The Allen Report: 2016 Rocky Mountain Raceway Maverik Clash of the Titans

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to West Valley City, Utah, a state full of motorsport history as some of the biggest names in speed have gathered at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats to be the fastest man on wheels. However, on the second weekend of August, Rocky Mountain Raceways holds its traditional Maverik Clash of the Titans monster truck figure-8 race event, this year for the historic twentieth consecutive year. To commemorate the event, a record sixteen monster trucks were invited, the most ever at this event.

Leading the charge were all four members of Jimmy Creten’s 2Xtreme Racing. Jimmy himself drove the American Sniper Bounty Hunter while wife and teammate Dawn, as usual, took the steering wheel of Scarlet Bandit. Tim “Mullet” Missentzis piloted the pickup Iron Outlaw. And the lead guitarist of metal band Five Finger Death Punch himself, Zoltan Bathory from Hungary brought his insane looking 3D-bodied Knucklehead to compete. From just up the road in South Willard, Utah was Kreg Christensen in his hot rod hybrid Wicked on Sunday. On Saturday, Kreg’s stepson Paul Jensen drove Wicked before stepping into the radical trophy truck bodied monster in its first public outing, Kamikaze on Sunday. Twins Travis and Tyler Groth arrived to do battle; Travis in his orange Trouble Maker and Tyler in the bright green Double Trouble.

Another set of twins was in the house this weekend as Aaron Basl filled in for David Smith in King Krunch while brother Daron, as usual, took the helm of the reborn El Matador after several years of the Nitro Hornet identity. Darren Migues (pronounced Me-guess) had both trucks in tow. Darren himself hopped in the driver’s seat of Nitro Menace while his daughter Kaylyn continued her blossoming monster truck career in Jailbird. From West Jordan, Utah was Ron “the Dunc” Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. Returning to the Raceway for the third straight year were Doug Charles and Wild Thang. Rounding out the field was southwestern monster truck legend Jimmy Lyons stepping in for Rod Wood to drive McGruff and Lake Havasu, Arizona’s Mark Schroeder in the cockpit of Felon.

On Saturday qualifying to open the weekend, Bounty Hunter set the pace as the first truck out at a time of 30.97 seconds. None of the trucks that followed him could go faster and Jimmy Creten got off to a strong start as the number one qualifier. In the opening round of eliminations, Scarlet Bandit and Iron Outlaw both crossed the finish line first in their respective heat races to face each other in the quarter finals. On the opposite side of the bracket, the brothers Groth both won their first round races, but would have to race against each other in the third heat of the second round. In the final opening round race, Kaylyn Migues was unable to defeat the more experienced Mark Schroeder, but garnered a good ovation from the crowd nonetheless. Bounty Hunter would out-race Maverik Monster Trakker and Iron Outlaw over the next two rounds, earning his spot in the championship race. Double Trouble did the same by defeating his own brother in the quarters and Felon in the semis to meet the former World Champion in the two lap finals. The championship round was one for the history books. Jimmy Creten got the jump off the line and had a clear cut lead going into the second half of the race. With only one corner to go, Tyler Groth whipped his truck around the turn and past an unsuspecting Jim Creten to take the Racing title.

To close the Saturday night show, a donut contest was held for the very first time after many years of wheelies, billed as a “Twister” competition. Despite being down about five hundred horsepower, Jimmy Lyons gave an admirable effort and low scores couldn’t keep the noise from the spectators down. Former Australian Monster Finals competitor Paul Jensen quickly shed the rust by turning the half Studebaker, half Camaro monster Wicked into the spin cycle and being rewarded with a good score of 8.75, with 10.0 being perfection. The very next truck out was Aaron Basl and King Krunch. His run had the crowd picking up noise as he picked up speed and cleared the bar set by Wicked with a hard to beat score of 9.35. Truck after truck came after him, but it wasn’t until the Racing champion came out when the legendary Texas monster was beaten. Tyler Groth spun Double Trouble so fast he was bicycling on two wheels before laying off the throttle to bring it down on the rubber side. The crowd was roaring and the professional judges were impressed too, giving the Gig Harbor, Washington driver the Saturday Twister win and the clean sweep.

