Cynthia Gauthier is the woman behind the wheel of Monster Mutt Dalmatian—and one of the few female drivers in the male-dominated extreme sport of monster trucking. More than that, she’s an athlete in every sense of the word. Witness some of Gauthier’s best stunt driving here and root for her in-person here in Dallas-Fort Worth on the Monster Jam circuit.
Ahead of her return to AT&T Stadium (tickets are still available from $25 and up), we reached out to talk about her hard-won skills driving the Dalmatian, the new truck she’s debuting in early 2022 (she returns to Arlington February 19) and her message to high-energy kids who can’t keep still.
Monster Jam truck Monster Mutt Dalmatian
Competing since 2015
Hometown Mirabel (outside Montréal), Québec, Canada
Dog mom to her French bulldog, Lincoln
Follow her on Instagram @cynthiagauthier, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok
One-on-One with Cynthia Gauthier
DFWChild: How did you come to choose your truck, the Monster Mutt Dalmatian?
Cynthia Gauthier: I’m a dog lover, and we were trying to get a Monster Jam truck that would reach the younger crowd. [But] everybody loves that truck. They love the ears flopping around in the air, the tail wagging.
C: And you are competing at every show for the championship title.
CG: Exactly. It’s a real competition. You never know what’s going to happen because sometimes it’s a little bit of skill, a little bit of luck. The trucks do their own thing sometimes.
C: It looks like a battle. Do you have a signature stunt you like to do?
CG: [I’m] definitely in love with doing backflips—it’s one of my favorite things to do. But I’m known for going really big. I love hitting those ramps with all the power I’ve got in that Monster Jam truck.
C: I bet the roar of the crowd has a lot to do with how you’re feeling—that is, when you can hear them over the roar of your engine.
CG: Yeah, and we do hear them.
C: It’s very dangerous what you do. How do you as the driver and stuntperson keep your cool?
CG: Some people think it’s easy to do, but it’s actually really technical. It’s still an extreme sport, so there’s still danger of getting hurt. But that’s why I work out so much. I think those muscles really help, for all the impact we get in that Monster Jam truck, and that energy.
So, I really think it’s important to have a cool crew guy, make sure the truck is ready to go, it’s safe and it’s good to have a body that’s ready to take all those impacts for those big jumps.
C: How important is it to you to share your love of the sport with fans and interact with them at the Pit Party?
CG: Oh yes, I love it. It’s better than a paycheck for me. It’s the reward of all the work we put into. We’ll have a big party, but it goes so fast because you meet so many people and they share that same passion. They even have better memory than us. ‘Do you remember in 2015 when you did that trick?’ It’s always a good time to share some great moments.
The fans take the time to ask you questions, instead of [only] signing autographs, we actually take some time to talk and exchange some questions.
C: What’s your tip for kids who may be inspired by these monster trucks?
CG: When I was a kid, I had so much energy, my parents did not know what to do with me. Sports really helped me break through all my energy. I was always at the park and trying to spend my energy. To get into racing, anything you can do that has that competition in it is good.
To do any sport, it would help a kid to understand that you do have to practice. You do have to spend a lot of energy to get good at anything.
C: How often does your family see you perform live?
CG: They usually come twice a year because they do have to work, but I try to get them different stadiums so they get to see a different competition, but usually [when] they come, I win. It’s a good thing, they’re like a lucky charm—my parents and my sister. My sister has three kids, three daughters. It’s always a girl power energy.
C: Do your nieces love the Dalmatian?
CG: They do! And actually next year—I announced not too long ago—I’m going to switch to a different Monster Jam truck. I’m going to drive the Lucas Oil Stabilizer. I’ve been driving the same truck for 7 years, so for me it’s a new challenge. I’m excited. It’s going to be a totally different chassis, a different truck.
C: OK, an important question—Are you dressing up as Cruella de Vil for Halloween?
CG: Hah! It’s funny because we’re going to be at the amusement park [in another city] signing autographs, and Bari [Musawwir]—Bari drives the Zombie truck—and I said, ‘We need to have costumes. He said, ‘Well I should be a zombie with the Zombie truck,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, and I’ll be Cruella!’
C: Anything else you want to say to kids coming to see you?
CG: It’s definitely a competition for any age, anybody. And it’s pretty cool to be there representing all the girls and show that we can do competing against all those guys. It’s a male-dominated sport, but there’s still lots of girl coming into the sport, showing that we do get victory, we do show that we can do it too.
Top photo courtesy of Feld Motor Sports, Inc.; following photos courtesy of Cynthia Gauthier