed both the young and young at heart alike with spectacular tricks high above the arena floor. Well, we at “The Allen Report” are almost ready to catch a plane to Auburn, Indiana, home of the fifth Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion, where four legendary monster truck personalities will become enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Thank you for reading, a sincere thanks to Zack McKinley and Grand Canyon State Promotions for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Globe, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a short trip over to Globe, Arizona, a small town where mining, copper and quaint little shops are a natural part of life. But on this night at the Gila County Fairgrounds, four gear grinding, dirt slinging monster trucks made their debut at the county fair to a packed and enthusiastic house. From just down the road in Marana, Arizona was Rod Wood driving McGruff, ready to take a bite out of the competition. From the polar opposite side of the state in Parker, Arizona were Mark Schroeder and his truck convicted of mass devastation, the Felon. Finally, New Mexico’s Jack Koberna brought two of his trucks to the show. Jack himself drove the Rislone sponsored Tuff-E-Nuff while friend “T-Bone” took the reins of the world’s only two wheel drive monster truck, Cyborg. A standing room only crowd took to the grandstand to watch wheelie contest, Chicago style racing and car munching, high flying freestyle.

By hitting the cars the wrong way, wheelie contest was sure to be interesting. Cyborg was first out and gave very good efforts. Felon set the bar for both trucks to come with a pair of very good forty-five degree angle wheelies. McGruff, police LED lights flashing brightly, gave excellent attempts hoping to win over the fans. The monster truck legend from New Mexico Jack Koberna only continued the game of top this with a good sky wheelie then followed it up with an amazing slap wheelie that put the crowd on its feet. No official winner was crowned, but the fans cheered on for all competitors.

On to side by side racing, where only two jumps as opposed to the regular three were needed to achieve victory. In the first heat Felon defeated Cyborg in a clean cut, straight up manner to advance to the finals. The second heat was one to remember. Going through the one and only turn, Tuff-E-Nuff went wide and smacked the freestyle van stack with one tire. Not wanting to lose, Jack stood on the throttle to barely beat opponent McGruff. However, his rear tires had not centered up from the turn. This sent the Chevy trophy truck into a nasty sideways rollover and it continued rolling until it was back on its wheels, causing the crowd to erupt. Despite the good show, McGruff was kept on the floor and officials sent Felon out to get the finals in the books. The final race was too close to call and with no official line judges or designated finish line, the fate of the race was put in the hands of the fans, whose loud applause was in McGruff’s favor.

With that, we were on to the main event of freestyle where Rod Wood put together an unbelievable run by smashing both the motor home at one end of the floor and the van on the other, big jumps over the cars and dusty cyclones to ongoing cheers from the crowd. Cyborg had a good hit over the van and decent sky wheelies going when driveline issues forced the monster’s pilot to end his run early. Mark Schroeder and Felon only raised the bar higher still with wheelies, donuts, and even a couple jumps using the floor boundary construction barrier as the ramp. Finally, Tuff-E-Nuff fought a broken sway bar by doing some excellent cross thread moves over the cars and van, destroying what was left of the motor home and culminating in donuts that went on and on until you couldn’t see the monster. Despite the lack of freestyle winner, the beyond capacity crowd, well used to demolition derbies were extremely approving of the first monster truck outing at the fair.

In between monster action was one at a time, vehicle versus clock mud bog racing. After a slow start, many of the vehicles made it to the other end of the pit, often with increasingly faster times. As dirty as it was, the fans loved it. As for us at “The Allen Report”, you will next hear from us at some of the biggest shows our friends at WGAS Motorsports put together all year, the Southern California Fair in Perris. Till then, thank you for reading, a special thank-you to the Gila County Fairgrounds for hosting us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Off Road Racing & Monster Trucks – Chandler, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a short trip to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, the former Firebird Raceway, which for over thirty years answered the call to fans of nearly every motorsport from drag racing on asphalt and water to off road racing and yes, monster trucks. Two of the biggest monster truck names in the state were on hand to provide exciting intermission entertainment between races at the sixth round of the Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Racing Series of Arizona. Sam Sturges came with his classic green and black 1940s Panel Wagon Unnamed & Untamed and right behind him was former Team 2Xtreme and Bad Habit Racing crew member Ben “Bobo” Winslow driving the famous blue and yellow of Nasty Boy.

With the freestyle track consisting of only two construction barriers, one of which was on top of the front straightaway, race track jumps and two junked vans, the drivers had the rare challenge of giving a good show with very little to work with. However, the monster pilots stepped up and had the fans cheering every time.

