The Allen Report: Rocky Mountain Raceway Maverik Clash of the Titans 2017

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we hit the road back to Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah, for the ninth consecutive year. Once again, we arrive to a stacked lineup of twelve well known monster trucks ready to do battle on the oval track’s figure-8 course, a track that has been equally tough on rising stars and experienced veterans alike.

Again this year all four members of 2Xtreme Racing came to take on each other, the competition and the track. Not surprisingly, Jimmy Creten took the controls of his trusty Bounty Hunter, complete with the original rendition of his popular and patriotic American Sniper Chris Kyle body. Dawn Creten was again at the helm of her trusty Scarlet Bandit. Mikeal Christensen came along to drive the prestigious Iron Outlaw truck. The fourth member of the equation, Knucklehead, had a different driver each of the two days, Austin Minton on Saturday and Christian Norman on Sunday.

Team Bigfoot returned to the Raceway after a year off with Larry Swim behind the wheel of Summit Bigfoot #21. But not far behind was the mysterious masked man Vinny Venom, recently crowned the 2017 Toughest Monster Truck Tour series champion, piloting Snake Bite. This version of the truck, hugely popular with the kids at the pre-show pit party, was a mixture of classic and current as the iconic “retro red” paint style remained from its 25th Anniversary tour one year ago, but the bedsides clearly showcased the sport’s recent trend of off road race truck bodies.

Back again was one of the father/daughter teams on the circuit as Darren Migues returned in his Nitro Menace truck with daughter Kaylyn in her usual Jailbird. The twins from Gig Harbor, Washington, were also back with Travis in his orange Trouble Maker and Tyler ready to put his Saturday championship from last year on the line in the sleek looking black Double Trouble. Making the trip up from Lake Havasu, AZ was past World Finals field reporter Mark Schroeder in driving Devastator. Finally, ready to defend his home state turf was Ron “the Dunk” Duncombe continuing his tenth year of driving the Maverik Monster Trakker. When a huge crowd came through the gates of the Raceway and into the pre-show pit party, it appeared that the stars had aligned for an intense, go-or-blow monster truck battle royale.

Qualifying set the pace for the rest of Saturday evening. The first three trucks in line went progressively faster than the monster that went before them until Larry Swim and Bigfoot threw down the challenge to his rivals with a time of 30.71 seconds. And Bigfoot’s old rival showed no fear when racing the clock, as Snake Bite bested Bigfoot by just a few tenths of a second. When qualifications were over, Snake Bite and Bigfoot has qualified first and second, sending them to opposite ends of the bracket.

But Vinny Venom didn’t slow down there. He had no trouble at all in the opening round and caught the Iron Outlaw in the first quarter final while Bigfoot beat Jailbird in the first round and defeated the former World Champion Bounty Hunter in the quarter finals. It wasn’t game over for the Tonganoxie, Kansas, team owner though, as Jimmy Creten had gone fast enough to return as the fastest loser. But from there, Creten’s racing luck ran out for the night as he just couldn’t catch Snake Bite in an incredibly close race. In the other semi, Bigfoot escaped the dark horse Devastator to set up another classic Bigfoot/Snake Bite championship round. But it wasn’t going to be easy as the final race was set for two laps, per tradition of the Raceway.

The final race was one to remember. Both trucks were dead even out of the gate, with Vinny Venom drifting around the turns but Larry Swim never let “the Snake” get too far ahead. In the second to last turn of the race, the masked Snake Bite driver finally pushed it too hard at the exit of the turn, the truck’s back end coming so far around the driver had to lay off the throttle. Larry’s took full advantage, slipping past his old rival in the final turn of the race and never looking back to take the Racing Championship to thunderous response from the spectators.

One year ago, RMR officials introduced the Donut Contest (billed as a “Twister” contest at the time), and its huge popularity with the crowd encourage officials to bring it back for 2017. Sadly, Bigfoot had encountered engine trouble so there would be no double win on Saturday. Additionally, Snake Bite wouldn’t get a chance to as transmission trouble kept him sidelined, too. Trouble Maker was the second truck out and went straight to an incredible height with a score of 9.6 with perfection being 10.

Scarlet Bandit stepped up to challenge the good old boys but missed the lead by a fraction of a point. But there were still several more opportunities for 2Xtreme Racing to take the Donut win. Iron Outlaw and Knucklehead both gave admirable efforts, but the team’s big boss was locked and loaded and Bounty Hunter’s lightning fast rotations, smoke rising from the tires and long spinning duration had the crowd roaring and the judges most impressed with a score of 9.85, taking the Donut Contest win.

