In iconic Grave Dig­ger fam­ily, daugh­ter is now in driver’s seat

The Charlotte Observer - - Front Page - BY COURT­NEY DEVORES

While grow­ing up as the only daugh­ter of Grave Dig­ger cre­ator Den­nis An­der­son, Krys­ten An­der­son never imag­ined her­self fol­low­ing her dad and her broth­ers into the driver’s seat. In­stead, she in­tended to study art in col­lege and be­come a graphic de­signer for Mon­ster Jam, de­sign­ing logos and paint jobs for the trucks.

But her ca­reer path took an un­ex­pected turn in 2016, when she was con­tacted by Mon­ster Jam Univer­sity, an ac­tual mon­ster truck driv­ing school in Pax­ton, Ill., op­er­ated by Max­i­mum De­struc­tion driver Tom Meents.

“They said they had a seat com­ing open and asked if I wanted to au­di­tion,” An­der­son re­calls. “I didn’t want to say no. I had such a huge foot in the door.”

This week­end — less than three years af­ter get­ting that call and less than two af­ter mak­ing her live de­but — An­der­son will pi­lot Grave Dig­ger when Mon­ster Jam re­turns to Spec­trum Cen­ter. She’s one of two fe­male driv­ers at the event.

“I’ve met a lot of lit­tle girls and changed a lot of minds,” An­der­son says. “I get mes­sages from them or their moms on so­cial me­dia. Grave Dig­ger is the most iconic truck in Mon­ster Jam to date. I’m the first fe­male in 35 years in the driver’s seat. And I’m only 21. So when I started, I was very re­lat­able to a lot of young girls in the crowd.”

Now that she’s part of the busi­ness, she sees just how die-hard fans are.

“It’s in­sane,” she says of the world­wide pop­u­lar­ity of Mon­ster Jam, which now keep fleets of trucks in Europe, Asia, Aus­tralia and South Amer­ica to avoid the ex­pense and lo­gis­tics of ship­ping them. “I’ve met peo­ple with tat­toos of my dad and the truck. I went to a show in Fin­land, and it was the same feel­ing when we’re home here. Peo­ple on the other side of the world know what it is.”

And as of 2019, her name ap­pears on the truck’s tomb­stone along with the names of her broth­ers Adam and Ryan.

“It’s taken me a while to swal­low it. When you’re around it so much, you be­come de­sen­si­tized,” she says. “It’s Grave Dig­ger. It’s my dad.” (Den­nis An­der­son sold Grave Dig­ger to what’s now Feld En­ter­tain­ment in 1998, around the time she was born.)

But she also dreams of one day car­ry­ing on the fam­ily tra­di­tion — and the Grave Dig­ger tra­di­tion — in her own truck, like her brother Ryan’s Son of a Dig­ger.

“I would al­ways want to be a part of the Dig­ger team,” she says. “Maybe do my own fe­male ver­sion of Grave Dig­ger, with more pinks and pur­ples — and my own iden­tity.”

Feld En­ter­tain­ment

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