The Allen Report: WGAS Motorsports Season Finale – Turlock, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our third and final trip this year to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, California. This show was the season finale for our friends at WGAS Motorsports with five high flying, dirt slinging and crowd pleasing monster trucks ready to square off in two rounds of freestyle. A maximum of 100 points per round would be on the line with the highest combined score between the two rounds taking the Overall Championship.

The “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canedo brought all three of his trucks to the fairgrounds. Tony himself took the wheel of Playin’ for Keeps. Local driver Jeff Souza once more got into the seat of Enforcer. Finally, David Tucker climbed back into the Survivor machine. Defending spring event champion Bounty Hunter returned and driver Jimmy Creten was ready to defend his title. Finally, teammate and wife Dawn Creten arrived in her trusty Scarlet Bandit, ready to take the boys head on.

Mini monsters were in the house as well, one of which was Skull Krusher driven by Shane Plato. Rounding out the field was Corbin Shockey in the bright yellow Monster Buddy. In addition, fans attending the event witnessed the first ever performance in California of the Wolfpack Mega Truck Team featuring drivers Glenn Miller, Bob Miller and Greg Queener . These machines are true to the bone monster trucks with the exception of smaller tires. However the drivers push these vehicles just as hard as their life size monster driving counterparts.

This event was a family affair for the Souza’s as Jeff’s son Hunter took to the controls of his Wrecking Machine mini monster for the final time as Jeff and Hunter have big possible future plans. Finally, Jeff’s daughter Cheyenne drove the side by side, or Razor, in an exhibition only run over the tuff truck course. This pumped up the large crowd for tuff truck racing which is a longstanding tradition at this venue.

First out of the gate was Dawn Creten. She got big air several times and turned in some great donuts to take an early lead with a score of 75. Two runs later, Enforcer took to the track. In his run he reached for the sky and hit the obstacles the wrong way to take the Overall title points lead with a score of 90. The first round of freestyle was wrapped up by a bumper dragging wheelie, dirt throwing cyclones and consistent huge air by Bounty Hunter to secure the points lead.

As the final round progressed, all drivers threw caution to the wind. Scarlet Bandit had an excellent run highlighted by big air and capped off by Dawn Creten’s customary wave while leaning out the window. Jeff Souza performed an incredible save right in front of the main grandstand to evoke a huge crowd response. Tony Canedo brought Playin’ for Keeps back out and didn’t let a deflated tire and broken sway bar stop him from thrilling the crowd. But the only former World Champion on the roster delivered a storming run, nailing a virtually perfect score and took the Overall Championship.

Then it was time for the grand finale. The four surviving life size monsters, one omega truck and one mini monster all performed donuts at the same time in front of a roaring crowd to end another season for WGAS Motorsports.

Throughout the night, fans were treated to exciting tuff truck racing as well as quad war action with Team Turlock defeating rival team Phoenix in the main event. Also, the crowd was treated to a burnout contest, which proved a hit with fans. Jake Blackwell and Kaylee Muntz provided fans with spectacular Monster Truck rides in the Extinguisher and Zombie Tracker ride trucks respectively.

Well, that completes our first full season with WGAS Motorsports. Next, we head back to one of our hometown venues for the first of two weekends at the Arizona State Fairgrounds thanks to Bryan Wagner and the All Star Productions. We want to give a gracious thank you to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler and all of the members of WGAS Motorsports for their excellent hospitality and having us every chance possible. We want to thank you, our readers, for taking the time to read our coverage, enjoy the photos, please check us out and follow us on Facebook and Instagram under “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris” and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: WGAS Motorsports Monster Trucks – Watsonville, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make a drive to the Santa Cruz County Fair in Watsonville, California, for the very first time to a show promoted by our friends at WGAS Motorsports. We have long known this place as the hometown of the father/daughter team of Kelvin Ramer driving his usual Time Flys and Rosalee Ramer piloting her traditional Wild Flower. This team is wrapping up a phenomenal season that saw Rosalee finish in the top 10 in the battle for the World Finals Freestyle Championship and Kelvin walk away with both the Save of the Year and Stadium Wheelie of the Year awards from the same event. These two came ready to put together the best show possible for their hometown fans at the Ocean Speedway, at the fairgrounds.