As the second and final day of monster competition went on, it wasn’t long before the Racing comp got turned on its ear. Fastest qualifier Bigfoot easily won his first race against rising star Kaylyn Migues and Jailbird, but more mechanical gremlins kicked in and sadly kept him out for the remainder of the night. Despite being a first-timer on this track, Christian Norman quickly proved the doubters and skeptics wrong by marching straight to the finals. Scarlet Bandit showed consistency round after round, the driver’s superb efforts paying off when Dawn Creten found herself across the starting line from Knucklehead, the females in the crowd were firmly in Dawn Creten’s corner. And it must have worked because Dawn Creten took the lead early in the first of the two laps and never looked back, claiming the Racing Championship.

With a triple car stack, a large distance jump and a wheelie bump to play with and two long minutes on the clock, freestyle was certain to be a seriously competitive affair. Motivated by his early racing loss, Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter got huge air, put down dizzying donuts, executed several vertical wheelies and several cross threads to shoot into the lead with a score of 36.5. Truck after truck came after him, only to fall short. Only his own wife and the Racing Champion, the last driver in the order, came close at a score of 33.5, but Creten again won the freestyle competition to close the Maverik Clash of the Titans for another year.

We at “The Allen Report” are going to take some time off for now. But when we return, we will do so from Watsonville, California, the hometown of our friends at Living the Dream Racing, home of the popular Time Flys and Wild Flower monster trucks. With that, we send a huge and sincere “Thank you” to Mike Eames, Dan Breach, Ron Craft and all of the Rocky Mountain Raceways staff for giving us such great hospitality and support, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2017.

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

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2017.

The Allen Report: 2016 Rocky Mountain Raceway Maverik Clash of the Titans

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our way to West Valley City, Utah, a state full of motorsport history as some of the biggest names in speed have gathered at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats to be the fastest man on wheels. However, on the second weekend of August, Rocky Mountain Raceways holds its traditional Maverik Clash of the Titans monster truck figure-8 race event, this year for the historic twentieth consecutive year. To commemorate the event, a record sixteen monster trucks were invited, the most ever at this event.

Leading the charge were all four members of Jimmy Creten’s 2Xtreme Racing. Jimmy himself drove the American Sniper Bounty Hunter while wife and teammate Dawn, as usual, took the steering wheel of Scarlet Bandit. Tim “Mullet” Missentzis piloted the pickup Iron Outlaw. And the lead guitarist of metal band Five Finger Death Punch himself, Zoltan Bathory from Hungary brought his insane looking 3D-bodied Knucklehead to compete. From just up the road in South Willard, Utah was Kreg Christensen in his hot rod hybrid Wicked on Sunday. On Saturday, Kreg’s stepson Paul Jensen drove Wicked before stepping into the radical trophy truck bodied monster in its first public outing, Kamikaze on Sunday. Twins Travis and Tyler Groth arrived to do battle; Travis in his orange Trouble Maker and Tyler in the bright green Double Trouble.

Another set of twins was in the house this weekend as Aaron Basl filled in for David Smith in King Krunch while brother Daron, as usual, took the helm of the reborn El Matador after several years of the Nitro Hornet identity. Darren Migues (pronounced Me-guess) had both trucks in tow. Darren himself hopped in the driver’s seat of Nitro Menace while his daughter Kaylyn continued her blossoming monster truck career in Jailbird. From West Jordan, Utah was Ron “the Dunc” Duncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker. Returning to the Raceway for the third straight year were Doug Charles and Wild Thang. Rounding out the field was southwestern monster truck legend Jimmy Lyons stepping in for Rod Wood to drive McGruff and Lake Havasu, Arizona’s Mark Schroeder in the cockpit of Felon.

On Saturday qualifying to open the weekend, Bounty Hunter set the pace as the first truck out at a time of 30.97 seconds. None of the trucks that followed him could go faster and Jimmy Creten got off to a strong start as the number one qualifier. In the opening round of eliminations, Scarlet Bandit and Iron Outlaw both crossed the finish line first in their respective heat races to face each other in the quarter finals. On the opposite side of the bracket, the brothers Groth both won their first round races, but would have to race against each other in the third heat of the second round. In the final opening round race, Kaylyn Migues was unable to defeat the more experienced Mark Schroeder, but garnered a good ovation from the crowd nonetheless. Bounty Hunter would out-race Maverik Monster Trakker and Iron Outlaw over the next two rounds, earning his spot in the championship race. Double Trouble did the same by defeating his own brother in the quarters and Felon in the semis to meet the former World Champion in the two lap finals. The championship round was one for the history books. Jimmy Creten got the jump off the line and had a clear cut lead going into the second half of the race. With only one corner to go, Tyler Groth whipped his truck around the turn and past an unsuspecting Jim Creten to take the Racing title.

