Dirt Crew Crowned 2017 King of the Beach

Dirt Crew - Monsters On The Beach 2017

The 2017 Monsters On The Beach weekend would prove to be one of the most grueling weekend’s of events in recent history with eight trucks battling each other and the elements for the title. The 20th annual edition of the event saw unprecedented mechanical carnage over the weekend and turned into a war of attrition as teams fought to keep their trucks going. After four events it would be Jerry Beck and Dirt Crew emerging victorious just ahead of the likes of Heavy Hitter, Saigon Shaker and Hooked to take the George Carpenter Cup trophy.

Friday Night

The usual beautiful sunshine filled days of Monsters On The Beach were nowhere to be found on Friday as a Nor’Easter swept across the east coast, bringing heavy rain and high winds to the Virginia Beach area. Despite the less than ideal conditions many diehard monster truck fans still braved the rain to see the first event of the weekend unfold. The bad luck bug struck early for Aaron Cain and Quad Chaos as the truck appeared to lose a transmission in driver introductions. As the truck was pulled back to the pits though it became apparent there was a more severe breakage as the entire driveline was locked up. It turns out the transfer case was broken and the DCT Powersports crew was without a replacement and none were available anywhere close enough to make it through the rest of the weekend. The team would start their scramble to try and come up with a solution to get Quad Chaos back up and running, but by Saturday morning their best efforts wouldn’t be enough. Quad Chaos would be sidelined for the weekend leaving Cain and crew dejected. Bryan Wright and Hooked also got off to a very frustrating start as they would suffer electrical troubles in introductions and miss the wheelie competition. To make matters worse, Steve Sims and the Stone Crusher would fall to a transmission failure in his wheelie competition efforts that would sideline the truck for the night. After all was said and done in the wheelie contest it would be Dirt Crew and Stone Crusher tied for the win at 17 points.

Bigfoot - Monsters On The BeachRacing would be fast with the wet packed sand on the long straightline track. The mechanical gremlins would continue to show their ugly heads though during racing as Saigon Shaker would be unable to refire following the RII test in the semi finals against Heavy Hitter. Josh Gibson had Bigfoot 18 hooked up well throughout the night and put the big blue Ford into the final round. Gibson was able to pick up the final round win over Heavy Hitter, but would lose front wheel drive at the finish line in the process.

Heavy Hitter - Monsters On The BeachThe rain would continue to fall as freestyle got underway where Steve Snellen and Basher opened up the competition with a solid run. Derick Anson and Heavy Hitter turned it up a notch with some big air in their performance. Ryan Disharoon followed Anson’s run with a strong effort in the Saigon Shaker sporting a new suspension setup. The Shaker looked good despite the shocks being too soft, until his transmission let go to end their run. Gibson and Bigfoot 18 tried to make something happen in freestyle but without front wheel drive the truck just didn’t have much to give other than donuts, but they were able to scrape together a few points for the overall standings.

Hooked - Monsters On The BeachThe flying dump truck Dirt Crew put together a good run with some nice hits over the bus stack before having some breakage in the rear end. The last truck to hit the course would be Hooked, with Wright taking out some frustration from the mechanical issues earlier in the night with a hard hitting freestyle. Wright brought some great momentum to the table before Wright’s transmission would suffer a similar fate to his teammate Sims. The freestyle win would go to Wright and Hooked, but it would be Heavy Hitter holding the overall points lead at the end of the night.

Points after Event #1
Heavy Hitter: 69
Dirt Crew: 64
Bigfoot: 56
Basher: 55
Hooked: 54
Saigon Shaker: 51
Stone Crusher: 21
Quad Chaos: 0

Saturday Afternoon

Stone Crusher - Monsters On The BeachThe rain finally subsided Saturday afternoon but the beach stayed very cloudy and grey going into the second show of the weekend. The mechanical gremlins would also make their appearance yet again though early on. Basher would suffer a broken third member in the rear end during the wheelie contest. The wheelie contest would see some great vertical wheelies with multiple trucks planting their tailgates into the final car. Dirt Crew, Hooked, and Stone Crusher would tie with 18 points and Heavy Hitter coming in just behind at 17 points. Heavy Hitter would continue to hold the overall points lead going into racing.

Monsters On The Beach 2017Once again the racing bracket would be mixed up due to breakage with Quad Chaos and Basher both out of the running. Unfortunately the breakage didn’t stop there as the Stone Crusher would lose another transmission after taking out Heavy Hitter in round one. Hooked and Dirt Crew would get bye’s while Saigon Shaker would pull off the win over Bigfoot. The semi-finals saw a couple high flying races as Hooked would take out fast loser Heavy Hitter while Saigon Shaker knocked out Dirt Crew to move into the final round. In the finals it would be Disharoon and Saigon Shaker finding the edge and taking the racing victory over Hooked.

Bigfoot - Monsters On The Beach 2017Freestyle got underway in rough fashion as Josh Gibson took to the course with Bigfoot 18. Gibson got right after it and backsided one of the bus stacks with a nice leap, but upon landing broke off the right front wheel. It was disappointing enough to break so early in freestyle, but after the dust settled it became apparent it was much worse than a normal break. The front axle housing was broken beyond repair and was one of the only parts not available in their trailer. Sadly Bigfoot would be done for the weekend, becoming the second truck to fall in just the second show.