The competition was supplied by Tony “The Flying Spaniard” Canedo at the helm of the haunting red Play ‘n For Keeps machine and Jeff Souza at the wheel of his trusty Enforcer, the truck’s red and blue police car style flashing lights making it impossible to miss while on the arena floor.

The all freestyle track, built across the main straightaway of the dirt oval featured two sets of van stacks and a motor home to smash, plus a junk car used for wheelies as opposed to the typical construction barrier. When fans filled the grandstand to the rafters, all signs pointed to a fast paced, highly destructive freestyle battle.

Enforcer opened things up for the monsters by getting big air several times and pointing the truck’s nose towards the sky repeatedly to great positive response from the crowd. The good performance was acknowledged by the professional judges with a score of 65 out of a possible 100. Next, Tony Canedo performed even steeper vertical wheelies than his team truck and followed it up by hitting the wheelie junk car the opposite way. His efforts to upstage his teammate were successful as the judges gave him a score of 75. But the loudest cheers were reserved for the home team.

Kelvin set the pace for what was to come very soon with huge air, great attempts at his signature wheelstands and excellent donuts. The elder Ramer left very little room to top with a score of 95. But the 2016 Monster Jam Rookie of the Year was ready to attack the track. She did so with consistent big air and admirable slap wheelies of her own. Moments later, Time Flys returned to the floor alongside Wild Flower, commencing a side by side freestyle. While Wild Flower was content to jump over the motor home, Time Flys went right through it. For the grand finale, both drivers took a spot on the Speedway infield and began to turn side by side cyclones. Rosalee had her truck rotating at incredible speed, even bringing the inside tires off the ground and back down at least three times yet never rolling over. The fantastic finish garnered Wild Flower a perfect 100 score, handing her the freestyle championship for the night, much to the roaring audience’s approval.

Throughout the final show of the week the following night, all drivers upped their game to please the fans. Enforcer hit the wheelie car the wrong way, just as his teammate had done the night before, and jumped higher still, upping his score to 70. But Tony Canedo refused to back down, reaching for the stars and getting great air several times. And doing so convinced the judges to hand down a score of 85, leaving not much room at the top. But that little room was all Kelvin and Rosalee needed. The father and daughter duo each got huge air and duplicated their finale from the night before, only faster still. Many times it looked like Rosalee had finally pushed her truck over the edge only to bring the tires back down to the ground each time, repeating her perfect score and accomplishing the weekend sweep.

There was plenty of action besides the monsters at the Santa Cruz County Fair. The first night saw a round of quad war action between the good guys of Team Watsonville and the bad guys of Team Los Angeles. It appeared that the trophy would be taken home by the rival team, but race officials had caught a member of the visiting team cheating in an attempt to steal the win. A grudge match with the series on the line was agreed upon, and this time, there was no denying the good guys of Team Watsonville the overall win. The second and final night was highlighted by the daredevil airborne antics of freestyle motocross riders Jimmy Fitzpatrick, commander of the Fitz Army and former X Games Gold Medalist Destyn Cantrell. Their breathtaking feats, from Superman’s to heel clickers to the fan favorite backflips had the crowd gasping for more.

With those great shows now history, we at “The Allen Report” make a quick turnaround to the second and final show of the year at Tucson Speedway. With two participants making their first ever appearance at this venue and the reigning Tucson Speedway freestyle champion, Mark Schroeder’s Devastator, busy elsewhere, it’s almost impossible to predict who will walk away with the championship. With that behind us, thanks for reading, a gracious thank-you to Dave Track Guy and Tucson Speedway for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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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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The Allen Report: Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals – Turlock, CA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the peaceful town of Turlock, CA. It’s a quiet place where most thrills are supplied by the sports teams of nearby big cities. But on the second weekend of May, the thrill seeking crowd was inside the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds ready to experience some thunderous, high flying, high speed monster truck action. Eight competitive monster trucks and one mini monster arrived to do battle in hot and heavy freestyle competition.