To close the Saturday night show, a donut contest was held for the very first time after many years of wheelies, billed as a “Twister” competition. Despite being down about five hundred horsepower, Jimmy Lyons gave an admirable effort and low scores couldn’t keep the noise from the spectators down. Former Australian Monster Finals competitor Paul Jensen quickly shed the rust by turning the half Studebaker, half Camaro monster Wicked into the spin cycle and being rewarded with a good score of 8.75, with 10.0 being perfection. The very next truck out was Aaron Basl and King Krunch. His run had the crowd picking up noise as he picked up speed and cleared the bar set by Wicked with a hard to beat score of 9.35. Truck after truck came after him, but it wasn’t until the Racing champion came out when the legendary Texas monster was beaten. Tyler Groth spun Double Trouble so fast he was bicycling on two wheels before laying off the throttle to bring it down on the rubber side. The crowd was roaring and the professional judges were impressed too, giving the Gig Harbor, Washington driver the Saturday Twister win and the clean sweep.

On Sunday, a big crowd filed in for the pre show pit party and into the stands for the final night of the twentieth anniversary of the event. Scarlet Bandit was the first truck out for qualifying and she put together a very nice run, punching in a time of 31.94 seconds. By the halfway point of qualifications, Trouble Maker held the lead with a time of 31.35 seconds. But Jim Creten, the ninth of sixteen drivers out, set a new standard of 30.39, bettering his time from Saturday. That time took the lead and held it to the end. In the third heat of the first round of eliminations, Zoltan and Knucklehead won against a struggling Aaron Basl and King Krunch. In the first race of the second round, Bounty Hunter faced off against former teammate driver Kreg Christensen and Wicked. The superstar in both America and Australia put up a good fight right up until the third of the four corners, where the truck did a complete 270, ensuring that Bounty Hunter was one step closer to getting another shot at the racing win. Reigning racing champion Double Trouble was out to defend his crown and got off to a great start, dispensing of Monster Trakker and Wild Thang to reach the semi finals. But his twin Travis was there waiting. Travis gave it everything he had, pushing Trouble Maker to the limit, but Tyler could not be stopped, punching his ticket to the two lap finals for the second straight night. After beating teammate Iron Outlaw in the semi-finals, Jim Creten got the rematch he wanted. This time, the 21 year veteran of the sport could not be stopped, sliding Bounty Hunter around the turns beautifully and standing on the loud pedal down the straightaways. Tyler Groth raced as hard as he could but the power of Bounty Hunter was too much, as the Tonganoxie, Kansas native took the racing championship that had eluded him the night before, fair and square. With two minute freestyle next in line to end the event, the battle was far from over.

The track construction crew had put together a great track with a wheelie bump at one end, a ramp for big air at the other and a double van stack off the back straightaway, all fitting considering the magnitude and prestige of this year’s event.

To open freestyle, Darren Migues and Nitro Menace got off to a great start, hitting all the obstacles with gusto, doing great donuts and not stopping until his brake rotors were glowing and shooting sparks. Kamikaze, for a brand new truck with a driver who had spent a few years out of the sport, did a very good job by hitting the cars the wrong way, doing some donuts and overall getting the crowd excited. Maverik Monster Trakker nailed several slap wheelies, had great speed and consistently got good air, never breaking down and driving out under its own power, officially ending the bad luck streak that has plagued this driver and team for so many years here. His efforts did not go unnoticed, either, as the truck sponsored by the local Maverik convenience store franchise took the lead with a score of 28.5. A couple trucks later was Felon, who used several slap wheelies, lightning fast cyclones and big air to take the lead with a score of 35.5.

The very next truck was Wicked, and Kreg Christensen stood on the throttle most of the run, matching the former Monster Jam on SPEED announcer jump for jump and for velocity. The judges gave him a score of 34.75. The third to last truck out was Trouble Maker, who bent the champagne early in his run, but kept going for as long as he could, hitting numerous obstacles while the left front wheel was still attached. He finished his time, ensuring a score, just as the tire came off. Trouble Maker was towed out onto the grass and out of the way to make room for the remaining monsters. His score reflected his efforts, taking the lead at 35.5. Sadly, Iron Outlaw and Double Trouble received no score for failing to finish their two minute time. But Jimmy Creten and the Chris Kyle Bounty Hunter would settle for nothing less than the double victory. Huge wheelies, getting into the spin cycle and big air multiple times had the crowd roaring and the judges most impressed, giving Creten the freestyle championship to end the historic weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceways.

