The Allen Report: Off Road Racing & Monster Trucks – Chandler, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a short trip to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, the former Firebird Raceway, which for over thirty years answered the call to fans of nearly every motorsport from drag racing on asphalt and water to off road racing and yes, monster trucks. Two of the biggest monster truck names in the state were on hand to provide exciting intermission entertainment between races at the sixth round of the Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Racing Series of Arizona. Sam Sturges came with his classic green and black 1940s Panel Wagon Unnamed & Untamed and right behind him was former Team 2Xtreme and Bad Habit Racing crew member Ben “Bobo” Winslow driving the famous blue and yellow of Nasty Boy.

With the freestyle track consisting of only two construction barriers, one of which was on top of the front straightaway, race track jumps and two junked vans, the drivers had the rare challenge of giving a good show with very little to work with. However, the monster pilots stepped up and had the fans cheering every time.

The first of three rounds of freestyle was essentially a game of “Follow the Leader”, with both trucks hitting every obstacle right after the other. Nasty Boy pulled off wheelies that have made the truck famous in the state of Arizona, much to the crowd’s delight. The man known as “Wildman Sam” often went perfectly vertical going down the frontstretch jump after hitting the construction barriers. In the second round, both monster vehicles went their separate ways, both getting excellent wheelstands and Unnamed even did some donuts to keep the crowd excited. Not to be outdone, Nasty Boy used the lane divider of the Off Road course as a wheelie bump. In the third and final round, both beasts had the crowd cheering on and on as both kept trying to upstage each other any way they could. Both gave great attempts at crushing the two side by side vans, but thanks to internal roll cages the vans held up surprisingly well despite the ten thousand pounds rolling over them. Still, even that couldn’t stop the crowd from cheering on and on as the drivers parked their machines nose to nose as a farewell to the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park fans.

When not enjoying the monster action, the big crowd on hand witnessed a variety of feature races of various off road classes from side-by-sides to trophy karts, many of which showcased heavy contact, multiple intense attempts to overtake and, in one case, a finish decided by a matter of inches. Also, the American Thunder monster ride truck was on the grounds ready to give the ride of a lifetime to any who wanted. Well, we at “The Allen Report” are about to settle down for a time before packing up again on the 4th of July weekend, bound for the always fun San Diego County Fair on the shores of Del Mar, California. That being said, thank you for reading, an sincere thanks to Ron Leach for giving us another good show close to home, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Phoenix, AZ 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on the Allen Report, we make our way to the Maricopa County Fair, which each year caters to a huge crowd with good food, thrilling rides and
excellent entertainment. On Friday and Sunday of the fair, the big crowd was in the Sanderson Ford Arena for high flying, super fast monster truck action. Tonight’s action would be provided through wheelie contest, roundy-round racing and freestyle. Friday featured Ben “Bobo” Winslow representing Sturges Motorsports in Nasty Boy. Fellow Tucson representatives Rod Wood and McGruff were in the house as well. The father and son team of Rick and Eric Swanson made the trip from California ready to give a show. On Sunday, these four were joined by the other two Sturges monster vehicles, Unnamed & Untamed with “Wildman Sam” Sturges at the controls and good friend Cesar Nunez at the helm of the ’63 Corvette Rat Attack.

On Friday, Nasty Boy and McGruff gave preview freestyle runs to get the crowd pumped up for later action. When the show officially began with wheelie contest, admirable efforts were given by all, but Rod Wood carried a beautiful slap wheelie most of the length of the floor despite little traction to the loudest applause from the crowd.

In side by side racing, officials decreed that not one but two laps would be required to achieve victory. In the heats, Rick Swanson had no trouble against Nasty Boy, punching his ticket to the finals. Son Eric did the same when Rod Wood gave a good race but was just unable to overtake the nineteen year old before the finish line jump. Before the finals, the two runners-up were bound for a third place race. But when mechanical issues prevented McGruff from firing up, the veteran Ben Winslow conserved his truck to make sure he got to the final jump and took third place. In the father and son racing finals, Rick had the lead halfway home but Eric was picking up speed. At the final jump of the bracket, nineteen year old Eric barely pulled out the victory, much to the delight of the audience.