Second generation driver Hunter Souza brushed the off season dust off and took the wheel of the Wrecking Machine mini monster. International Monster Truck Hall of Fame member Terry Woodcock was in the house inside the cockpit of the 35th Anniversary Cyclops. All three of the “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canedo’s monsters came to town. Tony himself, as always, drove the new trophy truck bodied Play ‘n For Keeps. David Tucker was the pilot of the Survivor machine and was ready to make thunder around the arena and Jeff Souza, Hunter’s father, was ready to rumble as the driver of Enforcer. Eric Swanson and his beautiful 1968 Ford F-100 bodied Obsessed were locked and loaded. Father Rick Swanson would settle for nothing less than the win in his Top Notch Tee’s sponsored Obsession. Dawn Creten was ready to give the boys a run for their money in Scarlet Bandit. Finally, 2005 World Freestyle Champion Jim Creten had his eyes on first place with American Sniper Bounty Hunter in tow.

With two tabletop jumps, a big hill and a construction barrier for wheelies all on the track, it was going to take a great deal of effort to walk away with the trophy and celebratory champagne. Then, to top things off, a near capacity crowd filed in for both shows and all signs pointed to great monster truck action for all.

On Friday night, Scarlet Bandit set the pace with a good run featuring big air, hitting the arena entry construction barrier the wrong way and nice combos to score 75 points with perfection being 100. Next in line was Survivor, who had terrific cyclones and more big air, but just missed the lead by five points at a score of 70. Terry Woodcock and Cyclops had steering issues and did not make it out of the pits. Wrapping up the first half of the field was Enforcer. Jeff Souza delivered the biggest air so far, lightning fast cyclones and even cross threads to raise the bar to new heights with a score of 95.

Truck after truck came after the police themed monster vehicle, only to fall short. Then, Bounty Hunter came storming in with dirt digging slap wheelies, hitting the big hill the wrong way and massive air over the tabletop. When the judges score was handed down, Bounty Hunter and Enforcer found themselves tied for the win. The real winners, however, were the fans. And as the co-champions got into a champagne spraying battle, the spectators continued to cheer.

The final show of the weekend on Saturday evening saw freestyle once more a heated affair, with all drivers looking to better themselves from the day before. Former World Finals Freestyle runner-up Dawn Creten and Scarlet Bandit did just that, with great donuts, big air and hitting obstacles the wrong way upped her score to 80, five whole points better than the night before.

Terry Woodcock had worked much of Friday night and most of Saturday to fix broken steering in the hopes he could give a significantly better show the second night. It worked and the monster with a legendary name got great air and brought the front tires up in an almost perfectly vertical wheelstand right as time expired to temporarily take the lead by one single point at 81.

A potent combination of huge air, high speed, hitting obstacles sideways and then a nasty crash put Enforcer in a familiar place, the top of the leader board with a score of 95. In spite of the severity of the crash, Jeff Souza was unhurt. But Bounty Hunter was not to share the trophy a second time. Incredible speed, fantastic combos, vertical slap wheelies and dizzying cyclones had the crowd roaring and the judges were impressed. With a perfect score of 100 Jim Creten and Bounty Hunter took the freestyle trophy.

In other racing action, a new addition arrived thanks to WGAS Motorsports in Quad Wars ATV competition. It was Turlock riders against a rival CA team. Even controversial mid-race actions by the evil team couldn’t stop the hometown heroes from taking the main event wins both nights. Also in the arena was vehicle against clock tuff truck racing. The second night, the opening two vehicles in the street legal class got big air multiple times, culminating in much damage and loud cheers from the massive crowd. Finally, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, commander of the Fitz army and Cal Valone wowed the crowd with death defying, incredible tricks, climaxing in the fan favorite backflip train. The riders were hesitant to perform due to the gusty wind conditions, but when show-time arrived, both riders stepped up and made the best of the sketchy conditions.

