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Thursday, August 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Confidence is key for Monster Jam truck driver Myranda Cozad

Myranda Cozad still isn’t sure where the confidence came from.

She’d been a drag racer for years, but monster trucks were unknown, yet enticing territory for her.

So when she found herself backstage at a Monster Jam event, she walked right up to Debrah Miceli, better known as Madusa, who drove the truck of the same name, and complimented her run and told her she’d love to drive a monster truck someday.

Miceli told Cozad she looked like a driver named Brianna Mahon, who sometimes drove Madusa, and asked her about her motorsports experience.

Cozad, an only child, grew up watching her father drag race. She picked up the sport when she was 16 and has been racing ever since.

Miceli was impressed by what she heard and passed Cozad’s information to the right people.

Soon enough, she was at Monster Jam University, a multi-day clinic where drivers competing in the Monster Jam Triple Threat series learn to drive Monster Jam trucks, ATVs and speedsters.

Under the guidance of 11-time world champion driver Tom Meents, who drives the Maximum Destruction truck, the drivers put on mock shows to get a feel for the Triple Threat series format.

“We call him the professor of Monster Jam,” Cozad said about Meents. “He’s like our Monster Jam dad too. He’s awesome. He really, really pushes me to do better. He was so good to me through the whole process and was very encouraging.”

After passing through Monster Jam University, Cozad was paired with the Scooby-Doo truck, which features two giant ears and a tail that bounces around as Cozad races around the track and executes tricks.

Cozad and Scooby-Doo will appear at the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at the Spokane Arena from Friday through Sunday.

The Monster Jam Triple Threat Series also features the following drivers:

Tyler Menninga in Grave Digger; Colton Eichelberger in Max-D; 2019 rookie driver Elvis Lainez in El Toro Loco; Tony Ochs in Soldier Fortune Black Ops; Bari Musawwir in Zombie; Austin Minton in Megalodon; and 2019 rookie driver Tanner Root in Monster Mutt Rottweiler.

This is the first time the Soldier Fortune Black Ops truck will appear in Spokane.

The Triple Threat Series features drivers bouncing between their trucks, ATVs and speedsters to complete a variety of challenges including individual timed racing around a set course, head-to-head racing, two-wheel skills, freestyle and donuts.

While she enjoys racing and competing with all three vehicles, Cozad said the monster truck is her favorite.

“There’s nothing like a monster truck,” she said. “I would actually say the Monster Jam truck, I’m definitely stronger in that area.”

Cozad doesn’t choreograph her runs, saying it all comes down to reflexes.

Before the freestyle competition she might think about the first couple of hits she’ll make just to get an idea of where she wants to go, but aside from that, the truck leads the way.

“The more seat time you have, it might sound stupid but, you become one with the truck basically,” she said.

Choreographed or not, Cozad and the other drivers aim to put on the best show they can both for the audience and to earn the most points, which could take them to the world championships.

Cozad will be competing in the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series through mid-March, followed by another batch of Monster Jam appearances in the second quarter of the year.

When she’s not on the road with Monster Jam, Cozad returns to her first love: drag racing.

“Whenever I don’t have shows for Monster Jam, I’m still at the racetrack.,” she said. “I definitely have to have some adrenaline while I wait for Monster Jam to come back around.”

She’ll have plenty of time behind the wheel of the Scooby-Doo truck though, all thanks to a sudden boost of confidence.

“Something took over,” she said when recalling her first meeting with Miceli. “Since that day, I’m always a firm believer. If you don’t ask, you won’t get anywhere in life. If you don’t try or you don’t takes chances, it’s not going to happen. No one’s going to come looking for you.”

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