COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Monster Jam returns to Columbus this weekend at the Schottenstein Center for two days of competition, and the only female driver in the arena championship series said she’s grateful to be breaking barriers in a typically male-dominated sport.
As Women’s History Month nears an end, Krysten Anderson takes great pride in being one of the top monster truck drivers competing in the fight for the championship. She’s also the first and only female to drive for the Grave Digger team.
“My dad, I feel, like, was one of the main pioneers of monster trucks and Monster Jam,” Anderson said.
As the only daughter of legendary Grave Digger driver Dennis Anderson, Krysten Anderson feels grateful he passed the steering wheel on to her to keep his legacy alive.
“I think that that’s maybe my favorite part of my job, is just being able to be the first and only female face for the Grave Digger team,” Anderson said.
She started driving Grave Digger in 2017. Just five years into her career, she currently sits in first place as the series leader on the tour.
“So, it’s me competing against seven other male drivers,” Anderson said. “I’m in first place by about 30 points on second place, so girl power!”
The Arena Championship Series features high-flying stunts and Anderson likes to please the crowds by pushing her black and green machine to its limits.
“The tricks that we’re doing and what we are able to make these 14,000-pound trucks do, I mean, they are as heavy as a piece of equipment,” she said.
Anderson notices the positive reaction she gets from children impressed with her driving talents.
“They were waiting in line with their little brother and their little brother’s waiting in line to see Grave Digger, and then they get up and they see that it’s me and they’re like, ‘Mom it’s a girl! It’s a girl,'” she said.
While honoring her father’s legacy, Anderson aims to inspire the next generation of female monster truck drivers.
“We’re not just here to be a novelty,” she said. “We’re not just here to look pretty and be in motorsports. We’re actually here to be competitive and take it seriously, and so, the guys have been taking me seriously this year.”
Anderson lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where the family’s Grave Digger shop is located. She will be heading to Columbus Thursday as the dirt will get loaded into the Schott for the drivers to start practicing ahead of the competition this weekend.
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