Spotlight on: Monster Jam Path of Destruction Driver Lee O’Donnell

Posted on: June 16th, 2012 by

Iron Man driver Lee O’Donnell                                      Photo courtesy of Feld Motorsports

Driving the Iron Man truck into MetLife Stadium this weekend is New Jersey’s own Lee O’Donnell

When we attend the Monster Jam show in Baltimore, MD a couple weeks ago my boys had an immediate favorite Iron Man. Once we found out the driver Lee O’Donnell was from New Jersey that sent my 7 yr old over the edge. He already was a huge Marvel Fan and we knew he was going to migrate toward the fleet of Marvel trucks, but hearing that the driver of Iron Man was from New Jersey meant he was on cloud nine.

On Thursday the boys had the opportunity to interview Lee over the phone. Gearing up for the interview my little bounced around for hours he couldn’t wait to talk to “his truck driving super hero” as he likes to call him. He sat down with his brother eagerly trying to come up with questions that they could ask him. When the call started i actually teared up because i could see the gleam in his eyes. He was thrilled!

A little background information on Lee O’Donnell

  • Lee was born and raised in Bayonne NJ
  • currently resides in Lebanon NJ.
  • He has been competing in monster truck racing since 1999.
  • He has been the full-time driver for the Iron Man truck on the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam tours since 2010

What the boys had to say after talking to Lee.

I was excited that my brother let me share in his time with Lee and let me ask a few questions. I was curious if Lee started his monster truck career in NJ. I was surprised when he said no he actually started in North Carolina with one of my favorite trucks Grave Digger! His first official show was in Birmingham AL. I think it would be fun to be a monster truck driver and I wondered how old you had to be to drive a truck? Lee made me laugh when he told me that you for sure had to be old enough to have a license. I was excited when he said that some of the youngest drivers in the sport are 18-19 years old. That means i only have to wait 8 more years YES! Monster Trucks perform alot of thrilling tricks and one of Lee’s favorite tricks was done in Las Vegas where he did a step-up landing on the tailgate and then a wheelie. That would have been cool to see. Being in Monster Jam I thought you would have to spend alot of time traveling and I was right. Lee is out on the road when doing a tour Thursday-Sunday leaving him home for a couple days each week. The best part of being back home in NJ is spending time with his family and friends especially his two daughters. I had one final important question! What is the one thing you would tell your fans who would like to visit NJ? Lee really likes to spend time at the Jersey Shore! He even brings other drivers there. When Monster Jam was in Philly he brought a few of the drivers to Point Pleasant where they all had a great time. We talked about the shore for a few minutes. We both really like to spend time with our families there. Thanks for talking to me Lee it was really cool, have a great time racing your truck in front of all your Jersey fans!!!  Sean, Age 10

I have done a couple interviews but this was totally cool. I got to talk to Lee O’Donnell. He drives my favorite Monster Jam truck, Iron Man! I had a bazillion questions but picked my favorite 5 from my list. I wanted to know how long Lee has been driving  monster trucks. He has been driving for 12 years, i have a 12 yr old sister so 12 yrs is something we have in common. The Iron Man truck is really tall but i wasn’t sure how tall so i asked. Can you believe it’s 12 feet tall, the tires alone are 5 ft! That is one big truck. I also wondered what Lee’s favorite part of driving the Iron Man truck was? Lee really likes kids and he says the best part is that the kids love the truck. He likes talking to kids about it and sharing in their excitement. He also likes being the Iron Man driver because the dads also think it’s pretty cool since they all grew up reading about Iron Man in comic books. He even has some Marvel comic books stored away. One of my favorite things about Iron Man is that he is an Avenger. Does Lee think it’s cool to be part of the Avengers? He sure does because all the fans want to hang out with him at the show, so he gets to meet alot of people. There are really big jumps at different arenas i wondered where the biggest jump he has ever done was. He has done many big jumps over the years but his biggest were probably in Anaheim or during the encore at the Las Vegas Monster Jam. Lee plans on being a monster truck for at least 8 more years. I’m excited about this and will cheer him on all eight. I had alot of fun talking to Lee and I hope i get to meet him one day so i can give him a high 5 and a poster! Logan, Age 8

A quick word from Mom.

Thank you Lee for spending some time chatting with us. The boys talked about the interview all night. Towards the end of the call Logan had one more question for Lee that made us all smile. Logan wanted to know if Lee had any questions for him. I was not expecting this candid question to come out of my sons mouth. As soon as Logan asked he turned red and ran across the room, Lee’s answer. Lee’s answer “Yes Logan, I want to know if you will come and meet me at the Monster Jam” This brought Logan right back to the phone where he responded with one big YES! You made my son’s day Lee!

What happened after the phone call though i was not expecting. We were about to have a bite to eat at our local amusement park when Logan stands up and yells “Everyone needs to go see Monster Jam at MetLife this weekend! Also go meet meet Lee O’Donnell he is the driver of the Iron Man truck and he is way cooler then Tony Stark!” I am pretty sure Lee has a fan for life in my little guy.

When your in the stands be sure to yell and cheer on NJ’s Iron Man! Good luck this weekend Lee!

If you go to Monster Jam: Path of Destruction please be sure to stop by and tell Lee hello from the Jersey Family Fun team.

 

In full disclosure this series is being sponsored by Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, who provided Jersey Family Fun with VIP Access and accommodations to attend the Baltimore show and to host a giveaway. We were responsible for some of our own travel costs.

 

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