Childhood dream becomes reality for Monster Jam drivers

Monster Jam truck drivers know how to put on a show, but two of the show's most popular said living their dreams had humble beginnings. 

Carl VanHorn started driving Grave Digger back in 2002. To say he loves his job is an understatement.

"It just gets us fired up to go out there and freestyle and perform at the top of our game," he said. "I get to jump in this truck that is 1,500 horsepower over 10,000 pounds, 10 foot tall, 12 foot wide. Just go crazy. I can tear stuff up and not get fired." 

Same goes for Dustin Brown. He has been driving Junk Yard Dog for four years.

"Going out there and getting to live a dream of all the kids out there; going out and being able to drive a huge truck and jump obstacles, and stuff like that, it is a thrill. I love it," he said.

Both of the drivers have different stories, but each share something similar. Their families helped influence them.

"My dad had racecars when I was a kid. I grew up around it. My grandpa was a high school automotive teacher," said Brown.

It was the same for VanHorn.

"I worked on cars my whole life. My dad had a shop and I had two uncles that raced stock cars," he said.

For these drivers, getting behind the wheel of a Monster Jam truck was a dream they were able to achieve. They want younger fans to know it is possible.

"I was looking for the thing that was going to make me happy and I didn't know what that was at the time. I'll be honest with you. It just led to this," said VanHorn.

While they live for the thrill, they also live for the fans. They say anything is possible with hard work.

"Follow your dreams. Do what you want to do and what makes you happy. If this is it pursue it. Never give up," offered VanHorn.

Brown offered similar advice.

"Live your dream. Go to school get a really good education. If this is something you really want to do go get an education and pursue it," he added.

Monster Jam is Saturday, January 16 at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The show will return on February 6.