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!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Phoenix, AZ 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Believe it or not, some promoters put together automotive entertainment shows without monster trucks. Arizona’s own Grand Canyon State Promotions has done demo derby shows and freestyle motocross shows, but never monster trucks. That is, until now. On April 15th, the last day of the 2012 Maricopa County Fair, the young promoter ventured into monster trucks. The lineup included: Travis Sturges in 1/2 Pint, brother Ronnie in Nasty Boy and their Uncle Sam in Unnamed & Untamed. There was also Murphy McCorey driving El Perro Loco and New Mexico’s own Jack Koberna in Tuff Enuff.

Both shows saw Chicago style racing. To open the afternoon show, Nasty Boy defeated 1/2 Pint in Round 1. Due to a lack of available fast loser, the 1940 Willys got a bye into the finals. El Perro Loco, who had had a bye run the round before, faced Tuff Enuff for the right to face Nasty Boy in the finals. The 30 year veteran Jack Koberna crossed the line first, but lost due to failing to get both front tires up the ramp on the final jump. In the finale, it was neck and neck until the crazy dog’s tail washed out on him, giving Nasty Boy the win. Freestyle saw great runs from all. Sadly, Tuff Enuff was finished for the weekend only two jumps in due to a blown motor. After several tries at a cheer off, it was Sturges walking away with the win, Sam and Unnamed, that is.

The evening show saw Nasty Boy chain El Perro Loco to advance into the finals again, this time facing teammate 1/2 Pint in a rematch from the afternoon. This time around, Travis put Nasty Boy in the naughty corner with a win to close racing for the weekend. But the night’s action was far from over. Having been plagued by ignition problems all day, Sam still impressed his home state fans with wheelies and fine air. But 1/2 Pint had the biggest air of the day on several of the big jumps on the floor, long wheelies and plenty of speed. All of those moves were more than enough to become the only double winner of the weekend. It was truly an amazing weekend for the home state team; as every member of the team took home at least one trophy. With a nearly full crowd, a good field of competitors and a well built track, the future looks promising for Grand Canyon State Promotions.

Throughout the weekend, there had been an exhibition showcasing tough trucks racing special off road vehicles called tom cars, all supplied by a local Ford dealer. And the Boogie Monster ride truck gave rides to all who wanted one before and after every performance. Next stop for us at “The Allen Report” is Firebird International Raceway where some of the biggest names who play the game will throw down to see which one of them can freestyle best on the unforgiving drag strip. Until then, thank you for reading, thanks to everyone at Grand Canyon State Promotions for their hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Video of the Week – 04/21/12

Week Ending: April 21st, 2012
Truck(s) Featured: Unnamed & Untamed (Sam Sturges)
Video Type: Fan Video
Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

Description: Five years later, Sam Sturges nearly duplicates his incredible wheelie/donut move from Firebird International Raceway back in 2007, but this time the wild move ends in a nasty rollover.

Video of the Week – 04/07/12

Week Ending: April 7th, 2012
Truck(s) Featured: Avenger (Jim Koehler)
Video Type: Fan Video
Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

Description: Jim Koehler lays down a great freestyle performance at the Tournament of Destruction in Tucson, Arizona.

The Allen Report: Monster Jam – Phoenix, AZ 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Survival is crucial to success in monster truck racing. If you can’t keep your truck in one piece the whole night, someone else will walk onto the winner’s stage. And this year’s show at the Chase Field Monster Jam was a prime example of that. The show featured both Grave Digger and Son-Uva Digger with Carl Van Horn and Ryan Anderson driving. The “General” himself, Brian Deegan drove the Metal Mulisha for the first time in his career. Former World Finals fastest qualifier Marc McDonald brought El Toro Loco back. Linsey Weenk returned to Phoenix with the Lucas Oil Crusader. Former sprint car driver Taryn Laskey filled in for Nicole Johnson in Tasmanian Devil. The other teams were: Mitch Tulachka and Shane Phreed in Geter Done and Robo Machine. Allen Pezo and Ron Nelson drove Predator and Pouncer. Kelvin Ramer drove Time Flies and former California Kid driver Garrett Ladelle drove Detour. Rounding out the field were Mark Schroeder and Rod Wood driving the Felon and McGruff.

Grave Digger was ready to face the former Bustin’ Loose driver in Pouncer in the semi-finals when he lost oil pressure coming to the start line due to a rollover during introductions and had to be replaced by Felon, whom he had beaten the round before. Mark took advantage of the opportunity and won. In the other half of the semis with Son-Uva Digger taking on Crusader, Ryan spun out coming down the main straightaway of the so-cal style track only to get the win back when the former Canadian hit the jammer obstacle and flipped over. In the finals a broken ring and pinion in the back axle of Felon meant Predator, who had lost to him back in the opening round, had to take his place. In the final, it was neck and neck until the third member of the Anderson equation spun out again, giving Allen Pezo a huge win.

