By Angela Haupt January 24 at 6:21 PM Source: Washington Post
When Collete Davis straps into her 10,000-pound, 12-foot-tall monster truck, she’s a fearless adversary with one thing on her mind. “All that’s going through my head is all the fun I’m about to have,” the Los Angeles-based driver says. Oh, and beating the guys. Which the 24-year-old has a solid record of doing. Davis, fittingly, will be driving the maroon and gold Wonder Woman truck during the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Capital One Arena this weekend. Davis came off-road to talk to Express about being a woman in a male-dominated industry and those mind-boggling stunts she does in her massive truck.
You started out as a professional race car driver and added monster trucks to your repertoire last year. Why motor sports? I was always curious about how stuff worked — I would take apart remote controls to see what was inside them, which led to me taking apart computers and lawn mowers and, eventually, car motors. When I was around 13, I was like, “Hey, I love working around cars, I love the science and tech that goes into them — why not try racing them?” I sat in a go-kart for the first time, did a few laps and completely fell in love. It had the engineering side of things and my love for competition all in one sport, and I was hooked. Last year, I had the opportunity to test a Monster Jam truck for the first time, and the whole sport just blew my mind. The competition is incredible. We’re not just racing; we’re also competing in stunts with these insane trucks. Everything about it captivated me from the very beginning.
What are some of your favorite stunts? I’m working on doing handstands with the truck — you’re literally putting the entire truck and all its weight on the front two wheels and doing a handstand with it. It’s really technical and challenging to pull off, but when you do, the crowd goes wild. And really big wheelies and walking wheelies, which is when you do a wheelie and land it on the back two tires and walk it forward. The whole time you’re walking a Monster Jam truck, all you see is the sky. It’s pretty awesome.
What can people expect at Monster Jam this weekend? It’s mind-blowing to see what we can do in these crazy trucks. And we’re also going head-to-head in the Monster Jam Speedsters and ATVs, so it’s pretty intense and there’s a lot of action packed into one show. The competition is really tight, and everyone is neck and neck with each other.
How has being a woman in a traditionally male field affected your success? I’m very used to it. I went to school for mechanical engineering, I was in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur and I’ve been in racing for almost a decade, competing against guys. But I realized very early that other girls out there don’t think they can do or be whatever they want to be. They don’t know that it’s OK to like science and technology and to go after something in a male-dominated industry, like racing. It’s been a huge mission just to get myself out there and compete in motor sports at the highest level, and to tell other girls that they can do it, too — and not just compete, but get out there and win.
What are your best words of wisdom for other women? Find something you love and go after it every single day full-throttle — and believe in yourself first. Before anyone else believed I could become a professional race car driver or a monster truck driver, I believed in myself. You have to be your No. 1 fan, your No. 1 motivator, and that will help you get through all of it.
Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW; Sat., 1 & 7 p.m., Sun., 1 p.m., $15-$100.