In other racing action, the Raceway featured Super Stock and fan favorite Pro Truck Racing, the latter similar to NASCAR’s Camping World Truck series, to compliment the monster action. Next, we at “The Allen Report” turn south towards the Tucson Speedway, where four western favorites arrive to tear up the front straightaway. More coverage coming from that event later. Well, thanks for reading, a special thank you to Dan Breach and all the Rocky Mountain Raceway staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2016.

The Allen Report: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2016

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to West Valley City, Utah, just outside Salt Lake. It’s a city with an extensive sports résumé from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, to minor league baseball, to major league hockey and basketball. But on this weekend, the All Star Monster Truck Tour arrived in the Maverik Center with six car crushing, high flying monster trucks. All the way from Lafayette, Indiana was Aaron Cain piloting the world’s largest ATV, Quad Chaos. Right behind was teammate Jerry Beck behind the wheel of the world’s only flying dump truck, the Dodge bodied Dirt Crew. During the pit parties, there were some construction toys behind Dirt Crew for the kids to play with. Tucson, Arizona’s own Unnamed & Untamed was in the house, driven by Sam Sturges, as was Nasty Boy with Derek Ritter at the controls. Defending the Utah home turf was West Jordan’s Ron Duncombe and the Maverik Monster Trakker. Finally, Kreg Christensen from South Willard took time off from the Australian monster truck circuit to bring his radical looking part Studebaker, part Camaro monster known as Wicked to the arena.

Wheelie contest, single pass obstacle course racing and freestyle were the weekend’s competitions for the monsters. With points on the line for every discipline to determine an overall champion in each show, every round counted and consistency would win.

On Friday evening, things got off to a wild start when Nasty Boy, the first truck out in wheelie contest, went far beyond vertical and rolled onto its side. The driver was okay, but making only one of a maximum of two attempts meant his score wouldn’t be much, only 10 out of a possible 20. Unnamed & Untamed, a monster set up very well for wheelies, gave an admirable attempt off both the step up obstacle and the crush cars to take the lead with a score of 13. The very next truck was Dirt Crew and he gave an excellent run, pointing the dump truck’s nose towards the ceiling of the Maverik Center. The judges rewarded him with a score of 14. Jerry Beck was able to hold off both of the last two competitors to take the wheelie contest win and take the points lead.

In obstacle course, the imperfect figure 8 style track proved tricky for even the experienced drivers, as Sam Sturges turned in a lap in just under 22 seconds. Looking to better his chances at the overall championship, Jerry Beck threw down a very good pass to take the new fastest time at 18.54. But the twenty four year veteran of the sport, Kreg Christensen went even faster, clocking in a time of 16.37. The last truck in the order, Quad Chaos, couldn’t do better and Wicked stormed into the overall championship lead with only freestyle to go.

In the main event, Monster Trakker went out first as electrical problems kept Nasty Boy off the floor and out of the competition. Ron Duncombe’s efforts, including a decent sky wheelie and good air off the step up garnered him a score of 25 of a possible 40. Dirt Crew was fourth in line of the six trucks and put together an all-around exciting run. The professional judges gave him a score of 28 with only Wicked and teammate Quad Chaos left to go. But Kreg Christensen was a man on a mission, getting huge air off the FMX mountain, nailing a reverser over the crush cars and rarely letting off the loud pedal to get the crowd roaring. The judges rewarded his run with a 35 point score. Quad Chaos just couldn’t match the international superstar and Wicked took the freestyle and overall event championships to start the weekend.

In the first of two shows on Saturday, Sam Sturges improved greatly from the first show, pointing U&U’s nose at the roof of the arena. His efforts did not go unnoticed by the judges as his score was 14, leaving only a six point window in which Sam could be overtaken. Wicked and Dirt Crew both gave everything they had, but could only tie for second. Sam Sturges won the wheelie contest, making it two different winners in as many wheelie competitions.