Brain Deegan set the bar early with a lead score of 20 and held the lead most of the night. El Toro Loco took the lead with only the two “Diggers” to go thanks to a score of 23. The man they call “CVH” saved his truck from another rollover, but was unable to fire back up and keep going with time still on the clock. When all was said and done, Ryan Anderson took the win by just one point, extending his perfect record of freestyle wins to five. But in true Anderson fashion, trophy or not, he came back out and unleashed his inner beast, giving the Digger-maniacs in the stands a wicked encore.

Monster Jam at Chase Field gets bigger every year this year’s show is one of the reasons why. For us at “The Allen Report”, Firebird Raceway is next on our schedule in April. Until then, thanks for reading, enjoy the great photos by Jim Allen and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Phoenix, AZ 2011

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

One year ago, WGAS Motorsports brought monster trucks back to the Arizona State Fair after a several year absence. And they must have done well because not only did the monsters play to a sold out house each night, but they came back for more just last weekend, November 3rd through 6th with my father Jim and I covering each night from the 4th onward. This year’s four drivers included father and son duo Rick and Eric Swanson driving their signature Obsession and Obsessed machines in front of an Arizona crowd for the very first time. Rounding out the field was Chris Lagana in the Ice Monster and Chris Ryan in Ground Pounder.

On the first night, 16 year old Eric and Obsessed impressed many, including the judges with a score of 27 out of 40. But the runs of his father Rick and Chris Ryan in the Ground Pounder were both so good, they could only tie, each with a score of 34. The next night, every driver took their runs to a whole new level. Obsessed had the fastest donuts of the night and Ice Monster had great air, but Ground Pounder finally found the signature slap wheelies he had been searching for and got a perfect 40 for the win. The final day saw the monsters perform to a sellout crowd. Rick and Obsession pulled off the gloves and went for broke, hitting everything on the track and had plenty of speed. The judges were impressed and gave him a score of 38, but in the end, Ground Pounder edged him out by just one point, giving Chris Ryan the weekend sweep.

In other action, Bob Johnson gave rides to everyone who wanted one in his Hog Wild monster while Jake Blackwell did the same with his 1947 Mack fire monster, the Extinguisher. Also, the term “Home wrecker” was taken to a whole new level with motor home demolition derbies. Next for me is the inaugural International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Then it’s on to 2012 for us at “The Allen Report”. Until then, thank you for reading, a special thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality, enjoy the great photos by Jim Allen and cheer on!

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Video of the Week – 05/07/11

Week Ending: May 7th, 2011
Truck(s) Featured: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Bounty Hunter (Darren Migues), Brutus (Chris Bergeron), Nasty Boy (Ronnie Sturges), Summit Bigfoot 16 (Dan Runte), Unnamed & Untamed (Travis Sturges)
Video Type: Fan Video
Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

Description: Highlights from this year’s NAPA Monster Truck Nationals & Jet Car Meltdown featuring Robosaurus.

The Allen Report: NAPA Monster Truck Nationals – Chandler, AZ 2011

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Six of the top monster trucks in the world arrived at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona for the annual NAPA Monster Truck Nationals and Night of Fire, held on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st, 2011. Participants included current Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Champion Jim Koehler in Avenger, with last year’s Firebird runner-up Chris Bergeron in Brutus right behind him. Darren Migues would be filling in for perennial Firebird Champ Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter, Dan Runte would be back in Summit Bigfoot 16 and Travis and Ronnie Sturges would be piloting Unnamed & Untamed and Nasty Boy from just down the road in Tucson. Nasty Boy was even sporting the great looking TMB flag for the weekend’s events. The grand finale would be the return of the 40-foot tall, 60,000 pound car-eating, fire-breathing monstrosity Robosaurus.

Opening each show was a wheelie and donut competition with the brothers Sturges giving wheelies that set the stage for what was to come. Brutus not only surprised the Firebird fans with a 45 degree angle wheelie attempt, but gave cyclones that had yours truly thinking back to Wrecking Crew at the 2010 Monster Jam World Finals encore. Even better, Chris put the wreck from last year behind him with a perfect score of 30, followed it up with an outstanding freestyle, taking the Saturday night championship.

Sunday saw the encore performance for the fans that could not make it the first night. At one of his favorite places to perform, Dan and Bigfoot got the crowd pumped up with his shots at the wheelie and donut win. But it was déjà vu for Chris Bergeron, who found himself tied with Bounty Hunter with just freestyle left to go for the weekend. The judging was close, but Darren kept the Bounty Hunter Firebird legacy alive with a score tallied over wheelies and donuts combined with his freestyle number to oust Brutus for the second year in a row.

To close each show, Shawn Pacheco and Robosaurus fascinated the kids in the crowd by eating, breaking and burning a junk car or, in the case of the big show on Saturday, no less than three. In addition, Sam Sturges gave rides to fans young and old in his team’s “Boogie Monster” ride truck. Will Team Scream ever be able to defeat Bounty Hunter at Firebird? Find out next year. Until then, thank you for reading, thanks to everyone with Firebird Raceway for their hospitality, enjoy Jim’s great photos and cheer on!

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