Only female Monster Jam driver at Toronto event aims to crush the competition

Fourteen drivers face off in 1,200-pound trucks at Monster Jam in Toronto this weekend. Among them is a solo female driver making her debut.

Haley Gauley, 36, is a solo female driver making her Monster Jam debut

Haley Gauley stands before her Monster Truck, Scooby-Doo, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. (Facebook)

Monster Jam fans are watching some of their favourite trucks at the Rogers Centre this weekend rip through the dirt. 

Fourteen drivers are facing off in 12,000 pound monster trucks on Saturday and Sunday, racing and manoeuvring them — on the track and in the air — in freestyle stunt competitions.

Among them is Haley Gauley, 36, a solo female driver making her Monster Jam debut. 

Gauley, of Oklahoma, says she grew up as a Monster Jam fan, but her life changed two years ago when she saw another female driver, Linsey Read, on the course.
Haley Gauley, a Monster Truck driver, says: '... you can you can do whatever you want. You just have to set your mind to it.' (Salma Ibrahim/CBC)

"I asked how to become a driver because I wanted to be an amazing female driver," Gauley said on Saturday. 

Gauley auditioned, then trained at the "Monster Jam University," a training facility in Paxton, Ill. and quickly took to the sport. 

Feld Entertainment, which organizes Monster Jam events in North America, says there are 14 women currently on its tour through U.S. and Canadian cities, but Gauley says it's still an upward climb. 

"It's definitely a man's world, though us females are coming into it," she told CBC Toronto.

"This is my way of showing other females out in the world and fans that you can you can do whatever you want. You just have to set your mind to it." 
Crews prepare the Rogers Centre for the Toronto's 2018 Monster Jam. (Salma Ibrahim/CBC)

It's a physically and mentally demanding sport. One 12,000-pound truck provides 1,500-horsepower. A single tire weighs 800 lbs.

The sheer power of the vehicles draws fans to the event. 

"You get 1,500 horsepower, no pipes and 10,000 RPMs. That's excitement," said long-time fan Steve Kovach, as he waited in line in the bitter cold to see the competition on Saturday.

But for Gauley, her focus is on fellow competitors.

"I'm a little bit nervous as far as going up against the big guys that have been doing this forever," she said.

Two world champions are on that roster at the Toronto event.

"My goal is to get to their level and pass it eventually," Gauley said. 
Scooby-Doo is Haley Gauley's truck. According to Monster Jam, it's designed to resemble the beloved Great Dane and it has a stated goal of 'taking on the big dogs in the sport.' The aim is to be top dog. (Monster Jam)