The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – Phoenix, AZ 2017 Part 2

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we return to the Arizona State Fairgrounds, where just two weeks earlier a thrill show co-starring a flame throwing jet car and the kid captivating Transaurus took place alongside the monster trucks. All Star Motorsport Productions, promoter of the thrill shows, also came back for this weekend. But unlike the events of earlier in October, this was a tried and true, full on monster truck show with six five ton, high horsepower mechanical beasts having the spotlight all to themselves on the fair’s final weekend for the year.

Throughout each show, the monsters would participate in Best Trick competition, single run obstacle course racing against the clock and no time limit, no holding back freestyle. Points were on the line for each competition and the truck with the highest number of points at the end of the show would be crowned the Overall Event Champion. As the weekend would go by, result trackers would count the number of Overall wins per monster with the competitor who had obtained the most Overall wins receiving the distinction of Arizona State Fair Champion.

Representing the home state was Marana’s El Perro Loco (translation – The Crazy Dog) with Murph McCrorey behind the wheel. Murph is the stepson of team owner Rod Wood and his tendency to drive like a madman in night shows garnered him the nickname “Werewolf”, a moniker he would live up to equally under the sun and after dark over the days this weekend. To make the truck sound as different as possible from McGruff two weeks earlier, the event announcers billed the truck from Ensenada, Baja, Mexico and had spent years dominating the Mexican circuit before crossing into the USA.

The rest of the field consisted of the entire Straight Up Racing team. Team co-founder and leader Bill Payne took the wheel of his trusty Rock Star. Gabe Montoya was ready to attack the track as the pilot of Reverse Racer, where the body is turned around one hundred and eighty degrees to make it look like the truck is always going the wrong way. Next in line was the vicious looking 10,000 Pound Hound to be driven by Nick Jones. Not far behind was Ezra Wilson in the Identity Theft. The fifth and final truck in the stable was the monster hot rod California Kid, controlled by Dallas Glen Rogers.

In the first of three shows on Saturday, Identity Theft got the show off to a splendid start with a one-two punch of great air and a sweet sky wheelie to get a score of 14 of a possible 20 for Best Trick. When El Perro Loco fell short by just one single point despite sick air and a great sky wheelie, the crowd openly voiced their disappointment. But next out was Bill Payne, who has performed as far away as Europe and Asia in years past. Bill followed up a great sky wheelie off the crush car with a wicked slap wheelie from one end of the floor to the other, taking the Best Trick win and Overall points lead.

Identity Theft set the standard for those coming after by completing the course in just under 23 seconds. The very next pass by 10K Pound Hound proved how tough the competition was by edging out his predecessor in the order by less than one tenth of a second. The colossal canine monster held the lead until Rock Star stormed past him on the stopwatch, reaching the finish line a whole two seconds faster with only freestyle to go.

The freestyle track consisted of a jammer stack for air, a wheelie bump and the time trial finish line crush car for wheelies and the obstacle course track second straightaway offering a distance jump ramp on one side and sideways tires for wheelies on the other. Identity Theft took advantage of his final shot for a trophy to get huge air and cross threaded the jump used as the obstacle course halfway point to stay in the hunt. Ten Thousand Pound Hound gave admirable efforts, including decent air. But Rock Star gave more incredible slap wheelies and hit the kicker obstacle the wrong way to get the early afternoon Overall Championship.

As the weekend progressed, the competition got tighter and tighter across the board. The second obstacle course competition of the day was decided by only half a second between winner Rock Star and runner-up Identity Theft. A few hours later in the evening show obstacle course race, Bill Payne finally pushed his truck too hard, breaking a steering line in the final turn of the course, causing his truck to do a complete 360 and rendering him unable to cross the finish line. This DNF would go on to end Rock Star’s perfect streak of Overall Titles, the final Saturday win eventually going to Identity Theft.

In the second to last show of the weekend, El Perro Loco was in the midst of a high intensity freestyle when an awkward landing from a sky wheelie sent him into the only rollover of the weekend. Murph was okay and the crowd roared when it was announced that El Perro had taken the freestyle lead. This, on top of a Best Trick win and runner-up placing in the obstacle course was enough for Murph and The Crazy Dog to finally take an Overall Championship.

In the last Obstacle Course contest of the weekend, Identity Theft just narrowly slipped past Rock Star with less than half a second being the difference. To end the weekend on a high note, Rock Star joined Identity Theft not long into the latter’s freestyle, causing All Star Productions officials to decree the two co-champions. This brought the crowd’s noise level very high, marking the ideal end to both the 2017 Arizona State Fair and the last weekend of monster trucks. Even so, with three sole titles and one shared win across a total of six shows over three days, Rock Star handily took the Arizona State Fair Championship.

At that, the monster truck action season for us at “The Allen Report” has come to a close. But we also begin to finalize plans for our trip to Auburn, Indiana, for one of our favorite annual events, the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame Ceremony. As of this writing, the number of overall display monster vehicles, weekend and full time sponsors and returning past inductees all look high, which is great news for us, as we are just as much fans of the early days of the sport as we are fans of its current state. With that behind us, a special thanks to Bryan Wagner and every member of All Star Productions for allowing us to cover his events, thank you, our readers, for following our show coverage, enjoy the photos and until next year, cheer on!

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All content copyright 2017.

Monster Photos: All Star Monster Truck Tour – Palmer, AK 2017

Event Information

Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Alaska State Fair
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Date: September 2nd-3rd, 2017
Photographer: Danny Maass (Check out Maass Media on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

10,000 Pound Hound (Nick Jones), Identity Theft (Marvin Anderson), Reverse Racer (Ezra Wilson), Rock Star (Bill Payne) [Read more…]

The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a road trip to the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah for the second consecutive year. Six roof-shaking, noise-making monster trucks arrived to go to war in Best Trick competition, Side by Side Drag racing and the high flying, car munching insanity of freestyle.

