||St. Petersburg, Fla.
|Date of birth:
||May 12, 1962
||2, Kaitlyn & Michael
One of the best known and most successful superstars in Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, Scott Hartsock balances a passion for monster 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 World Finals era, finishing in the runner-up spot in the first ever World Championship Race in 2000. Hartsock then created a two-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-truck team. The rededicated effort on making Gunslinger the best truck paid immediate dividends. Following a five-year hiatus, Hartsock was invited to the World Finals in 2010.
Q&A with Scott Hartsock
MonsterJam.com: How 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 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 trucks? 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 truck. That was great because I already had a Ford truck, 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 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 truck to make up for the hours that I was out doing other activities.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a monster 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 birthday.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
Scott Hartsock: Filet.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Scott Hartsock: All of the Clint Eastwood movies.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Scott Hartsock: Monster Jam, what else?
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite color?
Scott Hartsock: Red.
• Truck Name: Gunslinger®
• Body: 2002 F-150 on Scott Hartsock-built chassis with King Shocks
• Engine size: 557 Ford
• Horsepower: 1580 hp, 1080 foot pounds of torque
• Transmission: 2-Speed Power Glide