One of the sport’s best-known female drivers, Candice Jolly has built a huge fan following in a short time on the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® tour. Jolly’s been raised in a family that loves motorsports and most of her family participates in many different types of racing. Her sister, Courtney Jolly has also driven in Monster Jam competitions. Jolly has not only built a large fan base in North America, she has also become one of the sport’s most popular drivers on the World Tour, having competed several times outside of the United States. Known for her big smile and bubbly personality, Jolly is a big hit, both on the track and during the Party in the Pits.
Q&A with Candice Jolly
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Candice Jolly: We were at a show where my sister sang the United States National Anthem. We started talking to Mike Wales and Brian Welch [Monster Jam operations managers] and showed them our driving portfolios. Mike and Brian brought us up to the Grave Digger® shop two different times to give us auditions. Shortly after, they gave us jobs on the tour. I’ve been racing since I was eight years old. I started in go-karts. I’ve run Formula Vees, Sport 2000’s, Limited Late Models, dragsters, swamp buggies, demolition cars, among others, and now Monster Jam trucks.
MonsterJam.com: Who else in your family is involved in motorsports?
Candice Jolly: My mom and step father race swamp buggies. My son races go-karts. My youngest sister races go-karts. I have two sisters that race barrel horses. My dad races drag cars. My grandma raced swamp buggies. I think that’s about it!
MonsterJam.com: What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Candice Jolly: I love the pit parties. I love getting to meet all of the kids and all of the different fans. A young fan actually created a fan club for me. He and his mother set up the CandiceJollyFanClub.com website. They called me and just asked if they could do it. He came through our autograph line and wanted a picture, but unfortunately fans aren’t allowed to go behind the autograph table. He wanted a picture so badly and he had his little Monster MuttSM outfit on, so I just had to tell him, “Here baby, turn around, we’ll get one right here.” So I leaned across the table, he leaned back, and we got the picture. Then his mom called and emailed to tell me about how touched her son had been, and how I had impacted his life. She told me that I’m his girlfriend now! He races his Monster Jam truck toys every day and he even made the babysitter pretend to be Candice! So that’s the best part, just meeting all of the kids, especially all the Make-A-Wish kids that we get to meet.
MonsterJam.com: What do you do with your free time?
Candice Jolly: I have a young son who loves to go to the Bahamas and he loves to be on the boat. So, when we’re not go-kart racing or racing demolition cars, we’re usually on the boat playing somewhere. Off-shore fishing, things like that.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Candice Jolly: Finishing second to Adam [Anderson] in New Orleans freestyle in 2010. I gave him a run for his money. Had I crossed something up, I think that he would have totally been in the second spot.
MonsterJam.com: Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Candice Jolly: I’m not superstitious but ever since I was a little girl racing go-karts I’ve always worn funny-colored socks. For instance, with little monkeys, hearts or stars on them. If you ever come to me on race day and ask to see my socks, you’ll see that I’m sporting some crazy designs. I’ve just been doing that since I was a little kid and I continue to do it.
MonsterJam.com: If you were not competing on the Monster Jam tour, what career path would you follow?
Candice Jolly: Not really sure. Aside from driving a Monster Jam truck, I’m a restaurant general manager. I probably would stick with that. I mean, I haven’t given that position up – my boss said there’s no way he’s going to let me give it up; so I’ve been pretty much doing it all. Being a mother, running the restaurant, performing in Monster Jam, I’m busy.
MonsterJam.com: Tell us about your non-profit organization.
Candice Jolly: It’s for children with Autism and Down’s syndrome who love to ride horses. We have them come out to our house. We have 43 students. It’s called Showtime Riding Academy. The website is showtimeridingacademy1.com. It’s just been a really great thing. We’ve done a lot with Monster Jam and Make-A-Wish. I was talking with my mom and sister and really just wanted to do something for local-area kids who are living with a disease. We started it in 2008, and it has really been a great thing for me and the kids. I love watching the kids having fun.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
Candice Jolly: Sushi and lobster
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Candice Jolly: Any movie just about. I’m a movie-holic! I’ve got a 60-inch screen in the bedroom, surround sound, the whole nine yards. I’m a maniac for movies. I love Netflix!
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Candice Jolly: The Big Bang Theory
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite color?
Candice Jolly: Baby pink