In front of his home state crowd was West Jordan’s own Ron Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. From the southern city of Hurricane, Utah, was Brian Christensen, son of Kreg Christensen, and his ogre-themed monster truck called D’Sturbed. The other competitors this weekend were all part of the Straight Up Racing stable. John Bruce drove the brand new, ferocious looking, bulldog themed 10,000 Pound Hound. This truck attracted long autograph lines at the pre-show pit parties. Also present was Dallas Glenn Rogers in Identity Theft. Ezra Wilson arrived in the sleek black 1934 Ford Sedan, California Kid. Finally, team co-owners Bill and Lorna Payne in Rock Star.

Points were on the line for each competition on the card. A perfect score in Best Trick would be 20, while one could garner up to 30 points from winning drag racing and a maximum of 40 points for winning freestyle. Points would be tallied throughout each show and whoever had the most points after all three competition elements would be the Overall Show Champion.

In the weekend opener of Friday night, it didn’t take long for things to heat up on the track. In Best Trick, each monster had only one shot to do whatever trick they could as spectacularly as possible. Identity Theft and Maverik Monster Trakker both made admirable attempts at sky wheelies off the back sides of the racing lanes. The second to last truck out was D’Sturbed, who put forth a beautiful sky wheelie and garnered a score of 15. This threw down the gauntlet to Bill and Lorna Payne, but the couple was ready. The two walked the truck across and down the racing lane jump with fantastic balance and control to take the win with a score of 18, taking the early lead on the road to the Overall Championship.

In drag racing, reaction time off the starting line was going to be crucial in deciding the results. Rock Star and 10,000 Pound Hound disposed of their respective opponents to advance to the semi-finals. In an incredible photo finish, Maverik Monster Trakker squeaked out a narrow victory over D’Sturbed. Brian Christensen would still advance, however, as the fastest loser and get a rematch with Ron Duncombe. Ten-Thousand Pound Hound upset team truck Rock Star and Maverik Monster Trakker went two for two against D’Sturbed to set up the championship race. Monster Trakker got off the line first and never looked back, crossing the line first, taking the Racing win and staying in the hunt for the Overall Championship.

In freestyle, there was no time limit and the entire track was fair game, all but ensuring an all out battle for the freestyle and Overall Titles. Sadly, 10,000 Pound Hound had broken an input shaft in the transmission, taking him out for the night. Fortunately, the truck would be fixed in plenty of time to perform in both shows the next day. Identity Theft put together decent sky wheelies and going over the double jump the wrong way to put together a respectable run and a score of 21. The bar was raised to a new standard when California Kid came out. Ezra Wilson walked the truck down both race lanes extremely well, had high speed and smashed the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 30. D’Sturbed went out next and put together a storming run, pointing his front tires in the air more than once, carrying consistent high speed and even making fine tries at donuts. Getting into the spin cycle would prove difficult for even the experienced drivers as it was tough to lose traction on the tacky, grip-filled dirt inside the Maverik Center. The last truck to go, Rock Star, had super speed going and had done awesome sky wheelies before an awkward hit sent the truck onto its roof. Bill and Lorna were okay and Rock Star suffered only minimal damage. When the score of 34 was handed down and the points measured, Rock Star had done enough to claim the Overall Championship to much adulation from the spectators.

The last two shows of the weekend the next day would prove action packed. Two streaks would continue in the matinee performance, with Maverik Monster Trakker taking two trophies in two racing competitions. However, Rock Star took both of the other two competitions to win his second straight Overall Championship.

In the last Best Trick of the weekend, Brian Christensen and D’Sturbed went far beyond vertical, even bringing the rear tires off the dirt, and brought it back down on all fours to bring the crowd to its feet. The cheering continued when an almost perfect score of 19, and eventually, the Best Trick win, was rewarded. Maverik Monster Trakker took out 10,000 Pound Hound, D’Sturbed and Rock Star to nail a clean sweep in Racing.

In the last competition of the weekend, California Kid again took the lead early in freestyle with a score of 31. Brian Christensen became the new leader with very high speed, the best cyclones of the weekend and great air over the double jump to secure the lead in both freestyle and the overall by one single point, a score of 32. Bill and Lorna Payne had a streak to defend in freestyle, but the first jump busted a $7 bolt on one of the front four link bars, forcing the officials to shut off the truck for safety purposes. This meant the end of Rock Star’s chances of an Overall Championship clean sweep as D’Sturbed ended the weekend on a high note as the final Overall Champion, or “All Star of the Night”, as the All Star Monster Truck Tour officials called it.

Also featured in the night was bar to bar, wheel to wheel ATV racing. One heat saw a rider take off from the start before the green flag. Another saw the lead rider with one lap to go start to head back to the pits in victory one lap too early, costing him the heat race victory and a shot at a front row starting spot in the main. Finally, a tradition continued inside the Maverik Center with a unique twist to it. After years of side by side racing, tuff trucks would race solo over a lap and a half track against the clock. With multiple races decided by less than a single second, the action was heated.

We at “The Allen Report” now turn our attention towards a new adventure with our friends at WGAS Motorsports as we look to go to their annual Riverside County Fair show in Indio, California. John Borba has always put on great shows for us to cover for years and we look forward to venturing to this particular show for the very first time.

All that being said, we want to send a huge, sincere “Thank You” to Bryan Wagner and the whole All Star Monster Truck Tour for hosting us again, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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All content copyright 2017.