Sometimes childhood dreams do come true. For Joe Sylvester, they came true at the Monster Jam World Finals℠ in Las Vegas in March. Sylvester and his Bad Habit monster truck shocked the racing community on his way to a win in the Young Guns Shootout, garnering his small-town Ohio team a spot in the World Finals main event and a showdown with the most harrowing monster truck of them all, Grave Digger.
“Winning the Young Guns Shootout was definitely the highlight of my career,” said Sylvester, a former dirt bike racer. “It ranks right up there with my world record jump back in 2010. My team prepared tremendous amount with our sights set on winning in Vegas and it was very gratifying to take home the trophy.”
Sylvester and his team couldn’t celebrate too much in Sin City, as they had to turn around and be prepared for a full day of racing and freestyle on Saturday night. While the truck and driver were both up to the task, Grave Digger driver Dennis Anderson did what he has done to so many others in his illustrious career: claim another victim. “This was my first time against Dennis in seven years of monster truck racing,” Sylvester said. “I’ve raced against all of the other Digger drivers, but never Dennis. It was a close race for sure.”
While Sylvester put in a solid performance in freestyle, the team came up just short there as well. Still, for a team working on such a tight budget, Sylvester was all smiles. “We have a very limited budget and a part-time crew,” Sylvester said. “It takes my focus in more directions than just driving because I also drive the transporter, wrench on the truck, run the business and pay the bills. It is definitely challenging to compete against trucks with an unlimited budget and a dedicated driver, but hey, we did it. “The notoriety has been great for my sponsors.”
Sylvester was already working on a busy summer schedule working the independent tour and local shows, one of which he is promoting. But those aren’t the only goals Sylvester has this year. “The show I am promoting at the Canfield Fairgrounds on June 29th is taking a lot of my time right now, but I’m also planning another world record jump. I also want to break in to the scene of short course off road racing in the Pro Light class. We are currently seeking partnerships to support us in entering the rapidly growing sport.”
Sylvester is thankful to have some time back for himself after ending the busy Monster Jam® schedule. “I get back on my normal training routine and just keep moving forward with my latest projects. 2013 has been a great year so far and it has only really just begun.”