The Allen Report: Monster Truck Fall Nationals – Turlock, CA 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we venture to Turlock, California, not far from Sacramento, which for fifty-one weeks a year is a farming community where life generally consists of dodging flies, delivering fruit and staying safe on the highways. But on this weekend, six of the best car crushing, dirt pounding monster trucks in the west came to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds for the annual Coors Light Monster Truck Fall Nationals. The end of an era had arrived as this was the last show promoted by John Borba, the founder of WGAS Motorsports, as his daughter Chelsea plans to take over the business in 2016 and beyond.

Coming to do battle were former World Champions Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter, with wife Dawn in Scarlet Bandit right behind. Kelvin Ramer brought his 1934 Ford Coupe Time Flys to the fairgrounds. New Georgia Tech student Rosalee Ramer flew in to drive her usual truck Wild Flower. Finally, the “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canedo brought his signature Play N’ 4 Keeps along as did Roger Stidell in his usual Destroyer from Washington state.

New to the show this year was a team competition. The monsters were split into three teams of two. Just one score would be given for both members of the team and the team with the highest score would be the champions for the year.

To get the crowd warmed up for the night’s action, each monster truck gave a run teasing the crows for things to come. In the last of the preview runs, Jim Creten got a wheelie off the jammer stack that was a bit too steep as it resulted in a backwards rollover. Jim Creten was just fine, to much applause from the crowd.

When the team freestyle began, the on track action only got increasingly heated as the night went on. Destroyer got good air and Play N’ 4 Keeps performed some audience-pumping wheelies to get a reasonable score of 18 out of a possible 30. Time Flys began the efforts of the second team. Driver Kelvin Ramer was going fast and was able fire the machine back up after being strangely shut down and did some dizzying cyclones with his steering wheel out the window to put his team in the hunt for the win. Dawn in Scarlet Bandit did not let off until her run was over, getting big air and carrying high speed in the process. She had clearly shown she was for real in this quest for the championship. Her husband Jim Creten drove like a man possessed in his official freestyle run, shooting for the moon on the hill, getting his revenge on the jammer stack and was nailing some blistering cyclones when the undercarriage of Bounty Hunter caught fire with the truck still spinning. Quick action by the WGAS officials extinguished the fire and Jim emerged unharmed. The judges rewarded the husband and wife team with a score 27.

The last truck in the order, Wild Flower, got big air over the jammer stack and popped a vertical wheelie before going off course and onto her lid. Even the early end to her run couldn’t diminish the smile on the eighteen year old’s face. As Rosalee went through her customary flower giveaway to a lucky fan in the stands, the judges’ scorecards showed her team just one single point short at 26, giving Jim and Dawn Creten the Championship.

In other motorsport action, Shane Plato and Hunter Souza put together some solid performances in the Skull Krusher and Beast Mode mini monsters. The sold out crowd was also treated to one at a time, car against clock tuff truck racing, itself a heated affair down on the track. In addition, Jake Blackwell gave rides to all who wanted in his Extinguisher ride truck, a vehicle dedicated to the emergency responders who lost their lives on 9/11.

After a brief excursion to Yuma Arizona to see the driving debut of friend and new Sturges Motorsports driver Preston Perez, we at “The Allen Report” are working towards the Arizona State Fair now, where six southwest monster trucks fight it out in freestyle and high jump contest to end the fair on the second weekend of November. Well, thank you for reading, a sincere thank you to John Borba and all the WGAS crew for another great experience, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Perris, CA 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to Perris, CA, a quiet town which, for fifty-one weeks a year is a quiet, relaxing SoCal town. But on this weekend, WGAS Motorsports brought eight of the best monster trucks in the region to Perris Auto Speedway to open the Southern California fair. Former World Champion Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter lead the charge with wife and teammate Dawn Creten right behind in her typical Scarlet Bandit. Defending the home state turf was Kelvin Ramer in his 1934 Ford Coupe Time Flys. Wild Flower was in the house as well, but with Rosalee Ramer busy attending Georgia Tech, the driver’s seat was occupied by Kelvin’s friend Jeff Souza. Tony Canedo brought his fan favorite Play N’ 4 Keeps to the Speedway, with Roger Stidell in Destroyer right behind. Tony pulled double duty this weekend, also driving Survivor while friend John Northcutt took to the cockpit of Tony’s third truck, Enforcer. When a capacity crowd piled in for the freestyle action, taking place on the front straight-a-way of the Perris Auto Speedway, all signs pointed to a real battle for the championship.

