The Allen Report: Stanislaus County Fair Monster Trucks – Turlock, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a familiar trek in a new time of the year. We have covered excellent monster truck action from the FoodMaxx Arena at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in the town of Turlock, California, several times before, but this was our first time doing so during the fair itself. Six ground pounding, crowd pleasing competitive monster trucks and one mini monster came from across the state to compete in the all-or-nothing freestyle competition over the closing days of the fair.

Vacaville, California’s Tony Canedo had all three of his monster trucks ready to storm the track. The team owner nicknamed “The Flying Spaniard” took the helm of Play ‘N for Keeps. Local driver Jeff Souza got back in the saddle of the Enforcer truck. Jeff’s son Hunter was also back in his faithful Wrecking Machine mini monster. Both father and son were eager to put their respective rollovers from this arena a few months ago in the rearview mirror. David Tucker once again tightened the belts of the third member of the team, Survivor.

Kelvin Ramer had both trucks on standby, but normal Wild Flower driver and 2017 World Finals Freestyle Championship Top 10 finisher Rosalee Ramer was busy with an engineering internship in Michigan. Luckily, a young lady named Molly Bertchie-Berkowitz gladly stepped up to drive the truck into the arena for introductions before giving the seat to Kelvin for the show itself. WGAS Motorsports officials put the runs of Time Flys and Wild Flower at opposite ends of the freestyle order both nights to allow Kelvin plenty of time to change seats.

The field was wrapped up by young newcomer Jonathan Elkins behind the wheel of Terminator, with Gary Schott Sr. retaining ownership. Both nights saw a massive crowd file in to fill the arena, setting the stage for wide open, hard charging motorsports action.

David Tucker took Survivor over the tuff truck jumps as his signature move, got big air and churned some high speed donuts to take the early freestyle lead with a score of 70 out of a possible 100. Play ‘N for Keeps had a great run going and was well in the running for the top spot before a planetary gear locked up, ending his run early. Jeff Souza stood on the loud pedal, getting great air multiple times and pulled out a nice slap wheelie after hitting the step up car stack. His admirable effort garnered him an 85 point score and the lead from the professional judges with only a few runs left to go. All the monsters that came after tried their hardest to upstage the police themed monster, but when all was said and done, Enforcer was still at the highest point on the board, taking the Freestyle Championship, triggering a great deal of loud positive response from the crowd.

As the final show of the weekend progressed, all the monster truck drivers pushed their machines to the limit to please the fans. Jonathan Elkins only furthered his progress as a monster driver with good air and an all around nice run. His run was good enough to garner a score of 50 from the professional judges. Next up was Kelvin Ramer in Time Flys. The recently crowned Monster Jam Stadium Wheelie of the Year award winner put down huge air, great combinations and high speed to become the new leader with a score of 75. None of the following monsters could top him and Kelvin Ramer and Time Flys took the second and final Freestyle Championship.

But the competition monsters weren’t alone in this weekend’s motorized mayhem. Hunter Souza struggled all weekend with an assortment of mechanical problems, but still managed to please the fans. And there was another Souza family member in the house as Cheyenne Souza, Jeff’s daughter and Hunter’s sister drove a UTV around the tuff truck course as a solo exhibition. The tuff trucks themselves were entertaining in their own right, with body panels coming off in some cases and many vehicles taking their suspension to the limit with high jumps and hard landings. Additional activities at the show this week were ten professional bull riders and medieval knights giving the spectators jousting and sword fighting exhibitions.

With that show in the books, we at “The Allen Report” direct our focus towards one of our favorite weekends every year, the Maverik Clash of the Titans Figure-8 race at Rocky Mountain Raceways just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Double Trouble’s Tyler Groth and Bounty Hunter’s Jimmy Creten enter the event as the reigning champions, but the return of big names like Bigfoot and the slithery Snake Bite will give the champs from a year ago a serious run for their money. Well, a grateful “Thank You” to WGAS Founder John Borba and his daughter and company CEO Chelsea Kessler for their wonderful hospitality, remember to check us out on Facebook under the name “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris”, thanks for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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