How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Chad Fortune: When I was wrestling I was also doing some promotions with WCW and doing PR for their pay-per-views as a character. For the Road Wild show I’d ride a Harley through the streets of Atlanta. Or if it was Bash at the Beach I’d be out there on a surfboard or something like that, just a fun gig, promoting the pay-per-views as well as doing some wrestling. Then after my stint with wrestling was over one of the executives from WCW came to work with Pace Motor Sports and asked me if I wanted to get involved with Monster Jam and to develop a little more of a personality with the crowds. They gave me a shot. I went down to North Carolina for a driving test. I got in one of the old Grave Diggers® and Dennis Anderson built a track out in a bean field and he really stacked the jumps up. I think that he was trying to get rid of me. I went out there and it just beat me up for three days. This was in February, there on the ocean, and I be out there driving the Monster Jam trucks all day. I had a neck collar that was about an inch thick, and I’d be so sore when I was done I would just walk out into the ocean just to have the waves hit my back. I’d come back the next day and do it all over again. But it was such an adrenalin rush the real pain didn’t hit me until after I stopped. It was great. So they said they’d build a Monster Jam truck for me, because nothing they had would fit me. So we started right after that, first in Nitro Machine that I started driving right after that, then I got the ride in Power Forward. From there it was on to Superman in 2005, and eventually into Captain America.
What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Chad Fortune: We go to a lot of interesting places, all the cities in Florida, over to the West Coast, North and South. Seeing all of the places that I used to play football in or where I had wrestled in. Hanging out with friends that I’ve made in this business and of course wowing the crowd, and seeing old friends again.
What do you do with your free time?
Chad Fortune: When I’m home, then I’m home. I just try to keep the TV off and relax and hang out with my son. We’ll go to the beach. I’m fortunate enough to be close to the beach off of Lake Michigan, in Indiana, and its real quiet out there. It’s just great to hang out with him and forget about work for a while.
What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Chad Fortune:Probably all the travel. We’re very fortunate that this sport has grown the way that it has, including internationally. I was fortunate enough to have played football in Europe and of course I had travelled while wrestling, now I’m driving a Monster Jam truck. I mean it’s ten feet tall, 10,000 pounds and they are shipping this thing on a boat to Europe and to Central America and to places where people may have no idea what we really do, and it’s great to see those faces when they see it for the first time, you can see that they are hooked. It’s great to look into their eyes when they finally see a show and even when it’s over they don’t want to leave.
Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Chad Fortune: There are some things. I mean some of these days are just so busy, they may start at 6 in the morning, especially on the televised shows, and you may not leave until 2:00 the next morning. Sometimes getting something to eat is a challenge. So I always keep some crackers in the pockets of my fire suit. Peanut butter crackers. Because you’ll be sitting in the Monster Jam truck and it’s time to go and you haven’t eaten anything all day. I’ll just reach down and grab some crackers.
What’s your favorite food?
What’s your favorite movie?
Chad Fortune:Cool Hand Luke
What’s your favorite television show?
Chad Fortune:The Office, and HGTV (I love being creative, working on houses, my garden in the back, landscaping, even putting up a wall in my house).
What’s your favorite color?>
Chad Fortune: It has to be the Captain America and Superman colors of course. Blue. And black because that’s the way my body looks all the time, half of it is black and blue! And of course on the track all you see is red!