The annual Monsters On The Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia is one of our all time favorite events and one of the most anticipated independent monster truck events every year. Every Mother’s Day weekend eight top monster trucks make their way to the Oceanfront for a four show battle towards the eventual King of the Beach championship with the winner being awarded the George Carpenter Cup. Since the tradition of keeping points started in 2012 we’ve seen some epic battles that have come down to the wire take place over the course of the weekend with plenty of exciting races, huge wheelies, and high flying freestyles. With another great field of trucks slated to visit in 2016 expectations are high for another great year of Monsters On The Beach. So let’s meet that field of trucks for the 2016 Monsters On The Beach!
Jim Koehler | Avenger
Mr. Excitement is back to the beach folks! After being absent from last year’s Monsters On The Beach event Jim Koehler and the Avenger are set to return to Virginia Beach to battle for this year’s title. Koehler comes in as the 2013 George Carpenter Cup winner with and runner up by just two points in 2014. Koehler certainly knows how to get the job done on the beach with several wheelie contest and freestyle wins along with a number of memorable moments at the oceanfront. Who could forget this spectacular rollover in racing from 2008?
When it comes to contending for this year’s title, Koehler has to be considered one of the favorites for this year’s Monsters On The Beach. Admittedly Koehler isn’t the best racer in the world but he has made final round apperances in the past and could very well sneak in a win or two if the competition overlooks him. The straightline racing course isn’t very forgiving to mistakes which can level the playing field very quickly. In the wheelie contest, Koehler knows how to get the job done there. Seeing the Avenger straight up and down is a familiar sight to many in the monster truck world as Koehler is one of the best wheelie artists in the business. Koehler made a boatload of points off the wheelie contest in his last trip to Virginia Beach as he would win three out of four of the wheelie contests in 2014. Of course Koehler knows how to freestyle too. The two time Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Champion certainly knows how to thrill fans and judges alike with big air, big wheelies, and wicked cyclones as well. He’s got a well stocked arsenal in his bag of tricks and you can bet Koehler will be pulling them out when he gets to Virginia Beach in a few weeks.
Steve Sims | Stone Crusher
For the 10th straight year Steve Sims and the Stone Crusher team return to the oceanfront for Monsters On The Beach. The hometown hero comes in as the reigning King of the Beach title holder after the trophy eluded them for the first four years of the weekend points series. Last year a determined Sims finally pulled off the win with a dominating weekend long performance. When it comes down to it, nobody goes harder than Sims in the Monsters On The Beach weekend. It is 100% all out, no holds barred, pin it to win it driving from Sims for four shows straight. In the past though that mentality has bit him leading to mechanical gremlins knocking him out of contention in the final shows. Sims is definitely a triple threat in every competition as someone who can win or place high in all three disciplines. In 2015 picked up a win in wheelies, racing, and freestyle along with strong fishes in each competition in the other events. For the this year’s Monsters On The Beach look for Sims to be towards the top of the point standings by Sunday. If the Stone Crusher can hold up to the punishment we may see the first repeat winner of the George Carpenter Cup.
Bryan Wright | Hooked
The third former King of the Beach in this year’s field is Bryan Wright piloting Hooked. Two years ago Wright turned many heads as he took the late Maxie Broaddus’ Walking Tall the top of the points standings and claimed the George Carpenter Cup by just two points. With Steven Sims Jr. moving on to drive Monster Jam’s Pirate’s Curse, Wright has become the lead driver of Hooked and has done a fine job so far in 2016 on the Monster Jam FS1 Championship Series. Wright has a strong track record on the beach with a number of wins in all three disciplines in the past two years, with racing being where he’s been the most dominant. The question for Wright is if his winning ways on the oceanfront in Walking Tall will carry over into Hooked for this year’s Monsters On The Beach. The Monster Trucks Unlimited crew will certainly bring their A-Game on their home turf and looking for either Hooked or Stone Crusher to come away with the title.