On Sunday, a big crowd filed in for the pre show pit party and into the stands for the final night of the twentieth anniversary of the event. Scarlet Bandit was the first truck out for qualifying and she put together a very nice run, punching in a time of 31.94 seconds. By the halfway point of qualifications, Trouble Maker held the lead with a time of 31.35 seconds. But Jim Creten, the ninth of sixteen drivers out, set a new standard of 30.39, bettering his time from Saturday. That time took the lead and held it to the end. In the third heat of the first round of eliminations, Zoltan and Knucklehead won against a struggling Aaron Basl and King Krunch. In the first race of the second round, Bounty Hunter faced off against former teammate driver Kreg Christensen and Wicked. The superstar in both America and Australia put up a good fight right up until the third of the four corners, where the truck did a complete 270, ensuring that Bounty Hunter was one step closer to getting another shot at the racing win. Reigning racing champion Double Trouble was out to defend his crown and got off to a great start, dispensing of Monster Trakker and Wild Thang to reach the semi finals. But his twin Travis was there waiting. Travis gave it everything he had, pushing Trouble Maker to the limit, but Tyler could not be stopped, punching his ticket to the two lap finals for the second straight night. After beating teammate Iron Outlaw in the semi-finals, Jim Creten got the rematch he wanted. This time, the 21 year veteran of the sport could not be stopped, sliding Bounty Hunter around the turns beautifully and standing on the loud pedal down the straightaways. Tyler Groth raced as hard as he could but the power of Bounty Hunter was too much, as the Tonganoxie, Kansas native took the racing championship that had eluded him the night before, fair and square. With two minute freestyle next in line to end the event, the battle was far from over.

The track construction crew had put together a great track with a wheelie bump at one end, a ramp for big air at the other and a double van stack off the back straightaway, all fitting considering the magnitude and prestige of this year’s event.

To open freestyle, Darren Migues and Nitro Menace got off to a great start, hitting all the obstacles with gusto, doing great donuts and not stopping until his brake rotors were glowing and shooting sparks. Kamikaze, for a brand new truck with a driver who had spent a few years out of the sport, did a very good job by hitting the cars the wrong way, doing some donuts and overall getting the crowd excited. Maverik Monster Trakker nailed several slap wheelies, had great speed and consistently got good air, never breaking down and driving out under its own power, officially ending the bad luck streak that has plagued this driver and team for so many years here. His efforts did not go unnoticed, either, as the truck sponsored by the local Maverik convenience store franchise took the lead with a score of 28.5. A couple trucks later was Felon, who used several slap wheelies, lightning fast cyclones and big air to take the lead with a score of 35.5.

The very next truck was Wicked, and Kreg Christensen stood on the throttle most of the run, matching the former Monster Jam on SPEED announcer jump for jump and for velocity. The judges gave him a score of 34.75. The third to last truck out was Trouble Maker, who bent the champagne early in his run, but kept going for as long as he could, hitting numerous obstacles while the left front wheel was still attached. He finished his time, ensuring a score, just as the tire came off. Trouble Maker was towed out onto the grass and out of the way to make room for the remaining monsters. His score reflected his efforts, taking the lead at 35.5. Sadly, Iron Outlaw and Double Trouble received no score for failing to finish their two minute time. But Jimmy Creten and the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter would settle for nothing less than the double victory. Huge wheelies, getting into the spin cycle and big air multiple times had the crowd roaring and the judges most impressed, giving Creten the freestyle championship to end the historic weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceways.

In other racing action, the Raceway featured Super Stock and fan favorite Pro Truck Racing, the latter similar to NASCAR’s Camping World Truck series, to compliment the monster action. Next, we at “The Allen Report” turn south towards the Tucson Speedway, where four western favorites arrive to tear up the front straightaway. More coverage coming from that event later. Well, thanks for reading, a special thank you to Dan Breach and all the Rocky Mountain Raceway staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to West Valley City, Utah, just outside Salt Lake. It’s a city with an extensive sports résumé from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, to minor league baseball, to major league hockey and basketball. But on this weekend, the All Star Monster Truck Tour arrived in the Maverik Center with six car crushing, high flying monster trucks. All the way from Lafayette, Indiana was Aaron Cain piloting the world’s largest ATV, Quad Chaos. Right behind was teammate Jerry Beck behind the wheel of the world’s only flying dump truck, the Dodge bodied Dirt Crew. During the pit parties, there were some construction toys behind Dirt Crew for the kids to play with. Tucson, Arizona’s own Unnamed & Untamed was in the house, driven by Sam Sturges, as was Nasty Boy with Derek Ritter at the controls. Defending the Utah home turf was West Jordan’s Ron Duncombe and the Maverik Monster Trakker. Finally, Kreg Christensen from South Willard took time off from the Australian monster truck circuit to bring his radical looking part Studebaker, part Camaro monster known as Wicked to the arena.