In the afternoon competition, Survivor and Enforcer got the crowd pumped up with nice runs featuring good air and honorable attempts at slap wheelies. Jeff Souza and Wild Flower got big air over the painted tire obstacle and carried high speed throughout the run to take the lead. Dawn Creten, not to be outdone, soared through the bright blue sky and followed it up with some dusty cyclones at either end of the front straight to put herself in the hunt for the win. Kelvin Ramer immediately announced his presence and did several nice slap wheelies and great combos to take the lead with only one truck to go. But Bounty Hunter proved unstoppable, shooting for the moon, doing lightning fast donuts and appearing to never lift off the throttle had the crowd roaring, clearly acknowledging the Tonganoxie, Kansas, native as the champion for the afternoon show.

Just a few hours passed before it was show time all over again. Destroyer had a good run going before sparks started showering from his front brake rotor, prompting officials to shut him down. It wasn’t an easy finale for Survivor, too. Midway through his run, the driver tried to pull a slap wheelie when the steering line broke and he too had to be pulled off the track. Jeff Souza seriously stepped up from the first show with huge air and dizzying cyclones to have the crowd on his side, at least for the moment. Dawn Creten had a high speed run with great air to again tie for the lead for the time being. Then, Time Flys got some great air and complimented it with an incredible save to get the crowd fired up. But just like the afternoon, Jim Creten was a man on a mission with incredible slap wheelies, huge air and super fast cyclones until the left rear ring gear snapped. Not wanting to make things worse, Jim Creten called it quits, but not before he had put together a fantastic freestyle run that had the crowd cheering on and on, obviously cementing himself as the double winner.

In other motorsport action, the sellout crowd was treated to mini dwarf car and junior outlaw sprint racing, where hairpin turns and close walls on either side had the racing very competitive. Also, Jake Blackwell gave rides in his Extinguisher ride truck deep into the night. So, we at “The Allen Report” are now headed to one of the last shows of the year for WGAS Motorsports, the Monster Truck Fall Nationals at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, CA. We look forward to giving you more coverage from there. In the meantime, thank you for reading, a sincere thank-you to John Borba all the WGAS Motorsports crew for hosting us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel back to the San Diego County Fair, a place that, for one hundred years, has delivered on fun rides, great food and exciting entertainment. And on the first, second and third of July, the entertainment was in the Del Mar Arena, where seven ground pounding monster trucks arrived to do battle in wheelie contest the first day, freestyle the second and, on the third day, qualifying in the afternoon and racing in the evening. The husband and wife team of Jim and Dawn Creten came to town, Jim in his sleek new black and yellow Bounty Hunter and Dawn in her traditional Scarlet Bandit. The “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canedo drove his newly purchased Survivor and Roger Stidell, as usual, piloted the trophy truck bodied Destroyer. The father-daughter team of Kelvin and Rosalee Ramer were in the house to defend their southern California home turf, Kelvin in his 1934 Ford Coupe Time Flys and Rosalee in her usual Wild Flower. Finally, Rick Swanson and his crowd-amazing Wrongway Rick arrived.

On the first day, the wheelie competition was heated. Rosalee Ramer showed how far she has come in only three years of competition with almost perfect verticality and great distance. Not to be outdone, her father Kelvin managed to get his monster on its back tires incredibly well, going vertical more than once. But Jim Creten had his wheelies down pat, often coasting mid-wheelie and not wasting any time. A perfect score of thirty saw Jim Creten take the afternoon show win. Only a few hours later, the crowd was back in the arena and so were the monsters. The Wild Flower driver gave admirable efforts, successfully going vertical on a couple occasions. But Jim Creten was unstoppable, shoving his wheelie bar deep into the dirt, not letting off the gas and delivering fantastic distance to get the double victory.

