A monster passion for monster trucks

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

In her biography for Monster Jam, driver Myranda Cozad makes it clear from the start.

Driving is her life.

Monster Jam comes to the Webster Arena in Bridgeport Nov. 15 to 17.

“I’m an only child,” said Cozad in a phone interview. “My dad has participated in every possible motor sport there is.” You name it, said Cozad, her dad did it: motocross, dirt track, drag, and more.

Hence, explained Cozad, she grew up around racing.

When she was still a kid, said Cozad, she would help her dad in the race pit. She’d gas up the vehicles, for instance. “I was always at the drag strip,” said Cozad.

So, being an actual motor sport racer, said Cozad, “was kind of a natural thing to get into.”

Funny thing is, said Cozad, for as passionate as her dad was about racing, and despite her regular presence at his races, he never pushed her to join the sport as a driver.

“He didn’t really care,” said Cozad. “He just thought (my interest in racing) was a phase.”

But, at age 16 (she’s 28 now), Cozad used money she saved from a part-time job to buy her first drag racer.

Cozad said that even though she was an only child, her family felt she had to work for everything she got.

Cozad’s first race, she said, was a “battle” of high school kids.

However, although it was her debut race and despite her dad’s passion for the sport, Cozad said her father wasn’t there to watch and root for her. She said he was off racing his own vehicle somewhere else.

So, there were all these boys and dads at the race, said Cozad. But her dad wasn’t there.

More noticeably, said Cozad, she was the only girl at the race.

Although her father didn’t take much interest in her racing career, said Cozad, her father did shape her competitive spirit. He was an extremely competitive person.

When she was growing up, Cozad said she and her father would play board games. But even though she was his child, he never let her win. The first time, she beat her father at a game, Cozad said he was upset about it.

As noted, when Cozad started racing, she was an oddity as a female among all men.

She still is.

Monster Jam has been adding more female drivers, said Cozad, who drives the monster truck Scooby Doo. But, still, she noted that on this tour, she is the only female driver.

But, she said, the male drivers don’t treat her any differently because she is a woman. They don’t like it when she beats them, but that’s not because of her sex. They just don’t like being beaten.

The men also are supportive of her, said Cozad. The first time she won a race, the rest of the driers were happy for her. The drivers are a family on the Monster Jam tour, she said.

Cozad entered the world of motorsports as a drag racer. But she said there’s nothing in motorsports like driving a monster truck.

“I love every aspect of it,” said Cozad of monster truck racing.

There is the competitive aspect of it, said Cozad. But more importantly, she said, she loves the connection to the fans. She loves hearing the crowd cheer for her and acknowleding something for which she is passionate.

Cozad also enjoys the fact that many friends she has made over the years started off as her fans.

As a driver on Monster Jam, Cozad also loves the opportunity to be a role model for everyone, not just young girls but boys as well. She loves showing them that you can pursue your dreams and make them come true.

Again, Cozad’s dad figures in her equation about working hard on making your dreams become reality. He warned her about the slim chances of making motor sports a career.

But Cozad has proven him wrong.

However, the monster truck driver understands where her father was coming from with his advice.

The opportunity to be part of an organization like Monster Jam and getting to drive for her livelihood, is a rarity.

But the chance to drive is an opportunity that still thrills Cozad. She said she has been racing monster trucks for four years now, but she feels like she has just begun.

For fans who are looking to come out to Monster Jam in Bridgeport, Cozad promised a night of entertainment that the whole family will enjoy.

Monster Jam comes to the Webster Arena in Bridgeport on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.

For tickets, go to WebsterBankArena.com.

Myranda Cozad’s monster truck Scooby Doo.

Myranda Cozad will drive her monster truck Scooby Doo at Monster Jam in Bridgeport this weekend.