|Date of birth:
||July 19, 1972
A story of great success in multiple motorsports disciplines on both two and four wheels best describes Damon Bradshaw’s career. The North Carolina native started racing motocross at the age of four and eventually turned professional at age 16, racing in both AMA Motocross and on the prestigious AMA Supercross championship. Known then as “The Beast from the East”, the ultra-competitive Bradshaw racked up wins and championships in the ‘80s and ‘90s on motorcycles along with a stint running his own AMA Arenacross team in 2001 and 2002 before retiring from the sport. After a few years on the sidelines, Bradshaw was itching to get back into motorsports competition, thus, seeding his meteoric rise in the ranks of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®. Bradshaw competed for the first time in a monster truck at the Minneapolis Metrodome in December 2006. Bradshaw completed his first full season in 2007 in which he later won the coveted Rookie of the Year award. Two years later, Bradshaw won the Advance Auto Parts World Finals Freestyle Championship.
Q&A with Damon Bradshaw
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Damon Bradshaw: I retired from Supercross in 1997 and then I rode again in 2001 and got hurt. Once I recovered from that injury, I hooked up with Roy Janson from Monster Jam, who was an AMA official when I was racing. Roy asked if I’d be interested in trying Monster Jam. They invited me to the experience in Las Vegas at the World Finals because I wanted to see how it operated and if I should do it. I actually went to a couple of World Finals, but I still wasn’t sure how serious they were. So I’m getting off the elevator in the VIP area and Roy says, “Hey, are we going to do this?” So I said, “Okay,” and we began putting things together.
MonsterJam.com: What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Damon Bradshaw: This is very similar to what I was doing before, but in Monster Jam it’s a lot more relaxed. This is a fairly close-knit family and we get to enjoy the areas we’re in whether it’s in the U.S. or out of the country, so a lot of it is hanging out with friends. In this [Monster Jam] you can at least be friends with the guys you compete with not like before when I was racing on two wheels I hated everybody.
MonsterJam.com: What do you do with your free time?
Damon Bradshaw: Pretty much everything that we don’t do when we're on the road like spending time with family. My kids play ball and we do ride motorcycles, four wheelers and rhinos, so it’s pretty much family time when I’m not racing. I have lots of big toys; I just don’t always get to play with them because there’s not enough time. And we have a second home in the mountains, so we like to go there, too.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a monster truck driver?
Damon Bradshaw: My greatest moment happened at the 2009 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals where I won the World Freestyle Championship. It’s something I never thought would ever happen. I always felt like I would do well, but winning in the field of exceptional trucks and drivers, was something that never came to mind.
MonsterJam.com: Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Damon Bradshaw: Yeah, I do. I do things the same way as I did in the past. I come to the locker room with my helmet, my Hans, all my stuff. Though, I’m not sure I’d call it a ritual. I used to be like that when I was riding motorcycles, too. I also like to be in my truck early. It’s kind of funny, because when I’m actually “racing” I’m never nervous. But in freestyle, and I mean for every freestyle, regardless of whether it’s a small arena or a stadium, I’m still nervous. I do that to myself, I seem to perform well under pressure. I always have and I think that’s just a part of what gets me going. Every time that I go onto the floor I want to do my best.
MonsterJam.com: If you were not competing on the Monster Jam tour, what career path would you follow?
Damon Bradshaw: It would still be some form of motor sports for sure. I would like to think it would be four wheels. But more than likely, I think it would be something in the motorcycle industry. When I got hurt in 2001 for several years I could barely walk because of my injuries. So I’ve loved being able to ride again. In the future, it would be some form of off-road racing, and particularly some more off-road truck racing. That’s a place I could see myself going.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
Damon Bradshaw: My wife’s cooking
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Damon Bradshaw: Top Gun
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Damon Bradshaw: I don’t watch TV.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite color?
Damon Bradshaw: Silver and blue
• Truck Name: Monster Energy
• Engine size: 540 CI
• Transmission: Coan 2-Speed
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