Full of confidence after getting his first win of the weekend, Sam did not let up in the obstacle course, finishing his lap in a time of 20.91. Wicked was the fourth truck out in the ladder and slowed down a little from the first show with an elapsed time of 18.32, but it was still good enough to take the top spot on the grid. Next up was Quad Chaos, who fell short of the number one spot by just six-tenths of a second. The last truck in line, Dirt Crew, was a full second off the high watermark, giving back to back obstacle course wins to Kreg Christensen.

On to freestyle, where Ron Duncombe’s weekend came to a premature end when a hard landing off the FMX mountain blew out the rear shocks on both sides. Despite the damage, Ron’s score was still very good at 30, just ten points shy of perfection. Starting the second half of the field was the two time obstacle course winner, who soared through the afternoon sky off the FMX ramp, again hit the cars in reverse and stood on the throttle again and again to receive a score of 35. The last two monsters just couldn’t clear the bar and Wicked got back to back overall championships. With only the evening show to go, there was one more shot for the other drivers to stop the clean sweep from the twenty four year veteran.

When the biggest crowd all weekend piled into the Maverik Center for the last show, the stakes were high, and the drivers didn’t disappoint. Jerry Beck and Dirt Crew gave a spectacular wheelie contest run and got a score of 17 to boot, leaving the window of opportunity very small. Two time overall champion Wicked came the closest at 15, but it wasn’t enough to stop Dirt Crew from becoming the multi-time wheelie contest winner for the weekend.

During obstacle course racing, things got wild with the first two trucks in line. Unnamed & Untamed got up on two wheels but saved it. The lack of time on the board due to a DNF wasn’t enough to silence the crowd. Nasty Boy, even fighting electrical issues between shows also bicycled for a moment before saving it, all this before driver Derek Ritter had even staged for his run.

This gave the fans an even bigger reason to cheer. When Wicked took to the track, the time he had to beat, 19.39, had been laid down one run earlier by Dirt Crew. Kreg was up to the challenge, and he stepped up. The hybrid hot rod turned in a time that was faster than his nearest competitor by almost three seconds at 16.5. This meant that the overall championship clean sweep was within reach and the same feat for obstacle course had been done.

On to the crowd favorite freestyle, where Unnamed & Untamed got off to a fast start with wheelies and even donuts to get a score of 27. Quad Chaos went for one last shot to take a win with big air and clearing the crush cars. A score of 34 meant there was still room left for the two winningest trucks that had still to run. Both Dirt Crew and Wicked had incredible runs that had the crowd cheering on and on. In a strange turn of events, both trucks tied with scores of 35. But Wicked had more points coming into the cheer off, so the former Dragon Slayer owner and past Maximum Destruction driver already had the overall championship swept for the weekend. And when the crowd erupted in Kreg’s favor during the freestyle deciding cheer off, it was clear that the weekend sweep of the crowd favorite competition belonged to Wicked as well, closing out the weekend.

During a winning interview, Kreg revealed to an enthusiastic audience that the year 2017 marked his twenty-fifth year in the business and, with it, the return of the Dragon Slayer monster Hummer. Other action saw highly competitive Pro Arena Truck racing, a longstanding tradition at the Maverik Center. The racing was tight and fast with three different winners in as many races. Also, freestyle motocross rider Paul “Smitty” Smith gave the fans a wide variety of gravity defying, death cheating tricks, culminating in backflip variations.

Well, we now turn our attention to the biggest monster truck event in the world, the Monster Jam World Finals. The next edition of “The Allen Report” is currently slated to come to you from the Maricopa County Fair in our hometown of Phoenix. For up to the minute, instant updates from our travels, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram under “Monster Truckin’ with Jim and Chris“. On that note, thank you for reading, a sincere thank-you to Bryan Wagner and the entire All Star Monster Truck Tour staff for their generous hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2016.

The Allen Report: Maverik Clash of the Titans – West Valley City, UT 2015

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we travel to West Valley City, Utah, just a stone’s throw from Salt Lake City, for the sixth year in a row. It’s a city known for snowy mountains and home of hockey’s Utah Grizzlies and basketball’s Utah Jazz. But on this day, ten huge names in monster trucks were going full bore outdoors in the nineteenth annual Maverik Clash of the Titans at the motor race facility Rocky Mountain Raceways. Jimmy Creten was back again, ready to defend the clean sweep he got a year ago in his sleek Bounty Hunter Black n’ Yellow. Wife Dawn Creten was ready to give it all in her usual Scarlet Bandit. Trent Montgomery was in the house in Knucklehead, the official monster vehicle of metal band Five Finger Death Punch. Newcomer Brian Maes rounded out Team 2Xtreme Racing in Iron Outlaw. Larry Swim was looking to take the title back to St. Louis as the pilot of Firestone Bigfoot #18, with rookie Josh Gibson right behind in the classic bodied Retro Bigfoot #14. It was sophomore season at RMR for Doug Charles and his radical looking Wild Thang, complete with an emotional tribute to original owner, Tony Farrell on the side. Travis Groth was gearing up for the show in his bright orange Trouble Maker while twin brother Tyler was doing the same in his green Double Trouble. Finally, hometown driver Ron Duncombe was ready to give the fans a show in his Maverik Monster Trakker.

