Tell a woman she can’t do something and she just might surprise you.
Such was the case with Becky McDonough, a 2005 Brainerd High School graduate, who made her impossible dream of driving a monster truck possible.
McDonough was an average teen, spending her spare time fishing and camping with friends until fate changed her course in the form of a monster truck show ticket.
“Some of my friends were going to a monster truck show at the Metrodome and they had an extra ticket and I didn’t have anything going on so I tagged along,” said McDonough. “By the time I walked out of there, I knew that I was going to do that someday; jumping out of a monster truck, shaking my hair out of the helmet and waving.”
While she spent years being disregarded and pushed aside by the guys in her high school automotive class, McDonough was racking up the skills that she would need to back her in pursuing a career working with monster trucks.
“I got pushed out of the way because I was a female and it just made me work harder,” said McDonough
Not everyone disregarded the beautiful teen with the dream. Always on her side were her parents Dan and Marilyn Derosier, Baxter.
“My parents have always been my rocks,” said McDonough. “If it was what I wanted to do then they were always supportive. They would say ‘stop crying about the people who think you can’t do it and do it.’”
After graduating from Universal Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyo., McDonough did what she thought was the best next step, she started contacting drivers. Just days later she was on her way to her dream job.
“Madusa (Monster Jam driver Debra Miceli) and I exchanged some e-mails and she gave me a phone number, McDonough said. “I called, sent a resume and three days later I got a call back asking if I could be in North Carolina by Wednesday.”
Her first step in a long line of many was returning to the Metrodome, but this time as an employee, to get the feel for it and to see if she could really handle the monster truck world.
“I came to Minneapolis for a show to see if I really wanted to do it,” she said. “It was the longest day of my life, but it was exactly what I wanted.”
McDonough spent the next four years working as a mechanic for monster truck driver Courtney Jolly, and then another year as the only female pit crew chief for Nitro Circus before getting behind the wheel of her very own monster truck.
“My first four years of doing the pit crew were intense,” said McDonough. “It was a one-person crew per truck, so it was all on me. Caring for the whole truck.”
Her chance came sooner than expected while in Costa Rica in 2010. She was given the chance to make her driving debut in the Donkey Kong truck.
“To actually be strapped in there and just to be able to say I did it is a lot different in a show because everyone is watching you so you cant mess up or break the truck,” McDonough said. “I remember being in the air and I was so happy. Its a crazy feeling. I can’t compare it to anything.”
After getting behind the wheel after waiting and preparing for so many years, there was no way that she was stopping. McDonough returned to the Metrodome once again, but this time she returned as a monster truck driver for a sold out house, which included hundreds of her friends and family.
“Doing the Minneapolis show this January was definitely the highlight of my career so far,” she said. “I wanted to go back there with my truck and when I got in and fastened my seat belt I just felt sick because there’s so much adrenaline. Here I was in my hometown, making my dream come true. It was incredible.”
Now, the high flying McDonough travels the world with her very own 1500 horsepower truck, Dragons Breath. But while she’s living her dream, she’s also missing a few people from home.
“I’ve been to Europe, Mexico, Canada, and pretty much all over the world,” said McDonough. “Sometimes we’re traveling for three or four months at a time, but I’m ready to be closer to home, but at the same time, I am traveling the world and getting so many great experiences.”