One of newest
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® 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 Monster Jam these days, along with her love of the
fans and performing in the 10,000 pound Monster Jam trucks, Laskey, who earned
her degree in Psychology, is also a painter and poet.
2013 Monster Jam season, Laskey will accompany Candice Jolly as the second
driver for the Monster MuttSM Dalmatian team.
with Taryn Laskey
How did you get started competing on
the Monster Jam circuit?
I watched a female driver in 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?
through the air in the Monster Jam truck is so thrilling. In Sprint Cars
getting air is a bad thing, so getting the air is really great. I mean these Monster
Jam 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
Jam truck driver?
new I just remember that the first time I got to actually drive a Monster Jam
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 Monster Jam 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 it 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 through that.
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 Monster Jam 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?
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
What’s your favorite food?
love baked potatoes
What’s your favorite movie?
What’s your favorite television show?
What’s your favorite color?