Saigon Shaker - Monsters On The Beach 2017Jerry Beck and Dirt Crew was just 4 points behind Heavy Hitter coming into freestyle and put together a strong effort to try and make up some ground with some big air under the flying dump truck to score a 27. Anson and Heavy Hitter would be the next out and put on their own big air display, but come up just one point shy of tying Dirt Crew, but keep the overall points lead. Disharoon would follow Heavy Hitter and showed some big improvements from the night before in freestyle. The shocks were working much better on the Saigon Shaker and it showed with Disharoon pushing harder, getting bigger air, and carrying more momentum than the rest of the field. The score of 30 for Disharoon would put him into the freestyle lead. Hooked would close out freestyle but the run would be short lived for Wright who suffered a transmission failure after just one jump. Disharoon would take the freestyle victory on top of the racing win for the day to make a jump up in the points standings

Points after Event #2
Heavy Hitter: 137
Dirt Crew: 134
Saigon Shaker: 120
Hooked: 103
Bigfoot: 98
Basher: 63
Stone Crusher: 62

Saturday Night

At the end of the Saturday afternoon event just three trucks were ready for competition which meant there was plenty of thrashing going on to get ready for the night event. The Sims camp were busy scrambling to solve their transmission woes, while the Basher crew were getting the rear axle repaired and ready. Meanwhile a few hours away in Catlett, Virginia Mike Hawkins’ rallied the Equalizer team to make the trip down to Virginia Beach to fill in for some of the downed trucks. They wouldn’t make it in time to compete in wheelies or racing, but they would be ready to go for freestyle.

Stone Crusher - Monsters On The BeachThe wheelie contest saw a pair of awesome sky wheelies once again from Dirt Crew and Stone Crusher who had no problems standing the trucks up on the loose sand, planting their tailgates into the last car of the racing lane. The two would tie at 16 points for the wheelie contest win. Meanwhile the breakage continued for the competition as Heavy Hitter would lose a rear drive shaft during their wheelie, putting them out of racing. Once again Hooked found trouble and was unable to compete in the wheelie contest but they would return for racing a short time later.

Hooked vs Saigon Shaker - Monsters On The Beach 2017Things looked good for the Stone Crusher after a strong wheelie and a first round racing victory over Basher, but the optimism was short lived for Sims’ team. The truck lost power at the end of the track with yet another transmission failure. Disharoon had the Saigon Shaker looking strong once again and was able to knock out Dirt Crew in round one while Hooked would advance into the semi-finals with a bye. The breakage of several trucks would result in both Basher and Dirt Crew returning as fast losers, but neither could take advantage of the opportunity as they would fall to Hooked and Saigon Shaker respectively. The Saigon Shaker’s winning ways would continue in the final round as Disharoon pulled off his second racing victory of the day by knocking out Wright and Hooked.

Hooked - Monsters On The BeachBasher would once again open up the freestyle competition with a good opening run to set the tone for the evening’s freestyle. After a frustrating start to the night, Wright was once again coming out to vent some frustrations in freestyle. It would be a big air and body shedding freestyle from Hooked as Wright pushed the truck until it had nothing left to give. Eventually the truck would fall to yet another transmission failure, but not before putting up a 34 point run to take the freestyle lead.

Derick Anson would get the Heavy Hitter back into freestyle after losing the rear driveshaft in the wheelie contest to put together a typical Anson freestyle. The run was highlighted with some big leaps over the bus stacks and even a quick slap wheelie to a score of 26. Mike Hawkins and the Equalizer would be next out to freestyle after arriving at the beach just a couple hours earlier. Hawkins wouldn’t hold back as he went right after the buses in his freestyle before breaking a third member in the rear axle to cut short his efforts. The flying Dump Truck would continue to live up to its nickname as Beck continued to sail Dirt Crew with some big leaps, but it wouldn’t be enough to rival Wright and Hooked with a score of 29. Flyin Ryan Disharoon would close out freestyle with another fast paced freestyle in the Saigon Shaker, but a couple of hard landings on the nose of the truck would cut their run short. A broken front tie rod would prevent the Saigon Shaker from continuing on but they would receive a solid score of 26 to stay in the hunt for the weekend title.

Points after Event #3
Dirt Crew: 204
Saigon Shaker: 187
Heavy Hitter: 177
Hooked: 164
Basher: 112
Stone Crusher: 101
Bigfoot: 98


The fourth and final event would finally see warm weather and clear blue skies over the Oceanfront of Virginia Beach. With the nicer weather came signs of optimism from many of the teams as they looked forward to finishing the weekend strong. Dirt Crew came into the event with a relatively sizeable lead over Saigon Shaker and Heavy Hitter but the weekend had been very unpredictable to that point so there was no telling who would end up on top at the end of the day. The teams had worked hard throughout the night and into the morning to get ready for the final event. The Sims camp were working on their ninth transmission install of the weekend after borrowing two units from other teams to make it through the day’s event.