RMR is the only monster truck venue where figure-8 racing is the course on hand and it proved difficult for Tyler Groth, Josh Gibson and Jimmy Creten, all penalizing themselves for knocking down cones at some point in their qualifying runs. Larry Swim and Firestone Bigfoot didn’t have that problem though, taking the number one qualifying spot and handily dispensing Wild Thang in the first race of the night. The second heat in the first round saw the Groth twins race each other. Trouble Maker had the lead for the first three of the four corners, but a complete one-eighty coming out of the last one gave the win to his brother and Double Trouble. Josh Gibson had been fastest loser in both the first two rounds, but his luck finally ran out in the first semi-final round against veteran teammate Larry Swim. Bounty Hunter’s chances of a second clean sweep in back to back years came to a grinding halt in the other semi-final when teammate and protégé Trent Montgomery upset the former World Champion to meet Firestone Bigfoot in the 2 lap super final. Trent held nothing back, but Larry was unstoppable, taking the racing victory on Saturday night.

The first night of competition was closed with a customary wheelie contest. Wild Thang kicked things off with two great efforts that were rewarded with a score of 4.5 out of 10.0. Truck after truck came after him only to fall short until Retro Bigfoot came in and rode a wheelie perfectly vertical the length of half the main straightaway to garner an excellent score of 8.5. But the very next truck was a master of wheelies. Jim Creten rode out two straight up and down wheelstands that went on and on to get the crowd on its feet. The judges were impressed too, as Bounty Hunter was the new leader with a score of 9.7. Despite the best efforts of Knucklehead and Firestone Bigfoot, Jimmy Creten walked away with yet another wheelie contest victory.

Sunday was even more competitive, with the top three qualifiers separated by less than a second. In the second race of the night, Maverik Monster Trakker just barely squeaked past Iron Outlaw in a photo finish. In a rematch from the night before, Dawn Creten raced her husband in the middle quarter final. Also like Saturday night, Dawn was coming on strong but she ran out of racetrack, giving Bounty Hunter the win. Scarlet Bandit would still advance to the semis, however, as the fastest loser. The second semi-final was practically a final in itself. In one lane was the former World Champion Bounty Hunter. In the other was perennial favorite Larry Swim and Firestone Bigfoot. Jimmy Creten pushed as hard as he could, but just fell short to the member of the original monster truck team by less than a truck length. Larry and Bigfoot advanced to the super final, where Trent Montgomery and Knucklehead were there waiting. Unfortunately, on the first jump of the first lap, the rising star for 2Xtreme Racing suffered a broken right front planetary, leaving the track and surrendering the win and racing clean sweep to Firestone Bigfoot. It was later announced to the fans that this was the first time in the history of the event that a breakdown after the first of the super finals’ five jumps had ever happened.

Freestyle got off to a strong start when Travis Groth and Trouble Maker had good speed, nice sky wheelies and good donuts just before time ran out for a score of 31.25 out of 40.0. Double Trouble raised the bar even higher with wheelies, donuts, and hitting the car pyramid at the back straightaway of the oval to receive a 34.0. Jim Creten was only a few trucks later, and was on a roll with long wheelies, huge air, and smoke blowing donuts when his RPM’s went too high and his transmission let go with time still on the clock. Still, his score was good enough to take the lead at 34.75, less than a one point ahead of Double Trouble. But the very next run was by Trent Montgomery. A tough loss in the final round had the Knucklehead driver on a mission. The young gun showed he’s learning from the best in the business, with high speed, continuously hitting every obstacle and riding the limit without going over it to finish his time. The crowd roared when his score of 37.25 came over the loudspeaker, taking the lead with only one truck left to go. Larry Swim gave an honorable effort, but it wasn’t good enough to overtake the three year newcomer. Trent Montgomery got his first career win at Rocky Mountain Raceways in freestyle, bringing the win back to Tonganoxie, Kansas.

