Monster Jam This Saturday and Sunday–January 23 & 24
01/23/2015 04:03PM ● Published by Brenna McGowan
What could be better than feeling like you are nine years old again, watching monster trucks with tires bigger than the house I grew up in, flying through the air, smashing cars, throwing dirt and ripping through a track where nothing is off limits when it comes to destruction?
If your answer is nothing I am with you! With music
blaring and the sound of engines tearing through air, you can experience
this awesome feeling this Saturday and Sunday at the Sleep Train Arena when Monster Jam® comes to town.
You should expect some of the most exciting,
blood pumping monster truck races you have ever seen live!
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with John Zimmer from the Grave Digger team and here is some of what he had to say in our interview.
How did you get started with Monster Jam®?
I was that little kid with a dream to be honest with you. I grew up in a small town in Vermont and was always around some form of racing. I got to see Grave Digger in 1986 – I always remembered that as I grew up. I really got lucky and started working on the team in Pennsylvania. I was a mechanic and the rest is history. I never asked to drive. I just worked on the trucks as much as I could and when I got the chance to drive I guess I was a natural at it.
That’s great! How long have you been driving for?
I have been a part of Monster Jam® for 15 years and I believe I’ve been driving somewhere near 10 years. I always wanted to drive but never pushed it. I just enjoyed being at the shows, getting to know the different people and traveling around. My boss one day brought it up and I actually ended up driving at a smaller show. Later that night he didn’t say much about my driving other than “Hey I’m going to build another truck and you are going drive it."
Awesome! When you are driving what is going through your mind?
It’s hard to explain, it really is pure adrenaline. Driving Grave Digger was always my dream and now to be driving that truck and on the team, being part of the Grave Digger family, it is awesome to know we truly drive that truck for our fans. We don’t care what happens to it, we just want the people who come and see us to leave there remembering that truck.
Do you still get nervous?
No, honestly I don’t. I’ve driven so much it has become second nature to me to be in the truck. It’s like my office when I’m in there.
If you weren’t in this career, what else would you be doing?
I really don’t know, I don’t think there is anything else for me.
How long does it take to rebuild a truck after a show?
Every week, no matter what, even if we leave a show and the truck has no damage, we spent at least a full 10 – 12 hours checking every nut and bolt and changing the oil, etc.
Last question…what is your favorite part of Monster Jam®?
It’s without a doubt the fans. I wouldn’t have my job without the fans. They are what make it worth it.
For more information, along with tickets and time of events, visit MonsterJam.com.
Interviewed by Cait Herrera. Picture courtesy of Monster Jam®.