One of Advance Auto
Parts Monster Jam’s newest drivers is certainly not a newcomer to racing.
Growing up in a family that was involved in motorsports led Taryn Laskey to
start racing quarter midgets at age 10, while also spending a lot of her time
in the gym as a competitive gymnast and a ballerina. On the track after getting
her feet wet in quarter midgets she then moved into other types of racing
before going to Indianapolis to drive a dirt Sprint Car. For Laskey motorsports
was part of her family life. Her Dad’s side of the family was in motorcross, while
her Mom’s side of the family raced Late Model Stock Cars and Sprints Cars. When
Laskey wanted to go racing at an early age, her Mother decided that it had to
be something that had a roll cage. Proving how varied the personalities are in
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam these days, along with her love of the fans and
performing in the 10,000 pound trucks, Laskey, who earned her degree in
Psychology, is also a painter and poet.
During the 2013 Monster Jam season, Laskey will be accompanying Candice Jolly as the second driver for the Monster Mutt® Dalmatian team.
Q&A with Taryn Laskey
How did you get started competing on
the Monster Jam circuit?
I watched a female driver in Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam on TV, and I
just thought that it would be a lot of fun to do that. I love racing and I love
kids. When I was in Sprint Car racing there were not many female drivers and a
lot of little girls would come up to me and they would love my car and loved seeing
me race, and I saw that with the female drivers in Monster Jam too, so that’s
cool. That’s what I like along with the adrenalin rush from racing. So I just
decided to email my resume to the Monster Jam officials, and a month later I
got the chance to test in North Carolina. It was really time for me to make a
change. I had exhausted my opportunities in Indy, and with the economy it’s
really hard to break into those ranks. Series like Indy, you have to have a lot
of financial backing that I didn’t have so I took the chance to try and get
into Monster Jam and it worked out.
What do you enjoy doing while on the
road with Monster Jam?
Jumping through the air in the truck is so
thrilling. In Sprint Cars getting air is a bad thing, so getting the air is
really great. I mean these trucks are amazing. Of course I like spending time
with the fans and getting to meet new people. I love to meet new people, I’m
just a social butterfly. And traveling around and getting to see new places.
I’ve pretty much always been in the Midwest so it’s really cool to travel
around to places I’ve never been before.
What do you do with your free time?
I’ve been in gymnastics since I was 3 years old. I did that all through
high school until I graduated. I was very competitive in that. I coach
gymnastics and I love doing that. Also I like to choreograph. I was a ballerina
for a long time. For many years that was my life, I lived in the gym instead of
going out with friends. I was in the gym at least 20 hours a week, but that is
what I loved to do. Also I’m a painter, I love to paint. And I love to write
poetry. I’m actually a published poet. I like to wake board and snow board too.
What is your greatest memory as a
monster truck driver?
Being new I just remember that the first time
I got to actually drive a truck in an event I was so nervous. I did the first
donut contest and we broke the fuel pump. So we had to take the truck to the
back and I didn’t get to race which was awful, that’s what I really wanted to
do. I remember that after the truck got fixed I went out for freestyle and I
hadn’t really even been on the track except for doing the donuts so I was
really nervous. But with the interaction of the crowd, the way the fans were
cheering, it got me all pumped up and over the nerves. It was a lot of fun, but
I just remember how nervous I was and how great the fans were in helping me get
Do you have any pre-show rituals that
you run though?
Yes. I always put my left shoe on first. I always do my belts the same
way. I put my Hans on first and then do my belts the same way, then hook up my
Hans, and I always do it left to right. Gloves are the same way, I always put
the left one on first. And I like to get in the truck early, not to be rushed
but to sit in there and clear my mind and get ready to go.
If you were not competing on the
Monster Jam tour, what career path would you follow?
I have a degree in Psychology and I was going
to go to Medical School, but instead I went off to Indy to go racing. And I am
actually starting Nursing School.
What’s your favorite food?
I love baked potatoes.
What’s your favorite movie?
What’s your favorite television show?
What’s your favorite color?
Name: Tasmanian Devil
Body: Custom Concept
size: 540 CI
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