We spoke with Tony Ochs, driver of the Soldier Fortune Black Ops truck, about the adrenaline-packed rally.
What drew you to this sport?
I grew up riding ATVs and all types of sports vehicles. I started competing with Monster Jam in 2016, after spending 10 years in the Army. Every time I drive, I pay tribute to veterans and soldiers.
These Monster Trucks are about 10 feet tall and weigh 12,000 pounds. How can this be safe?
The driver’s compartment is a steel safety structure, built from tubing and mounted to the truck frame. All drivers wear head-to-toe fire-retardant gear and are strapped into a custom-made seat with a five-point harness.
What type of special training is needed?
All drivers have to go through Monster Jam University, where they train with 11-time world champion Tom Meents. You also have to be physically and mentally fit to keep up – I thank the Army for that.
What should guests expect to see?
There’s ATV racing, a timed obstacle course and head-to-head racing with speedsters (side-by-side UTVs) – complete with jumps of up to 40 feet. The freestyle competition is always an audience favorite. Drivers do stunts like donuts, balancing acts or nose-wheelies.
GO SEE IT: Tickets start at $15. Visit monsterjam.com for more information.