Article By Barrett Perlman
ANAHEIM, CA – On a sunny Saturday afternoon this past weekend, Monster Jam unveiled its eye-catching, newest addition to their monster truck lineup: Whiplash. Unlike most other female driven trucks like Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo, Whiplash was created for its driver, Brianna Mahon.
“They [Monster Jam] kinda surprised me with it,” said Mahon. “They said, ‘We’ve chosen you for this idea; we’ve formed it around you and your style and your personality. What do you think?’”
Mahon is one of several female drivers that have driven on the Monster Jam tour since Debra Miceli debuted with Madusa in 2001. Mahon came on the scene in 2015, winning the Rookie of the Year title at the end of the season. Most well-known for driving Scooby Doo, Mahon’s new truck is designed from the ground up specifically for her.
“I really had a hand in all of it and got to help form the design and where we wanted to go with it,” said a proud Mahon. “It’s been such an honor because that’s not normal for drivers to get to be in that position.”
Investing in a new truck for a driver is no small commitment from Monster Jam’s parent company, FELD Motor Sports. Building a new truck from scratch costs a whopping $192,000 to construct. The bright turquoise and brown truck, Whiplash, was modeled off Mahon’s aesthetic style, love for country music, and favorite color: turquoise. Accompanying the sleek new truck is an array of merchandise for women being sold at the event including cowboy hats, t-shirts, crew shirts, and even plush toys.
“No other truck has this much merchandise and no other truck has its own merchandise booth,” commented Mahon. “I think that is the coolest thing. They are rhinestoned out. It’s blingy. You don’t see female specific clothing [at the event], it’s just all t-shirts. So to be able to have modern, hip, western looking clothes I think is just huge.”
Whiplash appears to be an effort on Monster Jam’s part to support its talented lady drivers and continue growing its female fan base by enticing more women to have a vested interest in the competition.
With the ever expanding #MeToo movement, it’s a welcomed gesture from a brand that has encouraged female drivers for over 15 years. Mahon herself has never dealt with any harassment in the motor sports industry and has positively experienced people respecting her and other women as athletes who are there for the right reasons.
“As a strong female you can be a good role model; you can be modest; and you can really excel in motor sports without having to go alternate routes,” Mahon said.
“Whiplash stands for being an awesome female… and really coming out here with a strong attitude and fearlessness,” said Mahon. “But also giving these boys whiplash when I hit the track!”
Veteran driver and elite competitor, Adam Anderson, has been around monster trucks his entire life. His father, Dennis Anderson, created the iconic truck, Grave Digger, in 1982, which he’s known for driving.
When asked about his thoughts on Mahon and Whiplash, the younger Anderson said, “She’s honestly a really good driver; she really is. But she doesn’t have a lot of seat time… so she better pack her lunch!”
Anderson chuckled, evidence of the playful camaraderie between the two drivers who just so happened to be sitting at the same table eating lunch. Ironically, Mahon did pack her lunch. She meal preps and packs all of her food for the road to keep her healthy and maintain a competitive edge.
“There will be more and more women driving trucks,” Anderson continued. “So it’s good, it’s variety. I always knew it would be like that.”
In the competition that night, Whiplash’s debut was respectable. Mahon raced aggressively and even flipped Whiplash showcasing that the pint-sized powerhouse was a force to be reckoned with.
Most notably, during the freestyle competition, Mahon showed off her motocross background in fine form. She charged every jump with finesse and speed, flaunting her technical ability and motor sports expertise… that also quickly lost her the bumper, hood, and roof of her truck. Luckily, Mahon didn’t need those parts to drive like a boss and the sold-out stadium only cheered louder as Whiplash lost pieces. Whiplash finished third overall on the first stop of the Monster Jam Stadium Tour.
“I really think that this is my breakout year,” said Mahon. If her debut performance in Whiplash is any predictor, 2018 is shaping up to be a good year for this Duchess of Destruction.
For tickets and a listing of Whiplash’s Monster Jam appearances, log on to http://www.monsterjam.com.