|Date of birth:
||May 13, 1960
Mark Schroeder is one of the busiest performers in Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, maybe one of the most versatile as well. Schroeder is a fan favorite on the track as a driver of Devastator® , but probably even more fans know Mark as the expert analyst on the Speed Monster Jam television series.
Q&A with Mark Schroeder
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Mark Schroeder: I ran a little bit in a drag car, but primarily I ran a drag boat, on the water. It was a lot of fun. I did seven years behind the wheel of a drag racing boat. Monster trucks I had seen but had never gone to a show. I was inspired by a few people that I knew in the industry to go check it out, that it was kind of crazy. So I did, and that was about the time that I wanted to get out of drag boat racing because I was getting too fast and it was getting dangerous. There was a transition period there where we were going into capsules in the boats, we were running pretty fast. So I decided to put a cage completely around me and try something on dirt. I thought that this would give me the opportunity to still travel, to still be involved with high performance and racing, and I thought that maybe I could do this even better. So that was the start.
MonsterJam.com: What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam
Mark Schroeder: Away from the track I like to shop, often in the different cities we go to. Sometimes I get any ribbing from the guys in the monster truck world, they call me such a girl because I like to shop, dress well and have nice clothes. I like to keep a closet full of clothes.
MonsterJam.com: What do you do with your free time?
Mark Schroeder: I watch a lot of television when I get the chance. I like to watch the ‘The Bachelorette, only because I want to nominate Frank Krmel [Blue Thunder] to be a bachelor. And I like all genres of music, from country to country rock to rock. But when I really need to relax or even when I’m welding in the shop I’ll throw on a CD of Andrea Bocelli. Really! I’m sure I’m probably the only Monster Jam driver who knows who that is. And, I like to ride my Harley with my wife.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a monster truck driver?
Mark Schroeder: I never considered myself a performer per se. That’s not really something I aspired to be. But that has become really rewarding to me. I’d say one of the biggest highlights of my career was when I had taken a couple of weeks off and took a new Pablo Huffaker RaceSource chassis to Houston. That was spectacular but my performance in Houston was not and “the powers that be” minced no words to tell me so. The next week I was going to Atlanta to a televised show and they let me know that if I did not step it up I’d be stepping out with a boot in my rear. They asked me if I could do it and I said that I could. I went to Atlanta, and the racing was alright, then I kicked it in freestyle. I stayed in the hot seat in freestyle until Tom Meents kicked me out, he won freestyle by I think it was one point. That night in Atlanta was certainly a highlight of my career.
MonsterJam.com: Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Mark Schroeder: I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but let me say…. well, I don’t want to give away any secrets. Let’s just say starting line mind games (with the other driver) are fun.
MonsterJam.com: How tough is it to go from being a competitor to being a television commentator?
Mark Schroeder: The transition (from driver to commentator) is not a very difficult transition, but what I was very concerned about when I first started doing television and having that type of high profile job what my peers and the people that I work with on the race track would think. I was very concerned about how they would respond to me when in certain situations I might not be speaking so highly of them, being more critical of them, when in fact they can come back to me and say to me ‘hey, you’re not much better’ or ‘you aren’t any better, so get off of your high horse in telling us to be so good.’ So I was definitely concerned about that. That’s the flat out truth.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
Mark Schroeder: Pizza and Steak
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Mark Schroeder: The Breakfast Club
• Truck Name: Devastor® and The Felon™
• Bodies: Chevy Silverados
• Engine size - Either a 468 or 540 prepared by Steve Cohen depending on the event
• Transmissions - Steve Griner Engineering 3 speed turbo 400