The first of three rounds of freestyle was essentially a game of “Follow the Leader”, with both trucks hitting every obstacle right after the other. Nasty Boy pulled off wheelies that have made the truck famous in the state of Arizona, much to the crowd’s delight. The man known as “Wildman Sam” often went perfectly vertical going down the frontstretch jump after hitting the construction barriers. In the second round, both monster vehicles went their separate ways, both getting excellent wheelstands and Unnamed even did some donuts to keep the crowd excited. Not to be outdone, Nasty Boy used the lane divider of the Off Road course as a wheelie bump. In the third and final round, both beasts had the crowd cheering on and on as both kept trying to upstage each other any way they could. Both gave great attempts at crushing the two side by side vans, but thanks to internal roll cages the vans held up surprisingly well despite the ten thousand pounds rolling over them. Still, even that couldn’t stop the crowd from cheering on and on as the drivers parked their machines nose to nose as a farewell to the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park fans.

When not enjoying the monster action, the big crowd on hand witnessed a variety of feature races of various off road classes from side-by-sides to trophy karts, many of which showcased heavy contact, multiple intense attempts to overtake and, in one case, a finish decided by a matter of inches. Also, the American Thunder monster ride truck was on the grounds ready to give the ride of a lifetime to any who wanted. Well, we at “The Allen Report” are about to settle down for a time before packing up again on the 4th of July weekend, bound for the always fun San Diego County Fair on the shores of Del Mar, California. That being said, thank you for reading, an sincere thanks to Ron Leach for giving us another good show close to home, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Phoenix, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on the Allen Report, we make our way to the Maricopa County Fair, which each year caters to a huge crowd with good food, thrilling rides and
excellent entertainment. On Friday and Sunday of the fair, the big crowd was in the Sanderson Ford Arena for high flying, super fast monster truck action. Tonight’s action would be provided through wheelie contest, roundy-round racing and freestyle. Friday featured Ben “Bobo” Winslow representing Sturges Motorsports in Nasty Boy. Fellow Tucson representatives Rod Wood and McGruff were in the house as well. The father and son team of Rick and Eric Swanson made the trip from California ready to give a show. On Sunday, these four were joined by the other two Sturges monster vehicles, Unnamed & Untamed with “Wildman Sam” Sturges at the controls and good friend Cesar Nunez at the helm of the ’63 Corvette Rat Attack.

On Friday, Nasty Boy and McGruff gave preview freestyle runs to get the crowd pumped up for later action. When the show officially began with wheelie contest, admirable efforts were given by all, but Rod Wood carried a beautiful slap wheelie most of the length of the floor despite little traction to the loudest applause from the crowd.

In side by side racing, officials decreed that not one but two laps would be required to achieve victory. In the heats, Rick Swanson had no trouble against Nasty Boy, punching his ticket to the finals. Son Eric did the same when Rod Wood gave a good race but was just unable to overtake the nineteen year old before the finish line jump. Before the finals, the two runners-up were bound for a third place race. But when mechanical issues prevented McGruff from firing up, the veteran Ben Winslow conserved his truck to make sure he got to the final jump and took third place. In the father and son racing finals, Rick had the lead halfway home but Eric was picking up speed. At the final jump of the bracket, nineteen year old Eric barely pulled out the victory, much to the delight of the audience.

In Freestyle, Nasty Boy soared through the Arizona sky and finally got the wheelies he had been seeking to much positive response from the crowd. Rod Wood was a man on a mission about not being able to race for third place and carried high speed, big air and superb cyclone donuts to put himself in the hunt for the freestyle win. Rick Swanson had had cross thread moves, huge air and great sky wheelies off the construction barriers, attempting to win over the fans. But Eric Swanson shot for the moon, duplicated his father’s sideways moves and put his truck into the spin cycle to the loudest cheers of all to sweep racing and freestyle the first night. With two shows to go on Sunday, the game was far from over.

On the first show Sunday, every driver gave good attempts, but Rod Wood did not rest on his laurels from two nights earlier, taking the second straight wheelie win, going straight up and down and riding it out for most of the arena floor. It wasn’t an easy win though, as Nasty Boy, Rat Attack and Unnamed & Untamed all gave the Tucson native a run for his money.