All that said, we at “The Allen Report” are going to take a rest from monsters for a while. But we will return soon from one of our favorite shows every year, the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar. We are excited to give you Monster Truck loving fans more coverage from that venue. Well, thanks very much for reading, a huge “Thank-You” to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler, Greg Atherton and each member of the WGAS Motorsports crew for having us, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Washington State Spring Fair Monster Trucks – Puyallup, WA 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to the Washington State Spring Fair in Puyallup. It’s a fair that sees all kinds of entertainment from thrill rides to concerts. Adding to the fair’s opening evening entertainment on Friday, WGAS Motorsports brought ten of the best monster trucks to go to war in qualifying, Chicago style racing and the car munching, sky touching insanity of freestyle. This show is a rarity in the sport of monster truck competition as the performance arena had no dirt, the show taking place on the asphalt surface.

Making the trip from Bakersfield, CA, was International Monster Truck Hall of Fame driver Terry Woodcock and his beautiful 35th Anniversary Cyclops. Hometown hero from just up the road in Stanwood, WA, was Dave Smith and the sleek black Maniac. Coming north from Vacaville, CA, was the “Flying Spaniard” Tony Canado himself driving the red Play ‘n For Keeps while friend and Turlock, CA, resident Jeff Souza took the wheel of the police themed Enforcer. Hot off his excellent performance at Monster Jam’s Double-Down Showdown was Eric Swanson and his retro Ford pickup bodied Obsessed. Right behind him was teammate and father Rick Swanson and his Top Notch Tee’s sponsored Obsession.

Completing the field were all four members of the 2Xtreme Racing team. Piloting Knucklehead, the official monster truck of metal band Five Finger Death Punch, was a new driver for 2Xtreme racing Austin Minton. Behind the wheel of Iron Outlaw was Christian Norman, a young driver who has driven this truck three times previously. Per always, former Army medic Dawn Creten took control of Scarlet Bandit. Finally, team leader and founder Jim Creten was at the helm of the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter. Jim had driven almost three thousand miles from Charlotte, North Carolina to be in Puyallup for this show.

In qualifying, it didn’t take long for the action to unfold as Enforcer nicked the turning tire on his first run and sent him upside down. Jeff was okay and the damage to Enforcer was quite minimal. The past two times Rick Swanson had been here, he won and it appeared that a third win would not be far ahead as he set the new time to beat at 15.04 seconds. But the twenty-one year veteran’s happiness was short lived as former World Champion Jim Creten put together a storming run of 12.19 seconds. Truck after truck went after Jim Creten’s time, but the former Mr. Kansas bodybuilding champion was able to hold off the competition to take the number one spot headed into eliminations.

At the drivers meeting earlier in the day, WGAS officials decided that in spite of ten trucks participating, only those who qualified eighth or faster would race in the bracket. In the opening quarter final heat, Terry Woodcock tried his hardest against the fastest qualifier, but Bounty Hunter easily took the win to advance one step closer to the racing championship. Obsession stayed in the hunt to keep his win streak alive with a win over home state truck Maniac. In the semi-finals, Dawn Creten’s hopes of a husband and wife final were dashed when in the closest finish of the evening she came up only a few inches short to Obsession in the photo finish. Bounty Hunter disposed of team truck Iron Outlaw to meet the two time winner in the finals. The Menifee, CA, driver gave everything he had, but Jim Creten was just too fast, taking the Racing Championship.

With many crush cars in the center of the arena floor and all sorts of room for wheelies and donuts, freestyle was sure to be a heated affair. Scarlet Bandit set the bar for all followers with decent sky wheelies and smoke-causing cyclones. Her efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the judges either, her run being rewarded with a score of 70 out of a possible 100. Terry Woodcock gave a nice effort with cross threads and a nice sky wheelie to much positive response from the big crowd on hand. But Scarlet Bandit’s lead would remain intact until the second half of the field took to the track. Rear steer problems couldn’t stop Enforcer from a high energy run full of cross threads, lightning speed and tire smoking donuts taking the lead with a score of 80. The second to last truck was Enforcer’s teammate. Play ‘n For Keeps had great sky wheelies, big air and went into the spin cycle to put the freestyle championship within his reach with a score of 95. But Jim Creten was a man on a mission, and he drove accordingly. Hi high energy run included bumper dragging slap wheelies, high flying air and smashing flat the crush cars to garner a score of 98 and the double win.

