Woman or man, it doesn’t matter in a monster truck

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

As a woman driver in the fairly male dominated monster truck universe, Kayla Blood has found herself evolving into a role model for women everywhere.

And she’s glad to take on that job.

“I’ve been in several male dominated sports,” said Blood in a phone interview from her home in Louisiana. But she never cared whether she was competing against men or women. It all boiled down to the fact it was a competition.

Blood said she enjoys meeting fans during Monster Jam’s trademark Pit Parties. And in this meet and greet setting, she often is asked by the little girls what it’s like to compete with the men.

“It’s awesome,” said Blood of being in Monster Jam. “I’m given the opportunity to show what (women) are made of and show girls we’re no joke… We can roll with the best of them.”

“Doing this is an honor,” said Blood.

Blood and Monster Jam come to Stafford Motor Speedway this Saturday and Sunday.

Blood arrived in the monster truck scene after she established herself in the ATV race scene. She competed for four years and snagged one championship crown.

She then tried her hand at driving monster trucks and garnered the attention of the organizers of Monster Jam. They were impressed with her performance. They liked her fierce style. And they loved watching her battle it out with the guys.

After some training, Blood said her first Monster Jam show was in Iowa.

“I’ll never forget it,” said Blood.

“Right off the bat, I had steering issues,” said Blood. During the first freestyle event, Kayla said she came out like a bucking bull and stepped on the gas too hard.

She made it past that first initiation and was welcomed into the Monster Jam family.

Blood currently drives. El Toro Loco in Monster Jam. “A lot of kids love it,” said Blood of her chosen vehicle. It spits smoke. It has bull horns on top. (Many kids have their fingers up like horns when she drives into the arena). Fans love the three-dimensional entertainment aspect of the truck.

Blood said she typically enters the arena doing a bunch of donuts. And she knows the kids are telling themselves, “That’s so cool.”

Blood is currently raising a future Monster Jam driver. Her 5-year-old son is a fan. And racing is in his blood, she said. His father is a BMX driver, so he has been raised around racing.

Blood said a racing bike is getting built specifically for her son. Right now, “he has a battery powered dirt bike he rides in the back yard.”

Monster Jam comes to Stafford Motor Speedway July 22 and 23. The event will feature trucks such as Mutant driven by Steven Sims, Grave Digger driven by Pablo Huffaker, Monster Mutt driven by Kevin Crocker, Team Hot Wheels driven by Scott Buetow, Carolina Crusher driven by Gary Porter, Stinger driven by Zane Rettew, and Master of Disaster driven by Paul Strong. Tickets start at $19 and are available at the Stafford Motor Speedway box office, all Ticketmaster Retail Outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or Charge by Phone at 800-745-3000.

Monster Jam will be performing at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Pit Party, which gives fans the opportunity to view the trucks up close and meet the drivers, will take place on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

For more information, go to www. FeldEntertainment.com

Kayla Blood will be at Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend as part of Monster Jam.

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