In Freestyle, Nasty Boy soared through the Arizona sky and finally got the wheelies he had been seeking to much positive response from the crowd. Rod Wood was a man on a mission about not being able to race for third place and carried high speed, big air and superb cyclone donuts to put himself in the hunt for the freestyle win. Rick Swanson had had cross thread moves, huge air and great sky wheelies off the construction barriers, attempting to win over the fans. But Eric Swanson shot for the moon, duplicated his father’s sideways moves and put his truck into the spin cycle to the loudest cheers of all to sweep racing and freestyle the first night. With two shows to go on Sunday, the game was far from over.

On the first show Sunday, every driver gave good attempts, but Rod Wood did not rest on his laurels from two nights earlier, taking the second straight wheelie win, going straight up and down and riding it out for most of the arena floor. It wasn’t an easy win though, as Nasty Boy, Rat Attack and Unnamed & Untamed all gave the Tucson native a run for his money.

On to racing, where only one lap, not two, was needed to win. Rick Swanson buried the throttle to the floor to beat Nasty Boy coming to the finish line jump in the first round. He got the biggest air of the weekend, but a slap wheelie sent him into the concrete barriers at the the end of the track, heavily damaging the front differential. When only two trucks remained, Eric Swanson was looking to defend his Racing win streak, but Sam Sturges in Unnamed & Untamed had other ideas. When the checkered flag flew, Eric’s trophy truck monster was was just ahead of his veteran opponent, going two for two in Racing. In freestyle, every driver threw caution to the wind, hoping to get the loudest response from the spectators possible. But once more, the second generation driver Eric Swanson put big air, high speed and dusty cyclones all into the mix to a clapping and cheering crowd, clearly sweeping the Racing and Freestyle again.

In the fair closing show late Sunday, Racing was cut from the program to make room for the filler acts. For freestyle, some of the losing democross cars were made into a seven car jump and two vans were put in place as well to be crushed. In the final wheelie contest, the man behind McGruff picked up where he left off with perfect verticality and superb distance in two of his three tries to sweep wheelies for the weekend. In the final freestyle competition of the Maricopa County Fair, every driver gave it all. Nasty Boy was first to hit the two vans which gave way underneath him, sending him on his side. Driver and former bullfighter Ben Winslow was just fine. Cesar Nunez performed well in the Rat Attack vehicle, hitting every jump with gusto before a blown front tire ended his run early. But the driver behind the wheel of Obsessed was a kid on a mission. Big air over the cars, dirt slinging cyclones and high speed all through the run erased any doubt who the winner was.

The other acts alongside monster trucks were side by side tuff truck racing, which was won by John Davis in vehicle number 1495, an off road style pickup truck. John was actually behind until the final lap, where his opponent started to celebrate his victory one lap too early. And the last man standing democross had the audience both cheering and laughing with intentional spinning out, thunderous contact and vehicles coming down from the jumps on top of opposing cars’ trunks. A timed event, this race went on and on until one car was still running. That car was number 86 with Tim Randall at the wheel.

Well, monster truck fans, we at “The Allen Report” are just getting started with a busy summer and autumn schedule coming up fast and we look forward to keeping you updated from throughout the west coast, among other places. Thank you for reading, a sincere thanks to Zack and Grand Canyon State Promotions for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Monster Photos: No Limits Monster Truck Winter Nationals – Monroe, LA 2015

Event Information

Event: No Limits Monster Truck Winter Nationals
Venue: Monroe Civic Center
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Date: January 9th-10th, 2015
Photographer: Matthew Ison (Check out Matthew Ison Photography on Facebook)

Truck Lineup

Ghost Ryder (Larry Quick), Heartbreaker (Shannon Quick), Nasty Boy (Ben Winslow), Rat Attack (Ben Winslow), Unnamed & Untamed (Sam Sturges), Wicked Sickness (Mark Andrew) [Read more…]

TMB TV: Original Series 5.12 – Outlaw Nationals – Jefferson City, MO 2012

TMB TV's Original Series Presented By E3 Spark Plugs
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Episode Information

Episode: Original Series 5.12
Event: Outlaw Nationals
Venue: Jaycee-Cole County Fairgrounds
Location: Jefferson City, Missouri
Date: August 1st-2nd, 2012
Host: Ross Z. Bonar
Videographers: Colby Marshall, Ross Z. Bonar
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Featured Monster Trucks

