How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Steve Sims: I traded some countertops with Dennis Anderson and that started opening a new window for me. For years, I had been going to the shows, sitting in the stands, and watching them. I wanted to race Monster Jam trucks, and I knew that I could. I’ve always had big trucks – big four-wheel drives. Then the opportunity came up. Dennis found out that the Backdraft Monster Jam truck was for sale. So we went and purchased it. The next thing you know, here we are and we’ve already been named Team of the Year twice. We never thought that we would actually be able to go this far, as quickly as we did. I didn’t expect that. I just wanted to go out and have fun, and we’re continuing to have fun. At the same time, the business we have was growing, too. We’ve been expanding so that we can have a West Coast team and an East Coast team. Our biggest goal is continue to have fun with all this.
You started out as a team owner. What change got you to become a driver as well?
Steve Sims: At first, I did just own the Monster Jam truck. I would get out in the field and play a little, but the business I have (Custom Stone Company) was going strong and I had a lot to keep up with, so I really didn’t think I had time to drive. I got Gary Wiggins to come out of retirement and get in the seat to drive. He did an awesome job, but then he got injured. So we were sitting there with the Monster Jam truck scheduled and no driver, so I said, “Heck, I’ll get in there.” I loved it! I didn’t want to get out of it. We then found out that Randy Brown had a chassis and the old Mopar Magic Monster Jam truck was for sale, the original one that Gary had built. So we the Monster Jam truck and Randy’s chassis and combined them. All of a sudden, we had a two-Monster Jamtruck team. I’ve been hittin’ it ever since.
What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Steve Sims: I like being on the road, seeing different towns and meeting different people. We meet a lot of awesome people out here, especially kids. They [the kids] come up and say, “We’ve seen you on Monster Jam,” and we just have a blast. I mean, we’re their heroes for that day. We love to make them smile.
What do you do with your free time?
Steve Sims: Monday through Thursday, and sometimes into Friday morning, I’m running the stone business. Then, I either hop in the semi or hop on a plane and go out and do the Monster Jam shows. Then Monday morning, I’ve got to be back at work. I haven’t taken a lot of vacations. I’ve got a boat that’s been just sitting for the last three years. I’ve done very little fishing, lately. I used to hang out in the Cayman Islands and things like that, until I got into Monster Jam trucks. Now, I’m on the road so much that this is kind of my vacation. Day in, day out, I’m dealing with customers, so it’s awesome to get away, come out here, meet all of these great people, and have fun.
What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
Steve Sims: I guess it has to be going to the Monster Jam World Finals and truly doing a good job there. I didn’t really expect to do that well. Actually, I didn’t do well in racing but I did do well in freestyle. Getting out there with all of the top names, and being able to hang with them after such a short time being behind the wheel, really boosted my self-esteem.
Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though? Steve Sims: I don’t have any superstitions and I really don’t do anything the same every time. But one thing I do is that I always put my gloves on top of the switch box. If they’re not up there I start raising heck with the crew, but other than that I’m really not superstitious or anything like that.
What’s your favorite food?
Steve Sims: I love seafood - crab, fish, oysters, and shrimp, all of it.
What’s your favorite movie?
Steve Sims: I don’t get time to go out to movies.
What’s your favorite television show?
Steve Sims: Really, I’m so tired when I get home that I start flipping through the television channels and within 15 minutes I’m asleep! But I did an episode of One Tree Hill, so I guess I better start watching that show to see if I can catch my Monster Jam truck on there. I ran through a wedding cake on that show!
What’s your favorite color?
Steve Sims: Blue