To close this first night of motorsport mayhem at Puyallup, an epic fireworks show shot high into the night sky that had the spectators cheering on and on. Next on the list of shows for us at “The Allen Report” is our third trip to Tucson, AZ, this year for a show at the NASCAR sanctioned Tucson Speedway. More coverage from there on the way. On that note, thank you for reading, a special thanks to John Borba, Chelsea Kessler and the whole WGAS crew for their gracious hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Kaboom Monster Trucks – Pomona, CA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to Pomona, California, a town rich in motorsport history as the home of one of the first professional drag strips and that of the official NHRA museum. But on this day, five giant monster trucks took to the Pomona Fairplex to do battle in head to head racing and motor home munching, high flying freestyle.

Jimmy Creten came to town in his slick looking Yellow Stripe Bounty Hunter with East Coast regular Matt Cody behind the wheel of the pickup Iron Outlaw. Rod Wood, piloting McGruff, made the trip from just outside Tucson, Arizona. Rounding out the field was Vacaville, California’s Tony “Flying Spaniard” Canedo driving Play ‘n 4 Keeps with teammate Jeff Souza in tow, who took the wheel of Enforcer. This is a name that garnered legendary status throughout the West Coast under ownership of Terminator’s Gary Schott in the ‘90s before being retired. However, the name was brought back into the public eye at this venue two years ago as the third member of Tony’s trio of monsters.

WGAS officials constructed an interesting double-semi-oval race course. Both trucks would race down off the giant tabletop in the middle of the floor in opposite directions. Next the monsters would go around a hairpin turn before putting the heel to the steel and jumping past each other over the finish line ramp. With the odd number of monster vehicles in the field, reigning champion Bounty Hunter got a bye to the finals where he would await the winner of a standard four truck bracket.

To open racing, Jeff Souza and Enforcer upended McGruff and Iron Outlaw beat Play ‘n 4 Keeps to advance to the semi-finals. With the right to face Bounty Hunter on the line, both trucks ran a great race, but it was Iron Outlaw who took the win. The championship race was one for the history books. The finish was so close, officials could not agree on who to call as the winner. So it was decided to rerun the championship race. With the title still undecided as the green flags waved again, both drivers pushed even harder, but this time, the race was more decisive, with Bounty Hunter narrowly taking the win and retaining his championship. But freestyle was still to come.

Upset about his racing loss, Jeff Souza went out first. With a good run going, his rear axle got away from him coming down from the big hill and blew the rear tire. McGruff put himself in the hunt with great slap wheelies, smashing one of the two motor homes and having consistent good speed. Play‘n 4 Keeps destroyed the other motor home, carried beautiful wheelies and even performed some dusty donuts to the delight of the crowd. Even a bent champagne couldn’t keep the veteran from having a great run. But Bounty Hunter could not be stopped. Driver Jimmy Creten gave the judges everything they were looking for and so much more. Right as his run ended, the other trucks that were still mechanically good came back on the floor. For the finale, all the monsters came down the side of the big hill and went right into cyclones. That was the cue for the preliminary pyrotechnics. This set the stage for the fireworks, a longstanding tradition at the KaBoom! event. Once more, the display from smiley faces, to all sorts of color combinations, to the usual red, white and blue, the Fourth of July tradition of fireworks had the fans cheering the whole time.

In other action, Chachi “The Rocketman” Valencia loaded himself into a cannon and shot himself one hundred and sixty-three feet through the air and landed perfectly in his safety net. As you can expect, the crowd was going nuts. Another KaBoom! tradition continued with four of the top freestyle motocross riders in the nation delivering a wide variety of death defying tricks, the most notable of which were backflip variations.

Well, we at “The Allen Report” are turning our attention to the month of August and the biggest monster truck event in the state of Utah, the 20th Anniversary Maverik Clash of the Titans. This year is slated to be the biggest of them all with no less than 16 trucks on the card for figure 8 racing, wheelie contest and freestyle. Well monster truck fans, thanks for reading, a sincere thank-you to Chelsea Kessler and all the WGAS officials for another great time on Independence Day, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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The Allen Report: Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals – Turlock, CA 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

“The Allen Report” is back and we return to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, California, this time in the month of May for the popular Budweiser Monster Truck Spring Nationals. Turlock is a relaxed, peaceful town where the biggest disturbance is normally the frequent freight train. However, there was some additional noise in the air on Friday and Saturday night where seven high flying, car smashing monster trucks arrived to do battle in bus munching, donut spinning freestyle.