Wheelie contest, single pass obstacle course racing and freestyle were the weekend’s competitions for the monsters. With points on the line for every discipline to determine an overall champion in each show, every round counted and consistency would win.

On Friday evening, things got off to a wild start when Nasty Boy, the first truck out in wheelie contest, went far beyond vertical and rolled onto its side. The driver was okay, but making only one of a maximum of two attempts meant his score wouldn’t be much, only 10 out of a possible 20. Unnamed & Untamed, a monster set up very well for wheelies, gave an admirable attempt off both the step up obstacle and the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 13. The very next truck was Dirt Crew and he gave an excellent run, pointing the dump truck’s nose towards the ceiling of the Maverik Center. The judges rewarded him with a score of 14. Jerry Beck was able to hold off both of the last two competitors to take the wheelie contest win and take the points lead.

In obstacle course, the imperfect figure 8 style track proved tricky for even the experienced drivers, as Sam Sturges turned in a lap in just under 22 seconds. Looking to better his chances at the overall championship, Jerry Beck threw down a very good pass to take the new fastest time at 18.54. But the twenty four year veteran of the sport, Kreg Christensen went even faster, clocking in a time of 16.37. The last truck in the order, Quad Chaos, couldn’t do better and Wicked stormed into the overall championship lead with only freestyle to go.

In the main event, Monster Trakker went out first as electrical problems kept Nasty Boy off the floor and out of the competition. Ron Duncombe’s efforts, including a decent sky wheelie and good air off the step up garnered him a score of 25 of a possible 40. Dirt Crew was fourth in line of the six trucks and put together an all-around exciting run. The professional judges gave him a score of 28 with only Wicked and teammate Quad Chaos left to go. But Kreg Christensen was a man on a mission, getting huge air off the FMX mountain, nailing a reverser over the crush cars and rarely letting off the loud pedal to get the crowd roaring. The judges rewarded his run with a 35 point score. Quad Chaos just couldn’t match the international superstar and Wicked took the freestyle and overall event championships to start the weekend.

In the first of two shows on Saturday, Sam Sturges improved greatly from the first show, pointing U&U’s nose at the roof of the arena. His efforts did not go unnoticed by the judges as his score was 14, leaving only a six point window in which Sam could be overtaken. Wicked and Dirt Crew both gave everything they had, but could only tie for second. Sam Sturges won the wheelie contest, making it two different winners in as many wheelie competitions.

Full of confidence after getting his first win of the weekend, Sam did not let up in the obstacle course, finishing his lap in a time of 20.91. Wicked was the fourth truck out in the ladder and slowed down a little from the first show with an elapsed time of 18.32, but it was still good enough to take the top spot on the grid. Next up was Quad Chaos, who fell short of the number one spot by just six-tenths of a second. The last truck in line, Dirt Crew, was a full second off the high watermark, giving back to back obstacle course wins to Kreg Christensen.

On to freestyle, where Ron Duncombe’s weekend came to a premature end when a hard landing off the FMX mountain blew out the rear shocks on both sides. Despite the damage, Ron’s score was still very good at 30, just ten points shy of perfection. Starting the second half of the field was the two time obstacle course winner, who soared through the afternoon sky off the FMX ramp, again hit the cars in reverse and stood on the throttle again and again to receive a score of 35. The last two monsters just couldn’t clear the bar and Wicked got back to back overall championships. With only the evening show to go, there was one more shot for the other drivers to stop the clean sweep from the twenty four year veteran.

