Dustin Brown

Driver name: Dustin Brown
Owner of: Monster Mutt
Residence: Tampa, FL
Birthplace: Gilespie, IL
Date of birth: October 2, 1982
Years competing: Since 2013

When Dustin Brown is at an Monster Jam® event driving Wolverine he often is one of the best known personalities in the line-up despite having less experience than many of his fellow competitors who are in action there. That’s because even though his driving career is just getting started, fans who follow the sport’s biggest events and watch Monster Jam on television know Brown as the long time Crew Chief for Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger®. Brown has been around motorsports throughout his life beginning with being around his Dad’s mud race car when he was growing up. When he graduated high school he went to work for a top fuel team for three years before getting the opportunity to join the best known team in Monster Jam. Brown then got the opportunity he had worked so hard for when he was named as the new driver of the Wolverine Monster Jam truck to begin the 2013 season. Brown proved to be the perfect choice for the Wolverine team as he was named 2013 Monster Jam Rookie of the Year.


Q&A with Dustin Brown

MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?

Dustin Brown:  I met Monster Jam’s Keith Speller and Mike Wales at a drag race one day, back in 2004. At the time we were losing our drag racing sponsor, so I needed to find another team to go to work for or find something else to do and I got to talking to Keith and Mike. It just so happened at that time that they had a position open and it was on Dennis Anderson’s crew. They saw how hard I worked on the drag race crew so they offered me the job. I figured I go ahead and try it out for a year or two and then go back to drag racing. Well, I haven’t gone back to drag racing! Then I went to Europe to help crew for Charlie Pauken’s Grave Digger and George Balhan got injured during the first show in Arnhem and they asked me to fill in for him and drive Backwards Bob. Since then if somebody needs a driver for a Monster Jam truck on a weekend when Dennis is not scheduled, then I’ll jump in and drive it. At the start of 2013 I felt it was time to make the move completely from Crew Chief to driver and got the opportunity to drive Wolverine.

MonsterJam.com:What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?

Dustin Brown:  Probably the most satisfying thing for me before I started driving has been to work on Dennis’ truck, making sure it is 110 percent, and have it to where he can go out there and drive as hard as he can, turn the fans on and give them what they want, and to have the Monster Jam truck outlast him. That’s the biggest enjoyment that I get, that at the end of the night, when he’s done and he can’t take any more the Monster Jam truck is still going and we can do another show the next day. When I’m driving the best part is the pit parties, getting to see all of the kids there. It’s been a good thing that the Monster Jam trucks that I have driven so far have been more kid based ones like Monster MuttSM and Spider-ManTM, and then to finally get the ride in Wolverine. It’s great to drive a Monster Jam truck that the kids love. And I’ve gotten to do so much on TV being Dennis’ Crew Chief that lots of people know me now. So when I drive, even though I haven’t had as much experience as a driver as others, people know who I am from seeing me on TV with Dennis. So it’s not like I had to start new and fresh and try to build up my name. I’m fortunate in that I already had a fan base from working with Grave Digger before I ever drove. I’m not saying I get recognized when I pull into the Flying J, but at the pit parties I do get noticed.

MonsterJam.com:What do you do with your free time?

Dustin Brown:  Basically just hang out with my son Keegan. Before that all I did was work at the shop, 15 hours every day. I couldn’t sit at home and not do anything. But since he was born I almost hate going to the shop and going on the road because it takes me away from my family. On the other hand I really enjoy getting back home now. He’ll sit and play video games with me or we’ll just sit on the floor and watch cartoons together. Being a father has been really enjoyable.

MonsterJam.com:What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?

Dustin Brown:  Probably in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was just my second full weekend driving a Monster Jam truck that I was scheduled to drive, not just being a last minute fill-in. I went all the way to the finals in the first show there and then I won the racing program in the next two shows there. It was a pretty stacked field, drivers like former Monster Jam World FinalsSM Racing Champion John Seasock and 30 year legend Gary Porter, so to be able to even run with those guys, and to win, was great. And of course being able to drive in Europe. Something that I really appreciate is all of the people in Monster Jam who have been willing to give me a chance to drive, the faith that they have shown in me is great. I have a great time and I love it.  

MonsterJam.com:Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?

Dustin Brown:  I don’t really have anything like that, I’m not really superstitious. I feel like I know my job and I know what I have to do whether it’s as Crew Chief or driver. It’s funny because I feel less pressure in a way driving because I have a crew that is working on the Monster Jam truck although I still have a habit of going behind them and looking things over and wanting to change things here and there. So for me when I’m driving the only pre-show ritual would be making sure that I go out early and walk the track. I’ve been around Dennis for so long and when I’ve been in Europe I’ve learned a lot from Charlie Pauken, so they’ve showed me what to look for, how to walk the track and set your plan for the show. When it comes to driving I try to learn from the best, from the most experienced drivers to pick up everything I can from them.   

MonsterJam.com:If you were not competing on the Monster Jam tour, what career path would you follow?

Dustin Brown:  I‘d probably be working on a farm somewhere in Illinois driving a tractor. Or working on a horse farm because I used to do that when I was in high school. At one time I thought I might go to college and learn to be a vet and take care of horses.

MonsterJam.com:What’s your favorite food?

Dustin Brown: Chinese

MonsterJam.com:What’s your favorite movie?

Dustin Brown:  Days of Thunder

MonsterJam.com:What’s your favorite television show?

Dustin Brown:  I’m watching a lot of reality shows like Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush, and of course Dennis’ show Around the World in 80 Ways. And my wife makes me watch stuff like Dancing with the Stars. And I watch Monster Jam all the time, I mean it’s on twice a day and even though I was there and I know the results I still love to watch it.

MonsterJam.com:What’s your favorite color?

Dustin Brown:  Red