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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Super Sunday – Dacano, CO 2012

Event: Monster Truck Super Sunday
Venue: Colorado National Speedway
Location: Dacano, Colorado
Date: June 17th, 2012
Photographer: John Roberts

Lineup: Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Ice Cream Man (TJ Tripp), Maverik Monster Trakkar (Ron Duncombe), Razin Kane (JR McNeal), Red Baron (Russell Steeley), The Shagman (Jon Zimmer), West Virginia Mountaineer (Kevin Koszala) [Read more…]

The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This edition of “The Allen Report” comes to you from Del Mar, California where Jimmy Creten in the Bounty Hunter is thinking San Diego County Fair Championship three-peat. Rick Swanson has introduced a new body design called WrongWay Rick. The other participants were Kelvin Ramer and Time Flys, the Youngest Female Professional Monster Truck Driver in the World, Rosalee Ramer in Detour, Eric Swanson the Youngest Professional Male driver in the World in Obsessed and Russell Steeley in Iron Outlaw.

The monsters would be competing at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar in two shows a day for four days with a different contest each day. The combined scores from both shows in the same day would determine the day’s winner. Day 1 consisted of a high jump contest. Detour jumped 9 feet 2 inches in the first afternoon show and a roof-raising 12 feet 8 inches for a day total of 21 feet, 10 in to take the first win.

Day 2 was a wheelie contest day. This saw Eric Swanson nail a well executed wheelie in Obsessed, but broke a ring and pinion a monster at the same time. However, Jimmy Creten had his game together, never once getting a wheelie that was less than vertical and the length of the floor to take the win.

Day 3 featured a long jump contest with football field style measurements. Fan favorite Time Flys jumped a respectable 64 feet but that was only good enough for 4th place in the early afternoon show. But then came the late afternoon show and the 1934 Ford flew a neck wrenching 71 feet. These two distances made him the 3rd different winner in 3 days of competition.

The 4th and final day was a full blown freestyle. The trophy cart races were fast and furious, but the crowd was anxious to get down to the meat and potatoes. Bounty Hunter did not disappoint. His perfect 40 in both shows of the day made Jimmy Creten a 3 time San Diego County Fair Undisputed Champion.

Next up for us at “The Allen Report” will be the 4th of July celebration called simply KaBoom! at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. Many thanks for reading, a special thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality and access to the pits and drivers, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2012.

Jim & Christopher Allen’s Del Mar / Pomona Coverage

TMB is always proud to bring you great coverage from our friends out west, Jim and Christopher Allen, and this week that means lots of great photos and all the details from the 2010 Del Mar and Pomona, California events. Check the coverage out below and thanks to Jim and Chris for another job well done:

“Once again WGAS Motorsports invited teams of monster trucks to perform at Del Mar California’s San Diego County Fairgrounds and the fan favorite July 4th “KaBoom!” in Pomona. The teams were “Living the Dream Racing’s” own “Time Flys” and “Fired Up” driven by Kelvin Ramer and Justin Cluster, both “Obsession” and “Obsessed” with Rick Swanson and Eric Swanson behind the wheels and representatives of “2Xtreme Racing” in the form of Russell Steeley in “Iron Outlaw” and Jim Creten, as always, driving “Bounty Hunter”.

Shout-outs go to Ron Johnson in his old school monster truck, the T-C Pig Ranch sponsored “Hog Wild”, who had some t-shirts to give away and Jake Blackwell’s awesome ride truck, the Thrasher Racing owned “Extinguisher” , who gave rides to fans young and old all weekend long.

The first monster out was “Fired Up” and his freestyle performance set the stage as each driver tried to top the next. Rick Swanson showed why he was the Undisputed Champion from this event one year ago, doing very nice cyclones and rarely laying off the throttle; so much in fact, that steam was coming from the engine area as “Obsession” left the arena. Russell Steeley put Iron Outlaw through its paces, not stopping until everything on the track was hit. However, during the second show of the day he took the big mountain in the middle of the floor, hard broke the right front wheel off and rolled over slowly. Kelvin Ramer was up next and drove over every obstacle, finishing his final run in the evening show with a cyclone with his hands out the window. But the potential winner possibility goes to the former World Champion in Bounty Hunter, using tons of pure horsepower over every jump, getting great air and continuing long after the 90 second time period. It was a great first day in Del Mar.

For the final day of monster trucks in Del Mar, the first afternoon show was racing only and the second afternoon show was freestyle only. Since only five trucks were competing, this created an interesting race bracket. “Bounty Hunter” would automatically be seeded into the semi-finals. Two winners of the heats would join him along with the fastest loser. From there, two finalists would advance and a racing champion would be crowned succeeding that race.