The second day saw high flying freestyle. Rick Swanson proved the namesake of his truck by getting good air, established great flow from one jump to the next, and, as always, finished off his run with some great donuts. Or reverse donuts, depending on which way he was going. Tony Canedo gave honorable attempts in Survivor’s freestyle run, but numerous teething problems hindered the trucks performance, and it showed on the judges’ scorecards. But Jim and Bounty Hunter are former World Champions, and they threw down. Cyclones, big air, great wheelies, you name it, Jim Creten did it. Even though his streak of perfect scores came to an end, it was still high enough to get the double victory.

During first show qualifying on the third and final day, Rosalee Ramer had officials looking at their stopwatches in amazement as she clocked in an incredible 13.40 seconds on the roundy-round course. Even Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter couldn’t overtake the multitalented eighteen year old, just more than one tenth of a second off the fastest time. With an odd numbered field, it was decided that Bounty Hunter would get a bye into the final round where the winner of a standard four truck bracket would face him. With the chance to face the winner from the past two straight days on the line, Rosalee Ramer and Dawn Creten faced off in an all female semi-final. In the first turn, Rosalee rolled hard into the freestyle ramp. Only the truck was damaged in the rollover and Rosalee was A-OK. Spectacular as it was, Dawn Creten won by default and with it the right to face her husband for the championship. The black and yellow Bounty Hunter crossed the finish line first, but WGAS officials concluded that Jim hit the second ramp with only one tire, costing him the race and the clean sweep. The overall Racing victory went to Dawn Creten, in only her third set of shows since April of this year, proving that the unbelievable horsepower extends to all members of Team 2Xtreme.

The crowd was also treated to Mini Dwarf car and Junior Outlaw Sprint car racing preceding each set of monster chaos. Numerous attempts to overtake and several close finishes had the crowd on edge from flag to flag more than once. The lack of repeat winners in either class showcased how competitive motor racing is, no matter the size of car.

And that’s a wrap from us here in Del Mar, as we next head north of Los Angeles to Pomona, where Fourth of July fireworks, backflipping freestyle motocross, even more monster action and a brand new stunt await us. That said, thank you for reading, a sincere thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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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!
[Read more…]

The Allen Report: Extreme Monster Air – Longview, WA 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we go up north to the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds in Longview, Washington to watch six monster trucks do battle in three rounds of freestyle. Promoter and Monster Truck Hall of Famer Mike Welch and his “Freaks of Freestyle” tour brought in Monroe, Washington’s Seth Fisher driving Tow Monster. Also there was veteran Jeff Bainter behind the wheel of Captain USA. Selma, California’s Randy Hoegh had the keys to the brand new, old school built, farming inspired identity Raging Raisin appearing for the very first time. Roger Stidell was in the house with Destroyer. Rounding out the battleground were Tyler Groth in Double Trouble and twin brother Travis Groth piloting Survivor.

The real heroes of the weekend were the “Freaks of Freestyle” track crew. Rain over the past day and a half threatened to make the venue a rodeo arena sized mud pit. But the crew smoothed out the track surface, making both mudslinging cyclones and good traction for sky high jumps equally possible. With two dirt-ramp-to-row-of-tires obstacles to hit and no shortage of room go into the spin, all signs pointed to hot and heavy, fast paced freestyle action.

As usual, the most popular competition in monster trucks today was a heated affair. Seth Fisher managed a few good hits on the tire-row obstacles and some fine donuts even with a broken steering pump. Roger Stidell had the crowd cheering with super-fast cyclones and great jumps in Destroyer before a broken transmission ended his day. Jeff Bainter showed no signs of slowing down with high speed and a jump onto the center landing ramp that brought the crowd to its feet. In the third and final round, Captain USA threw down with superb cyclones, lots of speed and big air. But the crowd cheered loudest of all for the show-ending pair freestyle starring Double Trouble and Survivor. Starting as a game of Follow the Leader, the two gradually went their own ways to entertain the huge crowd. Travis succeeded in bringing Survivor into dizzying donuts while Tyler jumped higher and higher over the tire rows every hit. The crowd went wild, clearly choosing the twins as the co-winners.