Next for us at “The Allen Report”, we will be coming to you from the WGAS productions at the Southern California Fair in Perris, CA. Look for more monster truck action in October. On that note, thank you for reading, a sincere thanks to the Rocky Mountain Raceway staff for their superb hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2015.

Monster Video: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2015


Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Maverik Center
Location: West Valley City, Utah
Date: January 2nd-3rd, 2015
Videographer: Maverik Center Staff


Ross Z. Bonar from the 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: Maverik Clash of the Titans – West Valley City, UT 2014

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

Weekend Recap

This time on “The Allen Report”, we once again make our way to motorsports venue Rocky Mountain Raceways to watch eleven monster trucks do battle on the sport’s only figure-eight race track. Jimmy Creten, as always, was driving Bounty Hunter Yellow while his wife Dawn Creten was right behind in Scarlet Bandit. Trent Montgomery returned behind the wheel of Bounty Hunter Black and newcomer Nate Kirchner took the reigns of Iron Outlaw. Representing Team Bigfoot were Kevin Koszala in Odyssey Batteries #11, Darren Schnell in Vi-Cor #15 and Larry Swim in Lucas Oil #19. Doug Charles arrived piloting Wild Thang. Hometown driver Ron Duncombe returned at the helm of Maverik Monster Trakker. Darren Migues drove his newly bought Just Get ‘R Done and Kreg Christensen took time off from his brand new truck Wicked to take control of RoboMachine to wrap up the field.

On Saturday, Trent Montgomery showed how quickly he’s learning from the best as he took the number one qualifier spot. From there, he went all the way to the semi-finals before getting knocked out by Vi-Cor Bigfoot, who had advanced as fastest loser from the quarter-finals. To advance to the finals, the 2Xtreme Racing owner had to face every Bigfoot truck once, but won all three match-ups to make it to the two lap super final, where a rematch with Vi-Cor was there waiting. A mistake free run ensured that Jimmy Creten took the night one Racing win.

Closing Saturday night was a wheelie contest. Late in the truck lineup, Trent Montgomery continued to show he was for real with a 9.7 score. However, the big boss and new Racing champion continued his three year domination of wheelies, edging Trent by just five hundredths of a point at 9.75.

On to Sunday where they raced all over again and went for broke in freestyle. Again, Trent Montgomery in Bounty Hunter Black was fastest qualifier but, his Sunday night Racing ended a little sooner when he followed his teammate, Nate Kirchner and Iron Outlaw, across the finish line. Both semi-final heats were 2Xtreme vs. Bigfoot races. Vi-Cor “Bessie” Bigfoot won his race and Bounty Hunter Yellow did the same, setting up a rematch from the night before. The multi-year Bigfoot driver fought all the way to the end, but Jimmy Creten won racing for the second night in a row. Now, Jimmy set his sights on the clean sweep.

With two minutes to work with and the entire track fair game, the Maverik Clash of the Titans was sure to end with high competition in freestyle. Midway through the battle, the sophomore driver in Bounty Hunter Black put the crowd on its feet with an exciting, fast run where he hit everything. His efforts were rewarded with a score of 35.5 out of a possible 40.0. Maverik Monster Trakker, Iron Outlaw and the three Bigfoot trucks gave it their best shot. But dusty donuts, huge air and slap wheelies, all in a class of their own, ensured Bounty Hunter Yellow was unstoppable. With a score of 37.5, two whole points above his teammate, the 2005 World Freestyle Champion finally took the clean sweep at RMR that had eluded him for so many years, until now.

We at “The Allen Report” look forward to the annual event at RMR every year, and this weekend was a blast to watch. Thanks so much to Rocky Mountain Raceways for their hospitality, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2014.

Monster Video: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2014


Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Maverik Center
Location: West Valley City, Utah
Date: January 31st-February 1st, 2013
Videographer: Maverik Center Staff


Ross Z. Bonar from the was on hand announcing for the 2014 All Star Monster Truck Tour event at the Maverik Center this past weekend in West Valley City, Utah. There Toxic, Obsession, Airborne Ranger, Obsessed, Over Bored 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…]

Monster Photos: All Star Monster Truck Tour – West Valley City, UT 2014

Event Information

Event: All Star Monster Truck Tour
Venue: Maverik Center
Location: West Valley City, Utah
Date: February 1st, 2014
Photographer: Jill Swanson

Truck Lineup

Airborne Ranger (Joe Cypher), Obsessed (Eric Swanson), Obsession (Rick Swanson), Over Bored (Jamey Garner), Toxic (Travis Petri) [Read more…]

Video of the Week – 01/26/13

Week Ending: January 26th, 2013
Truck(s) Featured: Equalizer (Brandon Budd), Maverik Monster Trakkar (Ron Duncombe), Nasty Boy (Ronnie Sturges), Red Solo Truck (Travis Sturges), Toxic (Travis Petri), Unnamed & Untamed (Sam Sturges)
Video Type: Fan Video

Description: Highlights from Saturday night’s event at the first All Star Monster Truck Tour at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah!