Making the trip from Tonganoxie, Kansas were Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter. Popular hometown driver Russell Steeley stepped up to drive team truck Iron Outlaw for the final time so he could give his pulling truck his sole attention in the near future. From just down the road in Menifee, California, were the father/son duo of Rick and Eric Swanson. Former Monster Jam Young Guns Shootout competitor Eric was behind the wheel of his pickup bodied Obsessed and Rick continued his 20th anniversary of professional monster trucking in his breathtaking Obsession, complete with a film strip featuring just a fraction of his numerous TV and commercial appearances running down either side. Rounding out the field was Tony Canedo, who brought all three of his trucks, ready to give a good show to the crowd. David Tucker would take the wheel of Survivor and Jeff Souza would pilot Enforcer while Tony himself stuck to his usual Play ‘N for Keeps.

With two buses to crush, a van stack at the arena entry, two great spaces for getting into the spin cycle and several tuff truck jumps to get the monsters off the ground, there was no room for error and every freestyle point would count. As the huge crowd filed in for the pre-show autograph session and the show on Friday night, the drivers could feel the pressure.

First truck out was Jeff Souza and Enforcer who immediately got huge air over the bus stack. Obsession with Rick Swanson at the wheel came out next, got good air and great donuts. The third truck in the order was Survivor, and the iconic Pacific Northwest name under new ownership put together a great run, clearing the tuff truck jumps and doing a nosedive over the bus that saw driver David Tucker just barely bring it back down onto all fours. Next in line was Iron Outlaw, who cleared the entire bus stack completely, kept the speed up the whole run and did some lightning fast cyclones as Russ Steeley finished up his second to last ever run in a monster truck. His effort rewarded him with a score of 86 with 100 being perfection. Truck after truck came after him but it wasn’t until the last truck in line and former World Champion hit the floor. Jimmy Creten matched Russell jump for jump, but carried several great wheelies across the fairgrounds floor to take the lead and the Friday night victory.

The second and final night of monster truck competition saw a big crowd and bigger efforts by every monster pilot in the field. However, the end of the night came a little too soon for the first truck out Enforcer. Coming down from the van stack awkwardly, the 1990s West Coast monster legend in its new form blew the left front tire. Jeff Souza wasn’t hurt, however, and that was the closest to a major incident the whole night. In his last ever appearance behind the wheel of a monster vehicle, hometown hitter Russell Steeley gave huge air over the bus, and an admirable wheelie attempt to put him back in the lead with the championship in sight. The young rising star Eric Swanson pushed his machine to its limit, clearing the bus stack both ways and turning in his family’s usual great donuts to get the crowd screaming. Last out was the only driver who could earn back to back titles. Jimmy Creten gave everything the fans wanted; big air, wheelies and donuts. It was not an unrewarded attempt either as the second perfect score in as many nights garnered Bounty Hunter the double victory. Both the 2Xtreme drivers were interviewed for the crowd and were thankful to the fans for showing up to support them.

In other race action, Jeff Souza’s son Hunter, Lee Plato’s son Shane and Corbin Shockey practiced for the big leagues with the Wrecking Machine, Skull Krusher and Monster Buddy mini monsters, respectively. Also there was one at a time, vehicle against timed tuff truck racing which saw the crowd cheering the reckless drivers and booing the cautious ones. One of the tuff truck participants was former Mike Welch Motorsports driver Sammy Baca out of Modesto, CA. Finally, the future of racing was on full display as kids drove Junior Outlaw Sprint and Mini Dwarf racecars on a tight oval around the bus stack with very little room to overtake. This made the racing exciting for all in attendance. During opening ceremonies for both shows, a moment of silence was held for longtime WGAS announcer Lloyd Massey who tragically passed away just days before the Monster Jam World Finals this year.

