Teri Wilson drives Miss Behavin' with the big boys in the monster truck arena

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Teri Olsen

What's sits nine feet off the ground, has tires big enough to sleep inside of and can crush any car like a paper cup? The big boys (and one girl) of the Mega Monster Truck Tour.

Big Dawg will be there in addition to Rock Star, Undertaker and Monster Patrol. Hopefully, the boys will know how to behave in the presence of a lady — Miss Behavin', driven by Teri Olsen.

Olsen is the only female driver in the group, which will rev up Jan. 23 and 24 at the Show Me Center.

"This one's special for me since I'm a Missouri girl," Olsen said.

She is from Savannah, Mo., a little north of St. Joseph.

"It's kind of important to me, and I've got something to prove."

Olsen has been driving monster trucks since July.

"I drove another truck for just a few shows, and it whet my appetite for the whole thing, that's for sure," she said.

Fairly new to monster trucking, Olsen said she only attended one show before getting into the driver's seat for competition. She was quick to point out that she was not completely foreign to automotive sports. She was previously a mud-racer.

"I was offered to drive that other truck, and I got in it a few times and I knew that that's something I wanted to do," she said.

Being behind the wheel of a monster truck is a feeling like no other, Olsen said. "I like to push my limits. A lot of [competitors] tell you that the fans screaming is what pushes them on. And that means a lot to me, but when I'm in there, I'm pushing my limits."

When she hops in the cab of her truck, she said the rush of adrenaline screams more, more, more.

"You know, when you get in there, your hands are sweating, your knees are shaking just a little bit, and you tap the throttle and everything just disappears. You want to know, 'How much more vertical can I get', 'How much more air can I get', 'How much harder can I hit something?' So every time I get in there I want to see how much I can do."

But Olsen isn't all trucks and tomboy. She said like other girls, she enjoys a trip to spa every now and then.

"And I ruin it almost right away working on the truck," she said. "I try to be a girl, but it's kind of hard. The backs of my hands are full of scars and welding burns. I try to have my nails done so, at least, it looks like I have girl hands."

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. both nights with competition beginning at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased at the Show Me Center box office, online at showmecenter.biz or at Schnucks.

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