On to racing, where only one lap, not two, was needed to win. Rick Swanson buried the throttle to the floor to beat Nasty Boy coming to the finish line jump in the first round. He got the biggest air of the weekend, but a slap wheelie sent him into the concrete barriers at the the end of the track, heavily damaging the front differential. When only two trucks remained, Eric Swanson was looking to defend his Racing win streak, but Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed had other ideas. When the checkered flag flew, Eric’s trophy truck monster was was just ahead of his veteran opponent, going two for two in Racing. In freestyle, every driver threw caution to the wind, hoping to get the loudest response from the spectators possible. But once more, the second generation driver Eric Swanson put big air, high speed and dusty cyclones all into the mix to a clapping and cheering crowd, clearly sweeping the Racing and Freestyle again.

In the fair closing show late Sunday, Racing was cut from the program to make room for the filler acts. For freestyle, some of the losing democross cars were made into a seven car jump and two vans were put in place as well to be crushed. In the final wheelie contest, the man behind McGruff picked up where he left off with perfect verticality and superb distance in two of his three tries to sweep wheelies for the weekend. In the final freestyle competition of the Maricopa County Fair, every driver gave it all. Nasty Boy was first to hit the two vans which gave way underneath him, sending him on his side. Driver and former bullfighter Ben Winslow was just fine. Cesar Nunez performed well in the Rat Attack vehicle, hitting every jump with gusto before a blown front tire ended his run early. But the driver behind the wheel of Obsessed was a kid on a mission. Big air over the cars, dirt slinging cyclones and high speed all through the run erased any doubt who the winner was.

The other acts alongside monster trucks were side by side tuff truck racing, which was won by John Davis in vehicle number 1495, an off road style pickup truck. John was actually behind until the final lap, where his opponent started to celebrate his victory one lap too early. And the last man standing democross had the audience both cheering and laughing with intentional spinning out, thunderous contact and vehicles coming down from the jumps on top of opposing cars’ trunks. A timed event, this race went on and on until one car was still running. That car was number 86 with Tim Randall at the wheel.

Well, monster truck fans, we at “The Allen Report” are just getting started with a busy summer and autumn schedule coming up fast and we look forward to keeping you updated from throughout the west coast, among other places. Thank you for reading, a sincere thanks to Zack and Grand Canyon State Promotions for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: American Thunder Motorsports Show – Douglas, AZ 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the Cochise County Fairgrounds in the United States border town of Douglas, Arizona, for an American Thunder Motorsports show, courtesy of an invite from promoter Ron Leach. On the card were three rounds of freestyle by four monster trucks on both Friday and Saturday night. Travis Sturges took the wheel of the 1940 Willys Nasty Boy. His Uncle Sam Sturges, as usual, was piloting a 1942 Dodge Panel Wagon called Unnamed & Untamed. Todd Morey came to town at the helm of Iron Outlaw and Jimmy Creten was in the house with his Bounty Hunter Yellow machine.

With only three jumps to work with on the Cochise County Fairgrounds floor, it was up to the drivers to get creative in order to entertain the fans. On Friday, both Sturges monsters managed terrific wheelies, something that can be expected from the trucks in that fleet. Nasty Boy even rode wheelies that lead straight into a jump off the middle double-sided ramp. For Jimmy Creten, the end of the first night came a little sooner than expected when the front drive shaft and differential came apart after his first hit of the night. But it wasn’t just the team owner who had a bad evening. Iron Outlaw lost right front drive midway through his run. Throughout most of the night and part of the next day, Jim and Todd, with help from their competition, worked feverishly on their rides to get them back in show condition. Their efforts were rewarded as both 2Xtreme Racing vehicles were ready for showtime the next day.

When a tremendous crowd piled in for Saturday’s action, all signs pointed to every man for himself, beat or be beaten freestyle action. The Sturges team picked up where they left off the night before with some slap wheelies that put the crowd on its feet. The man called “Wildman Sam” even threw some donuts into the mix to prove that his creations are all around freestyle machines, not just wheelie specialists. But Jimmy Creten was a man on a mission after the early-ending run of the night before. Huge air, constantly going straight from one obstacle to the next and cyclones that truly were dirt slinging had the capacity crowd going nuts with applause and cheers. Afterward, the drivers signed autographs until long after show-ending interviews.

In other motor race action, classic style, car against clock mud bogs had the fans wanting more. On Saturday night, the American Thunder Motorsports crew gathered two mud bog trucks, hooked them up with a chain and let them loose in a tug of war battle. Finally, the legendary transforming jet drag racer known as Vorian Prime arrived and gave an encouraging message which appealed to the kids in the audience.

