Andy Slifko’s participation in the sport goes back more than a decade. He had bought and operated the Eradicator® ride truck for a few years, then in 1996 he moved the Eradicator name onto a truck to actually compete, getting into the competition side of the sport along with fellow Pennsylvanian John Seasock in the World Racing Champion’s days piloting Sudden Impact. Slifko is considered to be a dependable, consistent performer, one who can be counted on to be competitive in any race and one who will always hit some big moves in freestyle to thrill the fans. That’s why over the years Andy has been a part of so many televised events, because those who put the line-ups together have always been able to count on Slifko to bring his best each time out.
Still, it has been putting his son in a truck that seems to have pumped more enthusiasm into the veteran driver than anything. As soon as Jeremy Slifko started competing in Backdraft in 2008 it was obvious how much pleasure the elder Slifko was getting out of his son’s performances, especially since Jeremy has made a splash from the start, going big in Backdraft since day one. Jeremy has attacked big stadium courses in freestyle with a vengeance, a no holds barred attitude that often leaves Backdraft in need of big repairs for the next time out. And even if Dad cringes a little if the truck has to be towed back to the pits in pieces after Jeremy rocks the house, it’s only a brief cringe. Slifko clearly loves being able to put his son in a piece where he can let the kid use his immense natural talent to thrill millions.
Q&A with Andy Slifko
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam® circuit?
Andy Slifko: I began drag racing back in 1976. Then I bought the Eradiator ride truck in 1992. From there we started with an Eradicator race truck in 1996 working with John Seasock’s Sudden Impact. The Eradicator I’m running now came out in 2006. So I’ve had that name ever since I started. And of course I’m especially proud of the slogan on the tailgate: “Fat Guys Can Fly”, but I’m planning to change that theme to “Fat Guys Rule”.
MonsterJam.com: What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam
Andy Slifko: I have more fun now watching my son (Jeremy Slifko, driver of Backdraft) go out there and tear it up. They’ve changed up how they do freestyle, how they do the line-up, but it seems like almost as soon as he started doing good, which was right out of the box, they moved me up early in the freestyle line-up. I don’t know if they thought that was going to irritate me, but I have the attitude that I have two trucks, one better make money, but one can be torn up. On the other hand that part can get under my skin.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a monster truck driver?
Andy Slifko: We did the Pepsi Arena in Albany, it was my first Thunder Nationals show. I came from a TV show to a Thunder National show. Nobody told me that I couldn’t hit the cars going both ways, and that I had to stop before I hit the cars. So I was the one to start a new precedent at a concrete show. Because I kept whipping it around, shooting over the cars both ways, and hitting them big. The next morning Blake Hardy (the Event Director) came out and apologized for not letting me know the old rules, but said it would be a new precedent, and that changed Thunder Nationals.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
Andy Slifko: I just like food!
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Andy Slifko: Cops
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Andy Slifko: No real favorites, but we’ve got Stroker Ace and Convoy in the hauler that we watch
Truck Name: Eradicator®
Body: Dodge on a Slifko team built chassis with RaceSource shocks
Engine size: 540 CI from our new engine builder Bad Attitude Racing Engines
Transmission: Coan Power Glide
F & K Rod Ends, Alltel Eagle, Air Gas, DaCo starters