The wheelie contest saw some close scores with several trucks within just a couple points of each other on the 20 point scale. Hooked would get the win with a score of 14, followed by Stone Crusher and Heavy Hitter at 13, and Equalizer with 12. Point leader Dirt Crew would only score a 10, letting Heavy Hitter make a little gain in the standings heading into racing. Unfortunately for the Saigon Shaker crew their title chances would be dashed after losing a third member in the rear axle during wheelies, leading to them missing the racing competition.

Stone Crusher - Monsters On The Beach 2017Racing would be fast and high flying on Sunday afternoon with some massive jumps coming across the finishline as everyone was looking to score the final win of the weekend. A very frustrated Steve Sims showed no mercy to the Stone Crusher in his round one win over Heavy Hitter with one of the biggest jumps of the weekend. Equalizer would squeeze out a win over Sims’ high flying teammate Hooked, but Hooked would return as a fast loser to the semi-finals. Dirt Crew would pick up a victory over Basher to secure a few more points over Heavy Hitter in the standings. The semi-finals saw yet another high flying pass from Sims and the Stone Crusher who sailed over the final jump to come from behind and defeat the Equalizer. The next pair saw Wright and Hooked pick up a relatively easy win over Dirt Crew, as the flying dump truck seemed to be suffering from an engine issue and was noticeably down on power. The final round would be a match up of teammates with Sims and Wright going head to head. Neither would back down and it lead to yet another high flying finish, but Wright would get the victory while Sims found himself coasting to a stop at the end of the track. Sims’ nightmare weekend continued as the Stone Crusher suffered yet another transmission failure. Their day would be done and Sims was visibly dejected as the truck was towed back to the pits.

Basher - Monsters On The Beach 2017The final freestyle competition of the weekend would be kicked off by Snellen and Basher who had their best run of the weekend. Snellen got some big air under the square body Chevy and was able to work in a nice save after a crooked landing from backsiding the cars. Jerry Beck knew he held the lead coming into freestyle, but he was uncertain how long the motor would last in the Dirt Crew after issues in racing. With that in mind Beck channeled his inner Larry Enticer and decided to send it with the biggest jump of the weekend over the center kicker. The motor stayed alive a little longer to let Beck crawl over the bus stack before eventually giving up as the Dirt Crew hit the backside of the cars. The score of 12 would just about put the title out of reach for Anson and Heavy Hitter as they would need a near perfect score to take the lead. Beck would have to wait one more truck to see if Anson would be able to make up the gap, as Hawkins and the Equalizer would be the next to freestyle. Mad Mike got right after it with some nice jumps early including a couple big bus hits, but the motor on the Equalizer cut out early as they attempted a donut. The truck wouldn’t refire and looked like it may have suffered some engine damage in the process.

Heavy Hitter - Monsters On The BeachWhile Anson may have been down, he wasn’t going to give up easily as he pushed the Heavy Hitter hard in his freestyle. Some big air highlighted the run early, before Anson hit a single car jump sideways that pitched the Heavy Hitter over hard to the right side. Unbelievably Anson managed to find just enough traction to get the truck back onto all four tires after being on the sidewalls. His run would be shortlived though as a broken shock heim and a broken sway bar would lead to another crooked leap just a few jumps later. Anson tried again to pull off another save but this time he wasn’t as lucky and the Heavy Hitter would roll over onto its side. The score of 17 wouldn’t be enough and their title hopes were done.

Saigon Shaker - Monsters On The Beach 2017The young gun of Delmar, Delaware Ryan Disharoon came out charging in his final freestyle of the weekend. The Saigon Shaker looked nearly unstoppable as Disharoon attacked the track with a fast paced freestyle, slinging the truck around and moving from jump to jump. The new suspension setup was looking its best all weekend long as the truck looked the most stable it ever has since the debut of the new truck in Indianapolis. Unfortunately for the Shaker team, the end of the run would com unexpectedly as the engine would blow in mid air without warning. Disharoon would take the freestyle lead but the blown motor dampened their spirits. As if the beach hadn’t been cruel enough to the competition on this weekend, Bryan Wright and Hooked would make it only two jumps into freestyle before electrical problems would bring the truck to a halt. This would give Disharoon the freestyle title and Beck the overall weekend championship.

Points after Event #4
Dirt Crew: 251
Heavy Hitter: 230
Saigon Shaker: 225
Hooked: 216
Basher: 161
Stone Crusher: 141
Bigfoot: 98

A year ago in Virginia Beach Jerry Beck had one of the toughest weekend’s of his career, as the Dirt Crew only made it through one out of the four events. This year the Dirt Crew was one of the trucks to see the least trouble and that durability paid off with Beck being crowned the George Carpenter Cup winner. It would be a nice finish to the weekend for the DCT Powersports crew after the frustration of Quad Chaos going down before the first competition. For the rest of the teams however, they were looking forward to getting away from the sand and back to the shops to get their battered machines ready for their next events. It was one of the most grueling weekend’s of events in recent memory and certainly one that many of these teams hope to never repeat. You can be every one of them will be that much more determined the next time they return to compete for the George Carpenter Cup for Monsters on the Beach.

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