Monster trucks roar through stadiums, revving their engines and crushing cars with a satisfying crunch. The drivers must all be big, burly men, right? Wrong.
The driver of the new Wonder Woman Monster Jam truck is a 24-year-old woman who started working on cars when she was just 13. She'll compete in Monster Jam this weekend in D.C.
Collete Davis raced go-carts as a kid and graduated to racing sports cars and participating in rallycross races.
"I was just hyper-hyper-competitive growing up. I played every single sport that was in season, from basketball to competitive cheerleading. I also started working on cars when I was 13," she said. "When I found out it was an actual sport to not just work on cars but compete and race them, I knew it's what I wanted to do."[[471143303, C]]
Davis just started her first season with Monster Jam. She attended Monster Jam University in Paxton, Illinois, and won the first championship in which she competed.
She stands just 5-foot-2 next to her 12-foot-tall monster truck. She's shorter than the tires, but she can do impressive tricks. Her favorite thing to do with her truck is a handstand, balancing the 10,000-pound vehicle on its two front wheels.
"You've got to really learn how the suspension works and become one with your truck in order to pull off all these amazing tricks," she said Thursday morning on News4, her blond curls falling onto her red uniform shirt.
Video of Davis driving shows the Wonder Woman truck flying through the air and bouncing onto its huge wheels.
Davis was an Army kid who grew up in states including Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Colorado. She studied mechanical engineering and lifts weights in her spare time.
A number of women are Monster Jam drivers, including Krysten Anderson, who's the second-generation driver of the truck Grave Digger. Her father created the famous truck, and she and her brothers continued the family tradition.
Davis told young women who want to become monster truck drivers to follow their dreams.
"Work hard and never, ever give up. You have to be your No. 1 supporter, your No. 1 believer," she said. "Before I ever became a professional race car driver or a Monster Jam athlete, I believed I was one, and now I'm here."
Monster Jam will be held at Capital One Arena in D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan. 28. Go here to see the full, nationwide schedule.