Monster truck driver Nicole Johnson talks rock crawling, four wheeling and positive publicity
|Feld Motor Sports.|
What would you say to younger people who might want to get into monster-truck racing?
I'm asked that a lot: I get a lot of e-mails saying, "Hey, I really want to drive a monster truck. Where do I start?" Everybody is a little different; I tour with Carl Van Horn, who will be in Denver with me. He started as a mechanic. So there are guys who come up through the ranks. He started as a mechanic and was around it for a while -- then you might get the opportunity to be in the driver's seat some day.
For me, because I came from another motorsport discipline, it was a crossover thing. It's not going to work for everybody, but if you are already involved with racing, I say keep doing that. Work hard to market yourself and always remember that everyone is watching you. It's a very public world now with social media and cell-phone cameras.
I think for me, what helped was to put my name out there in a positive light. It opened the door when opportunity was there. So remembering how you're always representing your sponsors and how you're representing yourself and being consistent. For us -- with my husband and my rock-crawling team -- when we're rock-crawling, it's about keeping it clean and family-oriented. Making sure we always looked presentable; even if it was on a shoestring budget, we still look like we had our act together. That goes really far, especially if you're crossing over to a different discipline. Being a good representative for your sport is important, because you'll get recognized that way.
Little girls are always asking me how I do this. And I really think whatever you want to do -- it doesn't have to be a monster-truck driver -- the same principles will apply. With any job you're in, you're only going to get a promotion if you're doing the best job you can and you're representing yourself in a respectable manner. Putting your head down, working hard and doing the best you can is going to get you wherever you need to go, no matter the job or accomplishment you're seeking.
Work hard, get the respect of your peers and the rest will come naturally, I think.
See Johnson race "Scooby Doo" at Monster Jam at the Pepsi Center, opening this Friday, February 8 and running through Sunday, February 10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam website.