Monster Jam drivers: ‘We don’t practice stunts’

"So we don't practice. We come out here, and every trick that we do, we attempt during the show."

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –It’s expected that monster truck drivers go through practice runs before getting in the big machines in front of crowds of thousands. Yet, the stunts and runs in the show are the only practice they actually get.

“So we don’t practice,” said Brianna Mahon, the driver of Whiplash. “We come out here, and every trick that we do, we attempt during the show. And that’s why sometimes fans will notice that a trick fails or we weren’t able to get the stoppie or backflip perfectly because that’s literally us practicing and trying just during the event.”

So how do drivers prepare to drive a monster truck weighing 12 thousand pounds? Well, first of all, the truck’s handling isn’t as stiff or demanding as expected.

“It looks like a lot of chaos outside, and I will admit it is a little bit of chaos in the cabin, but it’s not as near as much as it is from the fans’ perspective. It’s actually a pretty good ride in the truck. It’s like driving an old Cadillac,” said Weston Anderson, driver of Grave Digger.

“Steering wheel perspective of things is honestly even lighter than driving a vehicle. We sit there, and you can spin it around like nothing. And that just has to do with all the mechanics of these massive trucks,” said Mahon.

So if driving monster trucks is as easy and enjoyable as the drivers make it sound, what’s the hard part?

“Toughest part for me is being away from my family. We’re gone anywhere from four to five days a week. And everything else is so amazing, but it’s the traveling aspect that can really wear you down–being in airports all the time–always being in a hotel. It’s definitely not for the weak, but the lifestyle in itself is worth it,” said Mahon.

During the two-day Monster Jam event on April 15 and 16 at the Macon Coliseum, Anderson was a two-time winner in Racing, Two-Wheel Skills and Freestyle, while Mahon took a Freestyle victory in the Friday opener.

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