||St. Petersburg, Fla.
|Date of birth:
||May 12, 1962
of the best known and most successful superstars in Advance Auto Parts Monster
Jam®, Scott Hartsock balances a passion for Monster Jam trucks and a
drive for success with being a devoted family man. Often quoted as saying he
and his Gunslinger Ford are “cocked, locked and ready to rock,” the Floridian
has been one of the best in the business for two decades. Hartsock was at the
pinnacle of his game at the beginning of the Monster Jam World FinalsSM
era, finishing in the runner-up spot in the first ever championship race in
2000. Hartsock then created a two-Monster Jam truck show where he fielded both
Gunslinger and Cowboy for several years. Hartsock, however, felt that those
dual team duties hurt his top priority: his success in Gunslinger. So in 2010,
Hartsock downsized back to a one-Monster Jam truck team. The rededicated effort
on making Gunslinger the best Monster Jam truck paid immediate dividends.
Following a five-year hiatus, Hartsock was invited to the Monster Jam World
Finals in 2010.
Q&A with Scott
did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Scott Hartsock: I was a gunsmith
for 14 years before I ever had a Monster Jam truck, but I always had a big,
jacked up 4-wheel drive. There was a gentleman in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mark
Boyce, from whom I had bought some axle shafts and lockers. After some time, I
reconnected with Mark and told him that I had a collection of axle shafts and
lockers and I wanted to get rid of them. Shifting the conversation, he asked me
if I had ever thought about getting into Monster Jam. I told him there’s a lot
more to it than you see on TV. He told me he had a friend in Jacksonville who
was a promoter- a small promoter- and he wanted me to go see him. So after a
couple of months I went up there to meet him. I told him I was thinking about
getting in and he said he’d give me a contract right then if I’d build a Ford Monster
Jam truck. That was great because I already had one, and after about a year I
created Gunslinger in 1992.
MonsterJam.com: What do
you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Scott Hartsock: I’ll be real
honest with you, I never did like traveling. Of course, I’ve never had to do a
lot of flying, but I have done a great deal of ground traveling. I believe in
family. I’ve got a great wife and two great kids, a nice house and that’s my
roots right there. I go home to them every week. I love ‘em to death; they are
my backbone. They get me whether I’m good, bad, ugly. My wife tells me, “When
you walk in that door you are no longer Gunslinger. You are Scott Hartsock, my
husband. So take that attitude, the ego, and leave all that outside the door.”
She’s right. I’m out here entertaining. I’m not a false individual. I give
everybody 100% and I like to smile and have fun with everyone. We’ve got a
beautiful motor home to go up and down the highways and that certainly makes it
nice. I’ll leave after a show at 2 o’clock in the morning and I’ll get an hour
away from the venue and I’ll just crash. I thrive on coming to a show with the
work on my Monster Jam truck being done at the shop. If I can do almost
everything that I can at home when I’m in the shop, then when I get to the show
and I feel like I’m ready to go, no one can take me on. Let’s put on the
gloves, let’s get out here and fight. Let’s make sure that whether there are
3,500 people in the stands or 60,000 people, I’m going to give them a little
bit of Scott Hartsock.
MonsterJam.com: What do
you do with your free time?
Scott Hartsock: We love to fish
and hunt. We’ve got two pieces of property near the house that we manage
wildlife on. We love to chase red fish, snook, trout, all of that. The fishing
is awesome. That’s my tranquility time. When it’s just me and the family, we
enjoy sitting back, having a drink, getting some sun! My wife and I are both
very active in the gym. We like to stay fit. When it comes time for lights out
for the kids, I’ll go work in the garage on the Monster Jam truck to make up
for the hours that I was out doing other activities.
MonsterJam.com: What is
your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Scott Hartsock: It would have to
be racing against Dan Patrick in my first televised event [TNN in the
Astrodome]. Winning that event was great, and to top it all, it was my son’s
your favorite food?
Scott Hartsock: Filet
your favorite movie?
Scott Hartsock: All of the Clint
your favorite television show?
Scott Hartsock: Monster Jam,
your favorite color?
Scott Hartsock: Red