Also on the card was a mixture of classic and current filler acts as mud bog drag racing had the crowd making noise as did the burnout contest. We at “The Allen Report” sincerely urge fairground owners to contact Mike Welch to bring this great quality show to their venue. Next on the calendar for us at “The Allen Report” is monster truck figure-8 racing at the Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah. Until that day, thank you for reading, a heartfelt thanks to all the Freaks of Freestyle staff for their hospitality, please don’t forget to “Like” the Freaks of Freestyle tour on Facebook, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Kaboom – Pomona, CA 2013

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we head up to the annual KaBoom show at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California where the show is sold out for the 11th consecutive year. There, five of the west coast’s meanest monster trucks fight for survival as well as each other in the dirt track course in the infield of the horse racing track. This year’s track warriors are: Roger Stidell in Destroyer, Tony Canedo in the legendary Play N’ 4 Keeps, California’s own Pat Gerber drove Shocker, and Tucson, Arizona’s Rod Wood in El Perro Loco. And finally, perennial Pomona favorite Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter, who had made the voyage up from Del Mar earlier that day.

With an odd-numbered field, the racing bracket was changed. Reigning champion Bounty Hunter would get a bye all the way to the final round and race the winner of a standard four-truck bracket. To start racing, Destroyer had a better card than Play N’ 4 Keeps. Then, Shocker put El Perro Loco in the dog pound to face Destroyer. In a photo finish, Shocker won the race. But in the process he broke the four-link bar, surrendering his chance at facing Bounty Hunter. For the money, Bounty Hunter nailed the tight hairpin turn at the far end then was first past the exit ramp of the freestyle mound to take the racing championship over Destroyer.

Shocker would be unable to freestyle as there was more broken than just the four-link bar. El Perro Loco, the wild dog from the high desert set the bar early with wheelies and smashing one of the motor homes. He was rewarded with a score of 34 out of 40. Destroyer would also give an honorable run, but Jimmy Creten was not to be denied. Clearing the huge center mound’s exit ramp, coasting through wheelies and fast, dusty cyclones had the crowd going wild. To finish his run, Bounty smashed a “double wide” motor home. Right on cue, the pyro experts sent off the preview fireworks, which set the stage for the annual grand final, the 4th of July fireworks. A perfect 40 erased all doubt who the winner was.

As well as the monsters and fireworks, four of the most daring freestyle motocross riders in the country warmed up the crowd with gravity-defying tricks like the “Indian-Air” and the “Superman”. But the crowd was calling for the favorite backflip, and the riders didn’t disappoint.

The next stop for us at “The Allen Report” is the world’s best monster truck figure-8 race at multi-purpose racing facility Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah. That being said, thank you for reading, a special thank you to our great friends at WGAS Motorsports for putting together this fun yearly event, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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Monster Truck Radio 02/27/12 – JR McNeal & Donald Epidendio

Monster Truck Radio With Host Ross Z. Bonar & Co-Host Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, February 27th, 2011
Guest #1: JR McNeal, driver of Razin Kane
Guest #2: Donald Epidendio, driver of Titan
Roller’s Report 1.4 Guest: Roger Stidell, driver of Destroyer [Read more…]

TMB TV: Original Series 5.4 – Monster X Tour – Medford, OR 2012

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

Episode: Original Series 5.4
Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Compton Arena
Location: Medford, Oregon
Date: January 27th-28th, 2011
Host: Ross Z. Bonar
Videographers: Ross Z. Bonar
[/column] [column size=”1-3″]

Featured Monster Trucks

Bucked Up – Ed Miller
California Kid – BJ Johnson
Destroyer – Roger Stidell
Play’n 4 Keeps – Tony Canedo
Rock Star – Bill Payne
[/column] [column size=”1-3″ last=”1″]

Featured Links

www.BuckedUpApparel.com
www.E3SparkPlugs.com
www.MonsterXTour.com
www.StraightUpRacing.com
[/column] [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Medford, OR 2012