Okay, now we at “The Allen Report” look to make a return to Longview, Washington, to support Mike Welch Freaks of Freestyle and we do so hoping for better weather this time. In the meantime, thank you for reading, a special thank you to Chelsea Kessler and the entire WGAS crew for having us, enjoy the photos, don’t forget to follow us in real time under the name “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris” on Facebook and Instagram, and cheer on!

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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 – Pomona, CA 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “the Allen Report”, we once more venture to the Fairplex in Pomona, California, a town rich in motorsport history as the birthplace of the modern day drag racing funny car and a host city of one of the first ever stadium off road event produced by the legendary Mickey Thompson. But on Fourth of July, it was all about gear grinding monster trucks. Jim and Dawn Creten made the trip up from Del Mar with Bounty Hunter and Scarlet Bandit ready to thrill the fans, as did Tony Canedo, only this time pulling double duty in Play N’ 4 Keeps and Enforcer. And nineteen year old rising star Eric Swanson was in town ready to perform in his sharp looking off road bodied Obsessed monster. When a huge crowd piled in, all things appeared to point to an action packed night, and all the performers delivered.

To start the action, a new Pomona tradition was born when “the Rocketman” Choche Valencia had fans marveling at his one-hundred and fifty-five foot leap out of a cannon into the safety of a big net. Next were the daredevil freestyle motocross riders, notably the leader of the “Fitz Army”, Metal Mulisha’s own Jimmy Fitzpatrick. The fans cheered on and on as the riders went bigger and bigger with the tricks, ultimately culminating in backflip variations.

The monsters got off to roaring starts too, with roundy-round racing setting the bar for what was to come. Dawn Creten and Eric Swanson faced off for the right to face Bounty Hunter in the super final. A slow start and hitting one the turning tires slowed down Eric, giving Dawn a rematch against her husband from Del Mar. Jim Creten rarely makes the same mistake and he did not here, crossing the finish line just ahead of Scarlet Bandit. Freestyle began with Eric Swanson getting great air off the bread truck and doing some excellent donuts. Tony Canedo and Play N’ 4 Keeps gave great wheelie efforts and were rewarded with the crowd’s cheers. But Jim Creten showcased why he won the Freestyle World Title in 2005, with huge speed, smashing through a motor home and completely vertical wheelstands. To finish off the monster action, the others joined Bounty Hunter on the stadium floor and drove up and over the huge center mound, leading to all the monsters doing side by side donuts to ignite the initial fireworks as a prelude to what was just a few moments away. A spectacular fireworks show, with hearts and happy faces to almost any color conceivable had the crowd gasping and cheering deep into the night.

Well then, we at “The Allen Report” are going to take a little time off, but when we return, you will have access to monster truck figure-8 racing, courtesy of our friends at Rocky Mountain Raceways. Til that day, thank you for reading, a special thank-you to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality, 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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TMB TV: Original Series 5.4 – Monster X Tour – Medford, OR 2012

TMB TV's Original Series Presented By E3 Spark Plugs
[column size=”1-3″]

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 – Bakersfield, CA 2012

Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Rabobank Arena
Location: Bakersfield, California
Date: January 20th-21st, 2012
Photographer: Debbie Torgerson

Lineup: Bucked Up (Ed Miller), California Kid (BJ Johnson), El Perro Loco (Rod Wood), Firestone Bigfoot #10 (Kyle Doyle), Play’n 4 Keeps (Tony Canedo), Rock Star (Bill Payne) [Read more…]

TMB TV: Original Series 5.3 – Monster X Tour – Bakersfield, CA 2012

TMB TV's Original Series Presented By E3 Spark Plugs
[column size=”1-3″]

Episode Information

Episode: Original Series 5.3
Event: Monster X Tour
Venue: Rabobank Arena
Location: Bakersfield, California
Date: January 20th-21st, 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
El Perro Loco – Rod Wood
Firestone Bigfoot #10 – Kyle Doyle
Play’n 4 Keeps – Tony Canedo
Rock Star – Bill Payne
[/column] [column size=”1-3″ last=”1″]

Featured Links

www.BIGFOOT4x4.com
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…]