Girl Power and a ‘Big Giant Puppy’ at Monster Jam
Candice Jolly revs up the crowd with Monster Mutt Dalmatian this Saturday at Monster Jam
by Mina Frannea
Candice Jolly is one the few women in the world that professionally races monster trucks. She’ll be the only woman competing with 15 men this Saturday, February 25th, in the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at Cowboys Stadium.
If you’re new to Monster Jam, it’s an exciting competition that includes side-by-side racing and freestyle maneuvers (including crushing full size cars and other vehicles!) by monster trucks that are approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide. These custom designed machines sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds!
At Monster Jam this Saturday, Candice Jolly will be driving the Monster Mutt Dalmatian which she fondly refers to as a “girl’s truck” and her “big giant puppy” because it’s got a big red tongue, floppy ears and “a tail that wags.” The “puppy” also has a red collar and the classic dalmatian like spots painted on the body.
With technological advances over the years, Candice explains that there are times when the monster trucks are practically flying 30 feet through the air. With her petite 5’3″, 120 pound, size 3 stature, Candice requires a custom designed seat and other equipment to ensure her safety while she drives her 10,000 pound monster truck. She also wears a safety harness, helmet, protective gloves and a flame retardant suit that “provides 30 seconds of burn time.”
Handling her massive monster truck requires a great deal of strength so Candice works out everyday to maintain her muscles. Check out this video of Monster Mutt Dalmatian in action:
Candice started racing go-karts at age 8 and shares a passion for racing with most of her family. Her Mom and Step Dad race swamp buggies, her father races drag cars and her youngest sister races go-karts. Even Candice’s 7-year-old son, Chase, races go-karts.
As a female participating in male dominated sports such as monster truck racing, Candice has had to face skepticism, stereotypical labels and, sometimes, criticism. Rather than letting it defeat her, Candice has overcome such adversity and has become one of the best-known women drivers in her sport. Candice attributes her determination and tenacity to her supportive father.
One thing that Candice especially enjoys when competing in Monster Jam is being able to meet her many fans during the pre-show pit parties. Several of her younger fans come dressed in dalmatian costumes. Candice has been so impressed by the show of support that she has organized a special treat for all the kids who come to the event dressed in costumes this Saturday. During the pre-show Party in the Pits, each child will be able to show off their costume on the main stage throughout the day and there will be small prizes for kids who participate in the “fashion show.”
Outside of the sporting world, Candice is just like any other mom. She takes her son to and from school, makes sure that he eats right and has good values. When I was talking to her on the phone this morning, Candice was just dropping Chase off at school and wished him a good day, told him she loved him and then reminded him to eat his orange at lunch. Candice also spends time with her fiancée and fellow monster truck competitor, Neil Elliott, whom she met while they were both competing in Finland.
During the racing season in January, February and March, Candice spends all week at home in Naples, Florida, then flies out to racing venues on the weekends. When she is not professionally racing, Candice manages a restaurant, City Sea Food, and provides recreational enrichment to special needs kids through her non-profit organization, Show Time Riding Academy and Rescue. About 43 children come out to Candice’s family ranch to ride horses and spend time with rescued animals that include ostriches, zebras and camels. It’s important to Candice for her son Chase to have an awareness of individuals with special needs and she wants him to grow up with a sense of tolerance for differences in all people.
The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam competition at Cowboys Stadium this Saturday is the world’s premier monster truck series. This year is the 30th anniversary of Grave Digger so there’s lots of fun planned in the pre-show Party in the Pits from 2:30 – 5:30pm. The main event starts at 7pm. For more information, visit the Monster Jam website, Facebook page or Twitter page.
Mina Frannea is a web editor and social media professional. She enjoys the Arts, cooking, enlightening discussions and sharing relevant information with other Moms. A Mom to nine-year-old twins, Mina enjoys writing about family friendly activities around town, theater performances, favorite recipes and activities that keep her children busy and happy. Visit Mina’s blog at www.themomsjournal.com.
Images and Video courtesy of Feld Motor Sports