When the biggest crowd all weekend piled into the Maverik Center for the last show, the stakes were high, and the drivers didn’t disappoint. Jerry Beck and Dirt Crew gave a spectacular wheelie contest run and got a score of 17 to boot, leaving the window of opportunity very small. Two time overall champion Wicked came the closest at 15, but it wasn’t enough to stop Dirt Crew from becoming the multi-time wheelie contest winner for the weekend.

During obstacle course racing, things got wild with the first two trucks in line. Unnamed & Untamed got up on two wheels but saved it. The lack of time on the board due to a DNF wasn’t enough to silence the crowd. Nasty Boy, even fighting electrical issues between shows also bicycled for a moment before saving it, all this before driver Derek Ritter had even staged for his run.

This gave the fans an even bigger reason to cheer. When Wicked took to the track, the time he had to beat, 19.39, had been laid down one run earlier by Dirt Crew. Kreg was up to the challenge, and he stepped up. The hybrid hot rod turned in a time that was faster than his nearest competitor by almost three seconds at 16.5. This meant that the overall championship clean sweep was within reach and the same feat for obstacle course had been done.

On to the crowd favorite freestyle, where Unnamed & Untamed got off to a fast start with wheelies and even donuts to get a score of 27. Quad Chaos went for one last shot to take a win with big air and clearing the crush cars. A score of 34 meant there was still room left for the two winningest trucks that had still to run. Both Dirt Crew and Wicked had incredible runs that had the crowd cheering on and on. In a strange turn of events, both trucks tied with scores of 35. But Wicked had more points coming into the cheer off, so the former Dragon Slayer owner and past Maximum Destruction driver already had the overall championship swept for the weekend. And when the crowd erupted in Kreg’s favor during the freestyle deciding cheer off, it was clear that the weekend sweep of the crowd favorite competition belonged to Wicked as well, closing out the weekend.

During a winning interview, Kreg revealed to an enthusiastic audience that the year 2017 marked his twenty-fifth year in the business and, with it, the return of the Dragon Slayer monster Hummer. Other action saw highly competitive Pro Arena Truck racing, a longstanding tradition at the Maverik Center. The racing was tight and fast with three different winners in as many races. Also, freestyle motocross rider Paul “Smitty” Smith gave the fans a wide variety of gravity defying, death cheating tricks, culminating in backflip variations.

Well, we now turn our attention to the biggest monster truck event in the world, the Monster Jam World Finals. The next edition of “The Allen Report” is currently slated to come to you from the Maricopa County Fair in our hometown of Phoenix. For up to the minute, instant updates from our travels, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram under “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris“. On that note, thank you for reading, a sincere thank-you to Bryan Wagner and the entire All Star Monster Truck Tour staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2016.

Monster Video: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2015

Details

Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Maverik Center
Location: West Valley City, Utah
Date: January 2nd-3rd, 2015
Videographer: Maverik Center Staff

Description

Ross Z. Bonar from the TheMonsterBlog.com was on hand announcing for the 2015 All Star Monster Truck Tour event at the Maverik Center this past weekend in West Valley City, Utah. There Rock Star, Wicked, Crusher, Destroyer, California Kid and Maverik Monster Trakker battled it out in three big shows. While we did not have our own video crew on hand, Desi and the amazing Maverik Center media staff was gracious enough to allow us to share some highlights they captured with you here on TMB. Enjoy!
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Team KCM Debuts “Wicked” New Monster Truck

(Willard, Utah – Team KCM PR) – Kreg Christensen’s Team KCM is jumping back into the business of owning and operating monster trucks. Wicked, one of 2 new trucks owned by Team KCM was unveiled in Albion Park, New South Wales in Australia last weekend to the roar of the great crowd on hand. A second truck should be completed around mid-spring 2012 and will remain in the United States to perform at select shows during the season.

The Australia version of Team KCM’s brand new Wicked monster truck – a second version of the truck to remain in the USA is coming soon.

Team owner Kreg Christensen stated that this was the first step in getting Team KCM back into the monster truck market for fans in the USA. Team KCM is home of the 2005 Monsters of Destruction Championship truck Dragon Slayer, and Kreg has spent time behind the wheel of Maximum Destruction for Monster Jam the past few seasons.

Watch for all the latest developments at www.TeamKCM.net!