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Compton Arena
Location: Medford, Oregon
Date: January 27th-28th, 2012
Photographer: Debbie Torgerson

Lineup: Bucked Up (Ed Miller), California Kid (BJ Johnson), Destroyer (Roger Stidell), Play’n 4 Keeps (Tony Canedo), Rock Star (Bill Payne) [Read more…]

The Insider: Roger Stidell Acquires The Destroyer Monster Truck

(Article by Ross Z. Bonar) – The Destroyer monster truck has a new owner but he’s no stranger to driving monster trucks. Roger Stidell of Bellevue, Washington has driven part time for Jeff Bainter’s Captain USA team for over 6 years and now he’s got his own ride after purchasing Destroyer from Dan Evans last week.

“I’d say the first time I decided I wanted to have my own truck one day was probably back in 1978 when I first saw BIGFOOT,” said an excited Stidell. “It’s been a long road getting here and to pick up the truck the day after Christmas, that’s about the best Christmas present I could ever imagine getting!”

The 42-year-old Stidell first started talking to Evans about purchasing Destroyer nearly 6 months ago, but the deal wasn’t complete until early last week when Stidell flew to Michigan to pick up the truck. After a slow process working the deal to buy the truck, things are now moving very fast as Stidell and his new team are in full thrash mode getting the truck ready for their first event.

“I’m no savvy veteran behind the wheel by any means,” explained Stidell. “I’ve gotten some great experience over the years but I’ve only ever been a part time driver, so I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m probably about as nervous as I am excited about running my own truck, so I’m hoping things go well.”

Roger Stidell will debut his newly purchased Destroyer at the Tacoma Dome January 13th-15th.

With the Houston Monster Jam being pushed back a week and several trucks being pulled from the Tacoma, Washington lineup to fill Reliant Stadium’s new date, the door was open for Stidell. He got the call from Feld and Destroyer will be one of the replacement trucks for the January 13th-15th Tacoma Dome event.

Stidell and his friends have worked as crew help for the Tacoma Dome event for many years, so having the chance to debut his new ride at his hometown show, in front of all his friends and family, is an exciting, although nerve-wracking opportunity.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be able to run my first show in Tacoma,” said Stidell. “I’ve got a great family, amazing friends and I’m very excited about this opportunity. I just can’t express how lucky I really am and there are definitely some nerves about this being my debut with the truck.”

Along with the purchase of the truck, Stidell also acquired a second Patrick chassis, two Patrick axle housings and many other spare parts from Evans. This will eventually be a second team truck to Destroyer. For now though, Stidell’s main goal is to live up to the Destroyer standard Evans has set over the years.

“My biggest goal to start with is to try and keep the truck performing at the same high level Dan always did,” described Stidell. “He has built a great name for this truck and I just want to try to keep it going. He was from Michigan and didn’t get out this way too often, so I am excited about the chance to introduce some of the West Coast fans to the Destroyer.”

Don’t worry though all you Dan Evans fans, he’s not leaving the sport by any stretch of the imagination. Evans has been named as the driver of the new Hot Wheels ride for Feld Motor Sports after having driven for them on the European tours the last few years. This premiere seat should give Evans a great shot at returning to competition at the World Finals after several years not receiving the invite.

For more information on Roger Stidell and the Destroyer monster truck, be watching for their soon to be released new website at www.TheDestroyerMonsterTruck.com. You can also follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest team news.

Monster Truck Radio 12/12/11 – Mike Welch

Monster Truck Radio With Host Ross Z. Bonar & Co-Host Chris Parrish
Date: Monday, December 12th, 2011
Guest #1: Mike Welch, owner of Mike Welch Motorsports
Guest #2: N/A [Read more…]

Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Kansas City, MO 2011

Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Sprint Center
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Date: February 12th, 2011
Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Lineup: Aftershock (Bob Robbins), Bounty Hunter (Jay McPherson), Destroyer (Dan Evans), Grave Digger (Pablo Huffaker), Krazy Train (Roger Cardot), Martial Law (Paul Strong), Reptoid (Jim Jack), TMNT (Aaron Basl) [Read more…]