How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Marc McDonald: An uncle of mine was a professional mud racer. So being with him when I was younger allowed me to meet a lot of people in Monster Jam, like Dan Patrick, Allen Pezo, Pablo Huffaker, and several other guys who have been doing this forever. One day, up at the ranch, my wife asked me, “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?” I never thought about it. I just thought I’d live on my family ranch the rest of my life. As I thought more, jokingly, I told her that I wanted to be a Monster Jam truck driver. I was kind of kidding around but she was serious and asked me if I ever contacted any of the people I had met to see about getting into it. So I called a few of the guys and they all said to get in contact with some of the bigger race teams because they are always hiring crew guys. Eventually, I was hired as a crew guy, but I also made it clear that I wanted to drive. I decided I’d give it a year. And sure enough, all the cards fell into place and the seat in the Safe Auto Minimizer became available. They decided to try me out; so I was really fortunate to get into that Monster Jam truck. And, it has snowballed from there.
What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Marc McDonald: Of course, I like the travel. I’ve travelled my whole life. You meet new people; you go all over the world. That’s the key I think, just meeting new people and seeing how others live. And I enjoy everybody that you get to work with in Monster Jam. They are all one big family, and I like that a lot.
What do you do with your free time?
Marc McDonald: I work on our family ranch 90 percent of the time. So I do a lot of looking after the cattle, watching them eat grass. I know it sounds boring, but it is really something I love to do. I like to get on the four-wheeler and just go out and check on the cattle. And I like doing all of the normal ranching stuff. I also like rock crawling and off-roading. My son is all about hunting and fishing and the outdoors. We like to go camping and do lots of stuff outdoors. And most importantly, I like hanging out with my family as much as I can.
What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Marc McDonald: Before the 2010 Monster Jam World Finals, I’ve always thought that my best memory was my second show ever in the Safe Auto Monster Jam truck. It was my first stadium show in Atlanta. Nobody knew me or anything about me and I didn’t know how I would do. But when I went out and qualified for racing, I was in the top spot until the last guy Tom Meents, ended up with a little bit faster time than mine. I was the second fastest qualifier and that carried on through the rounds. I was able to sneak past guys like Carl Van Horn and Mr. Gunslinger himself, Scott Hartsock; lots of big heavy-hitters. I ended up going to the final round with Tom Meents. I think it was pretty close up until the last turn. I think it was inexperience, but I got it up on two wheels and he ended up beating me. So that was always a highlight for me since it was my first big stadium show and everybody was saying, “This guy can really race.”
I’ve been to the Monster Jam World Finals every year since I started in 2006. I’ve qualified in the top eight every year that I’ve been there and I don’t know how many other guys who can say that. I think that’s a pretty good record, although, I’ll probably shoot myself in the foot by saying that. That’s something that I think is pretty neat. And, of course, in 2010, I laid down a pretty good run and got the fastest qualifier and won the Double Down award that night. I’ve won some big events in big stadiums, some racing and some freestyle, but the Monster Jam World Finals was such a big deal to me. That’s the top 24 trucks in the sport; so it makes it really special.
Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Marc McDonald: Anybody that knows me knows that I just like to go out and have fun. I’m me from front to back; you’re not getting anything different. That’s how I am racing. A lot of guys will get focused on something or do things a certain way, but I don’t. I’m always goofing off up until the light turns green. I’m always singing in the Monster Jam truck. My crew chief will run up and ask what’s wrong, and I’ll tell him nothing, I’m just singing. I guess I’m a little quirky.
What’s your favorite food?
Marc McDonald: Mexican
What’s your favorite movie?
Marc McDonald: I’ve got no idea!
What’s your favorite television show?
Marc McDonald: I don’t really have time to watch TV.
What’s your favorite color?
Marc McDonald: Orange and purple