Brad Allen | Brutus
The second half of the Team Scream duo at the beach this year is Brad Allen in Brutus. This will be Allen’s third Monsters On The Beach showing, with is first in his previous chassis with a Brutus body, and the Wrecking Crew body on his current truck in 2014. While Allen was winless on the 2014 event, he was a stout competitor all weekend long with solid performances all around. It’s a sound description of Allen’s driving style, he’s a solid performer who generally puts on a good show while he takes care of the equipment. Avenger is certainly the top runner of the camp, but Allen and Brutus can get the job done without hampering the overall team effort too. Consistency is a key element to picking up points throughout the weekend and if Allen can finish strong through all four shows he could make things interesting for the favorites.
Derick Anson | Heavy Hitter
Derick Anson and Heavy Hitter made their Monsters On The Beach debut last year and put together a strong case for their return in 2016. Anson is a hard runner and a competitive guy who is always out to get a win. Despite the Heavy Hitter incurring some damage to the right front shock tower early in the weekend, Anson battled on to deliver good performances and even snuck in a wheelie contest victory on Sunday afternoon. So far in 2016 Anson has been having a great year battling on the Toughest Monster Truck Tour against the likes of Dan Runte, Aaron Cain, Jamey Garner, Jerry Beck, and his teammate Vern House. It’s been a successful campaign so far with a number of wins on the tour coming into the summer. Anson is certainly not shy about doing what it takes to win and he’ll be one to watch when the trucks hit the sand in a couple weeks.
Aaron Cain | Quad Chaos
For the first time ever Quad Chaos will be hitting the beach with Aaron Cain making his Monsters On The Beach debut. While Cain is a relative newcomer to the sport, he’s been quick learner and showed a lot of promise over the past couple years behind the wheel of Quad Chaos. Cain is also a competitive guy and someone that wants to win and isn’t afraid to push himself and the truck to do so. Early in his career Cain has delivered some wow moments as a strong contender in freestyle, but he’s not a bad racer either. Cain has been exchanging wins back and forth between himself, Anson, and Runte on the Toughest Monster Truck Tour in 2016 as they chase that title. We’ll be looking forward to seeing the awesome looking Quad Chaos kick up some sand, and don’t be surprised if Cain is the dark horse of the weekend with a couple wins. They’ve got a strong truck and a rising talent behind the wheel.
Vern House | Dawg Pound
As the teammate to Anson and Heavy Hitter, Vern House will be piloting the new look Dawg Pound in this year’s Monsters On The Beach. House is a solid driver and a good second truck driver for an independently owned team who puts on a respectable show and doesn’t tear up equipment to take away from the lead truck’s efforts. Last year House had some good wheelies in the River Rat that scored well and he picked up a few round wins in racing as well. In freestyle House actually had one of the biggest leaps of the weekend last year on Friday night with a huge jump over the bus stack. Overall expect House to deliver a solid showing throughout the weekend.
Jerry Beck | Dirt Crew
One thing you have to say about the DCT Powersports team, is that they’ve got some of the coolest looking trucks around and that’s definitely the case with Dirt Crew. Jerry Beck and the flying dump truck known as Dirt Crew will be making their Monsters On The Beach debut this year when they take to the oceanfront. Like Cain, Beck is a relative newcomer to the sport and learning the ropes in just his second season behind the wheel. On this year’s Toughest Monster Truck Tour Beck has picked up a couple wheelie wins so far this season and the dump truck looks awesome standing straight up and down. While Beck has been doing well we expect Cain and Quad Chaos to be the front runner for the DCT Powersports team. Regardless we’re looking forward to seeing they flying dump truck in action.
So there’s our look at the Monsters On The Beach field for 2016. If you’ve never been to the event before and are on the fence about coming, you’ve got to come check it out sometime soon. If you’re looking for tickets head over to http://beachstreetusa.com/ and get yours today. We’ll be covering all the action from Virginia Beach and hopefully bringing you tons of photos and even a few on board videos from the event so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the updates. Also check out our YouTube for past videos from Monsters On The Beach and subscribe for more videos to come.