WGAS officials created a Chicago style race course with the finish lines on top of each trucks’ respective starting jumps. In the opening round, fan favorite Kelvin Ramer in “Time Flys” took out his own teammate, “Fired Up” driven by Justin Cluster to advance to the semi-finals and a shot at Jim Creten and “Bounty Hunter”. In the other quarter-final race, 14 year old Eric Swanson with “Obsessed” was on his way to victory over his own father in the team truck when he aver drove the final turn. Rick swapped trucks and raced “Obsessed” for the remainder of the racing show.

The top half of the semis would see a close race between the former Monster Jam World Champion Jim Creten and the driver of the 1934 Ford, Kelvin Ramer. It was close, but the win goes to “Bounty Hunter” after Ramer spent too much time in the air over the second jump. Fastest loser “Fired Up” was denied a second shot at the championship round after following “Obsessed” across the finish line. The final race was dead even until the final turn when Jim Creten pulled away for the racing trophy.

The final show from Del Mar for the year would be the only time freestyles were scored. Eric Swanson, back in “Obsessed”, got some great air with a sky wheelie and was in the middle of his first donut when he hit one of the racing ramps, breaking the bead on the left rear tire, flattening it. The judges gave him a 14 out of a possible 40. The “Fired Up” driver continued to with the freestyle competition and took the lead with a 28 point score. Next came “Time Flys” and “Obsession”, both of which hit all of the obstacles and took the lead with a score of 38.5. But there was a former Freestyle champion in the house, and he hit everything the track threw at him and got the undisputed big air of the weekend. He missed the perfect score by just one point, but it was enough to get back on the winner’s stage at Del Mar.

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with five of the top monster trucks in the world? But not just monster trucks, also on hand were four high-flying, death defying FMX riders including Jimmy Fitzpatrick as the sole representative of the infamous Metal Mulisha. Finally, the “KaBoom!” tradition continues with a fireworks display as the grand finale.

The five trucks competing in Chicago-style racing and freestyle on some of the biggest obstacles Pomona monster truck fans have ever seen include Kelvin Ramer with “Time Flys” and the teams of “Obsession Racing” with Eric Swanson behind the wheel of “Obsessed” along with his father Rick driving “Obsession” and the “2Xtreme Racing” trucks of Iron Outlaw driven by Nick Owens and Jim Creten, as always, behind the wheel of Bounty Hunter. Before the monsters hit the track, some of the FMX riders performed amazing airborne stunts including back flips.

As “Time Flys” got the bye in the racing bracket and would wait to race until the semi-finals and would take on the winner of the first heat in Round 1. A fast loser would also advance and face the winner of the second heat of Round 1, making a four truck competition in the semi finals. From there, a standard four truck bracket was in place. All hopes of Eric Swanson avenging his loss to his father in Del Mar were dashed as he took the last turn too wide and “Bounty Hunter” showed who was boss in the second heat against his team truck, “Iron Outlaw”. “Obsession” would move to the finals as Kelvin Ramer made the same mistake as Eric during the run of “Time Flys”. The next scheduled race was the rematch Nick Owens wanted with the Bounty Hunter, but it never happened as a problem with the RII prevented Iron Outlaw from making it to the starting line and forfeiting the race. WGAS officials went straight to the finals between “Bounty Hunter” and “Obsession”. “Bounty Hunter” was too fastest and crossed the finish line first and was the racing champion.

Freestyle featured both the small jumps from racing, two additional wheelie obstacles, two sets of motor homes, a large single jump and a HUGE double jump. There was also a “concession stand” on the dirt arena. That’s correct, a concession stand! Iron Outlaw put on an excellent opening freestyle. Eric Swanson emerged next, and got some huge air over the double jump. He earned a 35 out of a possible 40 for his efforts. Rick wanted to keep up the momentum but the transmission had other ideas, breaking an input shaft after just a single jump. “Time Flys” earned a perfect 40 from the judges, but Jim Creten had other ideas about who would be the victor. He hit every obstacle and did some great wheelies and donuts. He then hit the concession stand setting off the first fireworks of the evening. The crowd’s ovation left no doubt as to who was the winner. Scores were never given for “Bounty Hunter”, but Jim didn’t care. No fan was sitting down as Jim had done what he needed to do.

WGAS creator and primary promoter John Borba was on hand, and was told by an anonymous fan that this was the best freestyle motocross and monster truck show the fan had ever seen. Fans were then treated to a great 4th of July fireworks show. Thank you for reading, enjoy the photos, and cheer on.” – Christopher Allen

CLICK HERE TO VIEW JIM ALLEN’S DEL MAR, CA PHOTO GALLERY

CLICK HERE TO VIEW JIM ALLEN’S POMONA, CA PHOTO GALLERY

Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA – 07/02-03/10

Event:  Monster Truck Show
Venue:   San Diego County Fairgrounds
Location:  Del Mar, California
Date:  July 2nd-3rd, 2010
Photographer:  Jim Allen

Lineup:  Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Fired Up (Justin Cluster), Iron Outlaw (Russell Steeley), Obsession (Rick Swanson), Obsessed (Jeff Jones), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer) [Read more…]