Stay tuned monster truck fans, as very soon, five monster truck legends receive the sport’s highest honor at the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame ceremony on November 1st of this year in Auburn, Indiana. Days are running out to buy tickets to this annual event. We at “The Allen Report” hope to see as many of you as possible there. On that note, we would like to thank you for reading, a special thank you to Ron Leach and the whole American Thunder Motorsports crew for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Phoenix, AZ 2014

Event Information

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Chase Field
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: January 25th, 2014
Photographer: Jim Allen

Truck Lineup

Bad Habit (Joe Sylvester), Blue Thunder (Dan Evans), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Captain USA (Travis Groth), Devastator (Mark Schroeder), Double Trouble (Tyler Groth), El Toro Loco (Lupe Soza), Geter Done (Mitch Tulachka), Grave Digger (Carl Van Horn), Madusa (Debra Miceli), McGruff (Rod Wood), Metal Mulisha (Todd Leduc), New Earth Authority (Norm Miller), The Patriot (Dan Rodoni), RoboMachine (Shane Phreed), Tropical Thunder (Andrew Peckham) [Read more…]

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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The Allen Report: Autism Speaks – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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The Allen Report: Monster Jam – Phoenix, AZ 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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Video of the Week – 06/16/12

Week Ending: June 16th, 2012
Truck(s) Featured: El Perro Loco (Rod Wood)
Video Type: Fan Video
Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

Description: Rod Wood gets crazy in El Perro Loco at the Outlaw Monster Truck Spectacular at Thunder Raceway in Show Low, Arizona!

The Allen Report: NAPA Monster Truck Nationals – Chandler, AZ 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona has something for just about any racing fan. Throughout the year, the track hosts the opening and closing races for off-road racing, one round of hydroplane racing, the second race of the year in NHRA pro drag racing and every April, one of the biggest monster truck shows the Grand Canyon State has to offer: the NAPA Auto Parts Monster Truck Nationals. This year’s competitors were: Jim Koehler in Avenger and Chris Bergeron in Brutus from Team Scream, Jimmy Creten driving Bounty Hunter was back to defend his crown from the past several years along with Ben Winslow in Iron Outlaw from 2Xtreme Racing, and rounding out the field were Dan Runte in Summit Bigfoot #18 and home state favorite Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed.

Saturday night saw the wheelie, donut and freestyle contest each with a total score of 30 for each contest, with whoever getting the closest to an overall perfect score of 90 taking the trophy. Sam and Unnamed & Untamed nearly repeated his incredible move from this show 5 years ago, but did not end up on all fours, suffering a hard rollover. Sam was okay. As it had been the past two years, all eyes were on Team Scream and 2Xtreme Racing. Both Brutus and Avenger gave applause worthy runs and they also impressed the judges. But Bounty Hunter got the highest scores of all three competitions, two of which were perfect 30’s and the freestyle attempt, which included a jump over Iron Outlaw, gave the Tonganoxie, Kansas based team the Saturday night victory with a nearly perfect score of 86.

Sunday saw only two of those same competitions as the wheelie contest was cancelled thus bringing a perfect combined score down to 60. Bounty Hunter was off to a great start in the donut contest when his motor blew. This eliminated any chances of a Sunday donut win. Bigfoot had problems of his own, breaking a rear axle part called the third member bringing the end of his day a little sooner. The win went to Brutus, despite great efforts from teammate Avenger. When the points race was won and the smoke plume cleared Chris had combined his donut efforts with a wicked freestyle to execute an almost perfect 56 point effort, claiming the Sunday win. Still, Bounty Hunter’s combined winning number from the night before was the higher of the two, ensuring that the new Firebird champion was the same as the old champion, Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter.

Also in the show was Robosaurus, a 40 foot tall, 60,000 pound car eating, fire breathing transforming dinosaur that thrilled kids and adults alike with his car eating, breaking and burning. Jelly Belly Ed Jones also performed with his wheel standing stage coach and bags of Jelly Bellies. He went 100+ mph in the quarter mile all on his back wheels. Finally, Ronnie Sturges, Sam’s nephew, drove the “Boogie Monster” ride truck all afternoon on both days.

For us at The Allen Report, we’re now off to Springfield, Missouri for our first ever 4 Wheel Jamboree; where it all began for monster trucks just under 40 years ago. In the meantime, thank you for reading and a special thanks to a great sponsor of Firebird Raceway, Loud Pedal Motorsports, for their hospitality under the blazing Arizona sun. Enjoy the photos and cheer on!

All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2012.