Barbarian – Devin Jones
Bounty Hunter – Ben Winslow
Iron Outlaw – Matt Brokaw
Summit Bigfoot #16 – Larry Swim
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Featured Links

www.2XtremeRacing.com
www.Barbarian4x4.com
www.Bigfoot4x4.com
www.E3SparkPlugs.com
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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Summer Throwdown – Monroe, MI 2012

Event: Monster Truck Summer Throwdown
Venue: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Date: August 3rd, 2012
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Excaliber (Jon Zimmer), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Megabite (Chris Bergeron), West Virginia Mountaineer (Rich Hilgendorf), Spike (Brad Allen) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Truck Summer Throwdown – Monroe, MI 2012

Event: Monster Truck Summer Throwdown
Venue: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Date: August 3rd, 2012
Photographer: Michael Harry

Lineup: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Excaliber (Jon Zimmer), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Megabyte (Chris Bergeron), West Virginia Mountaineer (Rich Hilgendorf), Spike (Brad Allen) [Read more…]

The Allen Report: Maverik Clash of the Titans – West Valley City, UT 2012

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on The Allen Report, we come to you from the Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah where two of the biggest monster truck teams have to fight to get to victory lane. 2Xtreme Racing was represented by the black Bounty Hunter driven by Ben “Bobo” Winslow and, as always, Jimmy Creten in the blue Bounty Hunter. Dawn Creten, with Scarlet Bandit in tow, had embarrassing the boys on her mind and regular Hurricane Force driver Steven Thompson jumped into the Iron Outlaw for the very first time in a substitute role.

Representing Team Bigfoot was Dan Runte coming to RMR in the radical Bigfoot #18 for the very first time with Larry Swim behind the wheel of Vi-Cor Bigfoot “Bessie” #16. As always, the Salt Lake area’s own Maverik Monster Trakker was in the house driven by Ron Duncombe, and rounding out the field were the twin brothers Groth: Travis driving the ever patriotic Captain USA and Tyler driving the truck they had built from the ground up, Double Trouble.

From the start, the world’s only cow themed monster truck was driven to its limit, taking the number one spot as the sole driver to qualify in the 29 second range. Due to the odd number of competitors, Bessie got a bye run in the first round, but from there it only got harder. To face Bessie in the finals, both Bounty Hunters had to race each other, with the ever experienced Jimmy Creten in the Blue Bounty taking the win. Bigfoot #18 tried his hardest against his own teammate, but Larry, who drove Snake Bite to the finals in one race of this event a year ago, was not to be denied.

In the 2 lap grand finale, the event’s perennial racing finalist Bounty Hunter Blue got the matchup he wanted with Larry. But “the cow”, as the announcers called Bessie throughout the weekend, had the corners down better than any other driver, taking the Saturday night racing win, despite being behind at the start of the final lap.

As a prelude to freestyle the next day, a wheelie contest closed the first night. All drivers gave their best efforts, but the two time reigning champion, with now no chance for a three-peat, unleashed his truck’s inner beast, carrying a slap wheelie three-quarters of the length of the front straightaway. Not surprisingly, Dan’s score was an almost perfect 9.4 out of a potential 10.0 to take the win. But the weekend was far from over.

On Sunday, Dan and Bigfoot #18 had their eyes on the prize, and it showed. He was king of the hill once more in qualifying, missing his own track record by just seven-tenths of a second. Things took a turn on the wild side when Maverik Monster Trakker tried to make up for lost time against Bigfoot #18 in the quarter-finals, only to cartwheel hard on its roll cage in a savage crash. While Ron was only rattled, a continuous list of broken parts meant there was no saving the home state monster.

Dan’s march to the finals required him to take out the rising star they call “Bobo” in Bounty Hunter Black, and he delivered. Back in 2010, Jim Creten and Dan Runte had faced each other in the final round both nights, with Dan, at the time driving Retro Bigfoot #16, going two for two in those races. The final race of the weekend this year would mirror that sight, with Bounty Hunter fans watching in bitter disappointment as Runte took another racing trophy.

This time, the grand finale was all out freestyle. The four runner-up finishes in six final round races over the past three years made the former World Freestyle Champion even more determined, hitting everything with tremendous speed, creativity in a class all its own, and unbeatable air on every obstacle and erased all doubt about who the winner was. The Tonganoxie, Kansas native narrowly edged out Larry Swim in Bessie who also had an excellent run with a score of 36.85, stopping the Bigfoot clean sweep and winning freestyle at RMR for the third time in as many years.