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!

Photo Gallery

All content copyright 2012.

Video of the Week – 08/11/12

Week Ending: August 11th, 2012
Truck(s) Featured: Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Summit Bigfoot #18 (Dan Runte)
Video Type: Fan Video

Description: The Maverik Clash of the Titans at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah absolutely never disappoints. Check out this incredible final round battle between two heavyweights of the sport, Dan Runte and Jimmy Creten!

The Allen Report: Maverik Clash of the Titans – Rocky Mountain Raceway 2011

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

This year at the Maverik Clash of the Titans in West Valley City, Utah’s at the always impressive Rocky Mountain Raceways, all four members of Jimmy Creten’s team made the trip. Jimmy would drive Bounty, and his wife Dawn piloted Scarlet Bandit. Darren Migues took the helm of Red Baron on a brand new chassis appearing in public for only the second time. Finally, Ben “Bobo” Winslow drove Iron Outlaw. The opposition consisted of Daron Basl of El Matador with David Smith in King Krunch in tow, Dan Runte driving Summit Bigfoot #16 and Larry Swim driving Snake Bite #14. Rounding out the field was Roger Stidell in Captain USA and hometown hero Ron Doncombe in the Maverik Monster Trakker.

The raceway’s signature figure 8 racing made for some interesting and wild finishes. The four semi-finalists were both halves of Team Bigfoot and one half of 2Xtreme Racing, both husband and wife Creten. Number one qualifier Bigfoot stomped on Bounty Hunter in the first semi-final and Scarlet Bandit took down Snake Bite in the other. In the 2 lap finale, Dan schooled Dawn at the line and never looked back, taking his third straight racing title at RMR.

Racing was followed by the wheelie contest, in which Larry in Snake Bite held the lead most of the competition, but it came down to the racing and freestyle winners from last year. Dan and Bigfoot scored an excellent 9.6 out of 10.0 but Jimmy Creten put the competition in his back pocket with a score of 9.95. Dan and Jimmy were looking to defend those titles on Sunday.

On the second and final day, Bigfoot picked up where he left off, taking the number one spot in qualifying with teammate Snake Bite right behind him. These two would then march right through the bracket to meet in an all Team Bigfoot double lap final. With all eyes on the finish line, both drivers ran hard, but Dan and Bigfoot retained his Racing Title from last year.

Unlike the previous night, the drivers had two minutes of freestyle time. Darren Migues and Red Baron took an early lead, but Jimmy and Bounty Hunter were ready. A combination of huge air, high speed and a three wheeled cyclone ensured there was no taking away his freestyle championship he won a year ago.

In other action, Idaho Falls’ own Ron Barrows gave rides to all fans who wanted one in his Thumper ride truck. To find out where they are performing, check out Until next time, thank you for reading, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

All content copyright 2011.

Video of the Week – 08/13/11

Week Ending: August 13th, 2011
Truck(s) Featured: Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten)
Video Type: Fan Video

Description: Jimmy Creten burns it down to end another great Maverik Clash of the Titans weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceway. Dan Runte in Summit Bigfoot #16 swept both racing competitions, but Creten dominated freestyle for the win as seen here.

Maverik Clash of the Titans – West Valley City, UT – 08/14-15/10

Event:  Maverik Clash of the Titans
Venue:  Rocky Mountain Raceway
Location:  West Valley City, UT
Date:  August 14th-15th, 2010
Photographer: Jim Allen

Lineup:  Amsoil Shock Therapy (Jon Zimmer), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Captain USA (Roger Stidell), El Matador (Daron Basl), Excaliber (Chris Ryan), Iron Outlaw (Nick Owens), King Krunch (David Smith), Maverik Monster Trakkar (Ron Duncombe), Ms. Bigfoot #11 (Amber Walker), Obessed (Rick Swanson), Obsession (Jeff Jones), Retro Bigfoot #16 (Dan Runte) [Read more…]