A lifelong Monster Jam fan, Fernando Martinez helped out at various events hoping to one day make it as a Monster Jam driver. He graduated Monster Jam University in 2023 and made his debut in Nampa, ID, in October. Martinez describes his driving style as “a mix of smooth technical moves, spiced up with a healthy dose of jaw-dropping moments.”
- What are some of your interests/hobbies/favorite pastimes?
I love doing anything that allows me to create: painting, sculpting, video production, etc., listening to music or watching documentaries.
- Who are your role models?
Oh man, so many, for various reasons: Chris Bumstead, Travis Pastrana, Will Tennyson, Ozzy Osbourne, and I’m probably missing so many more.
- Do you have any pre-event rituals you run through?
Grounding is key for me. I take a walk, find a quiet spot to reflect, and practice gratitude. It brings me peace and gets me ready to hit the track with a mindset focused on having as much fun as I can.
- What's something a lot of people don't know about you?
Only about 17% of the world’s population can wiggle their ears, and I’m one of them.
- What is your favorite memory on or off the racetrack?
Going to events in Anaheim with my dad come to my mind. He introduced me to Monster Jam and essentially helped me find my life’s passion. Going to events with him was and still is very special.
- What is your most prized possession?
When I was a kid, I found a car key to a Saturn vehicle in a ditch. Not sure why, but I always made sure to keep it around.
Life on the Road
- What is the best and worst thing about being on the road every weekend with Monster Jam?
Best: sightseeing, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people; Worst: increased amount of Christmas cards I have to send out with every new friend I make!
- While on tour, what is your favorite thing to do during your free time?
There’s so much to do that when I get tired out, I find myself a mellow spot to listen to music or talk with friends and family from back home.
- How do you keep fit?
Simple. 10,000 steps daily. No steps? no donuts.… balance.
- What item(s) can you not live without while traveling on the road with Monster Jam?
Headphones and a comfy hoodie sweater
- What is your favorite city to travel to? Why?
Undecided, but I will say, whichever city gets the most wild and crazy for Monster Jam will always have my vote.
- How did you get started competing in Monster Jam?
Monster Jam has been my passion since I was a kid, when my dad first introduced me to it. Once those trucks caught my eye, there was no turning back. It quickly became my life’s goal to become a Monster Jam driver. As I grew up, I couldn't get enough of it, and when I hit 18, I decided to soak up everything I could about the industry. I didn't just study it; I jumped in, volunteered working on the trucks or doing event prep, made some cool friends, and believe it or not, ended up trying out and getting trained by none other than Tom Meents and his fantastic coaching team. It's been an insane journey thus far.
- What is your favorite part about competing in Monster Jam?
The connection with the fans. They bring the energy, and we give it right back. It's an incredible bond we share.
- How would you describe your driving style?
I'd say it's a mix of smooth technical moves, spiced up with a healthy dose of jaw-dropping moments. It's all about keeping the crowd (and myself) guessing.
- What advice would you give to kids who want to become a Monster Jam driver?
Be a student of the game. Listen more than you speak. And most of all, your greatest strength is to be yourself.
- What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam driver?
When I could look my parents in the eyes and say, "All the late nights, sacrifices, and support you've given me, it wasn't in vain. I made it." Their dedication and love are what got me here, and I’ll never forget that.
- Who in Monster Jam do you look up to for inspiration?
My childhood heroes in Monster Jam were definitely Tom Meents and Dennis Anderson. Nowadays, I believe inspiration can be found in anyone or anything that has something to teach, as long as you’re willing to learn.
- Do you have any nicknames?
Variants stemming from “Fern”: Fernie, Ferocious Fern, Ferniefreestyles, Fern Dawg. The possibilities are endless.
- What’s your favorite movie?
How can I pick one? The Outsiders, Talladega Nights: Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Simpsons Movie, Hot Rod, and The Crow.
- What’s your favorite television show?
Whose Line Is It Anyways?
- What’s your favorite color?
- What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Chicken Pad Thai
- What’s your favorite restaurant on the road?
Any hidden treasures recommended by the locals
- How would your friends and family describe you?
Mom: “Sweetest boy. Travieso with a good heart.” Dad: “Hard worker. Taller than me” Sister: “Bestiiieeee”