As usual, the entire weekend saw Basalt, Idaho’s own Ron Barrows and his ride truck called “Thumper” giving rides to everyone who wanted one. With a different racing winner each night, there was no Undisputed Champion for the first time since “The Allen Report” started representing TMB in West Valley City. But as both racing winners had the name Bigfoot on the sides of their trucks, the overall racing winner was team Bigfoot.

Next up for us is the 2nd Annual International Monster Truck Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where legends become immortals. Until that time, thank you for reading, a special thanks to everyone at Rocky Mountain Raceways for their wonderful hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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TMB TV: Highlights – All Star Monster Truck Tour – 2012 West Coast Swing

Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Wyoming State Fairgrounds & Nevada County Fairgrounds
Location: Douglas, Wyoming & Grass Valley, California
Date: August 10th-11th, 2012
Videographer: 2Xtreme Racing & Fischer’s Towing

Lineup: Douglas, WY – Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Monkey’N Around (Steven Hill), Outtacontrol (Orville Hill), Scarlet Bandit (Steven Thompson)
Lineup: Grass Valley, CA – Bucked Up (Kenny Whitmarsh), California Kid (BJ Johnson), El Perro Loco (Rod Wood), Rock Star (Bill Payne) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals – Jefferson City, MO 2012

Event: O’Reilly Outlaw Nationals
Venue: Jaycee-Cole County Fairgrounds
Location: Jefferson City, Missouri
Date: August 1st-2nd, 2012
Photographer: Danny Maass

Lineup: Barbarian (Devin Jones), Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Iron Outlaw (Matt Brokaw), Summit Bigfoot #16 (Larry Swim) [Read more…]

TMB TV: Original Series 5.10 – Monster Truck Racing Super Series – Springdale, AR 2012

TMB TV's Original Series Presented By E3 Spark Plugs
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Episode Information

Episode: Original Series 5.10
Event: Monster Truck Racing Super Series
Venue: Parsons Stadium
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Date: June 1st-2nd, 2012
Host: Ross Z. Bonar
Videographers: Colby Marshall, Ross Z. Bonar, Shane Skinner
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Featured Monster Trucks

Amsoil Shock Therapy – Jeremy Brady
Barbarian – Devin Jones
Bounty Hunter – Jimmy Creten
Ground Pounder – Chris Whatley
Iron Outlaw – Ben Winslow
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Featured Links

www.2XtremeRacing.com
www.Barbarian4x4.com
www.E3SparkPlugs.com
www.SuddenImpact.com
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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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Monster Photos: Monster Truck Thunder Slam – Fort Wayne, IN 2012

Event: Monster Truck Thunder Slam
Venue: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date: March 23rd-24th, 2012
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Ballistic (Mac Plecker), Bounty Hunter (Jay McPherson), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Reptoid (Jim Jack), War Wizard (DJ Hickman) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Evansville, IN 2012

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Ford Center
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Date: January 6th-7th, 2012
Photographer: Chris Parrish

Lineup: Amsoil Shock Therapy (Jon Zimmer), Bounty Hunter (Darren Migues), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Iron Man (Scott Buetow), Iron Outlaw (Ben Winslow), Monster Mutt Rottweiler (Charles Benns), Stone Crusher (Morgan Kane)
[Read more…]

Video of the Week – 12/10/11

Week Ending: December 10th, 2011
Truck(s) Featured: Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Iron Outlaw (Jimmy Creten)
Video Type: Fan Video
Courtesy: www.YouTube.com

Description: An incredible dual freestyle from 2Xtreme Racing’s Jimmy Creten and Ben Winslow as Winslow in Bounty Hunter jumps Creten in Iron Outlaw, then Creten lines up and nails a picture perfect backflip! Wild way to end the season!

Monster Photos: Lone Star Monster Truck Nationals – Conroe, TX 2011

Event: Lone Star Monster Truck Nationals
Venue: Lone Star Expo Center
Location: Conroe, Texas
Date: October 14th-15th, 2011
Photographer: Matthew Ison

Lineup: Bounty Hunter (Ben Winslow), Monkey’N Around (Steven Hill), Outtacontrol (Orville Hill), Strait Jacket (Kevin King), Tuff Enuff (Jack Koberna) [Read more…]