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Monster Jam roars into PPG Paints Arena |
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Monster Jam roars into PPG Paints Arena

Candy Williams
| Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:00 a.m

Monster Jam

Kayla Blood is behind the wheel of a new ride for 2019.

The Monster Jam veteran from Lafayette, La., has been recruited for the Soldier Fortune team, the first woman to drive a Monster truck with the prestigious group.

She moved to Soldier Fortune on the Triple Threat Series Central, starting with the season opener at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 5-6, where she took the lead in the series.

“This is a big honor to be driving Soldier Fortune and representing the men and women who have served our country,” Blood said. “Being selected as the first female to drive Soldier Fortune means I just need to keep doing what I am doing.”

Fans will have a chance to see her in action at Monster Jam Triple Threat Series Feb. 8-10 at PPG Paints Arena.

Seven different competitions are held, each testing the versatility of the drivers in Monster Jam trucks, Monster Jam Speedsters and Monster Jam ATVs. They can earn points in Racing and Freestyle events. The point leader earns an automatic bid to the Monster Jam World Finals to compete for the title of World Champion.

Competition trailblazer

Blood says when she started competing, there were only 10 women in the Monster Jam competition.

“Now there are at least 15 to 20, either contracted or independent,” she says. “We’re all very competitive.”

Before joining Monster Jam, she served with the Louisiana National Guard, assigned to Camp Beauregard in Pineville, La., from 2009-2014, where her duties included post guard as an MP and administrative duties on the base.

She started competing in Monster Jam in 2016, as a member of the El Toro Loco driving team. In her 62 events in 2018, she has recorded nine event championships with nine Freestyle wins.

Her husband, Blake Granger, also competes in Monster truck competitions, although he’s in the East coast division and she is in central, so they don’t compete against each other.

The couple has one son, Austin, 6, who his mom says has been to Monster Jam, but usually he’s with his grandma or another caregiver if they have an event.

“We’re both passionate about what we do – but we want what’s best for our little boy,” Blood says. “He’s getting to the age where he loves all of it and it’s cool to see him in the stands watching me.”

In fact, one of her pre-show rituals revolves around her son.

“When I get in to my truck and strap in before a show, I have so many emotions running through me, so saying a prayer and thinking about my little boy and what I can do to make him proud calms me down, humbles me and keeps me grounded,” she says.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Photos: Used with Permission from Feld Entertainment
Kayla Blood will be competing in her Soldier Fortune Monster truck at Monster Jam Triple Threat Series.
Photos: Used with Permission from Feld Entertainment
Kayla Blood behind the wheel of her Soldier Fortune Monster truck. She will be competing at Monster Jam Triple Threat Series Feb. 8-10 at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh.
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