Did you see Friday night’s episode of ABC’s 20/20? We here at E3 Spark Plugs tuned in to see Kaid Jaret Olson-Weston, a.k.a. “Kid KJ” featured on the show’s “Xtreme Parents” episode. The pint-sized phenom from Ft. Lauderdale became the first professional youth mini-monster truck driver two years ago at the tender age of six. Now a seasoned 8-year-old, Kid KJ has a huge following and his own team.
The Lil Mighty Monsters team is made up of Kid KJ, who drives Monster Bear; his 6-year old brother Jake Olson-Weston, driver of Sir Crush-A-Lot; and friends, 9-year-old Morgan Matheny and 14-year-old Cassie Berry, who split time behind the wheel of Demolition Diva.
“The way I explain it is it’s the craziest rollercoaster you’ve ever been on but you’re the driver,” Kid KJ tells interviewers about being in the driver’s seat of an 11-foot-tall, 3,000-pound, $50,000 crushing machine. Yet, he also calls monster truck driving “pretty much the safest thing you can do.”
Kid KJ’s parents back up their talented young son, detailing safety features on trucks like Monster Bear including full roll cages and five-point harness systems that keep their kids from harm, even in the event of a full flip-over. A particularly rough-looking flip is prominently featured in the show’s final segment. But Kid KJ emerged unscathed, remembering his first flip as “really fun.”
The show also featured 11-year-old competitive bullrider Lane Huzar. And an accompanying online article includes 8-year-old Motocross racer Jay Cramer (who started racing at age four), plus several young mixed martial arts competitors. Kid KJ and his parents aim to help make youth monster truck driving as mainstream as soccer and perhaps even start a summer camp that teaches kids to drive the half-scale monster trucks that members of the Lil’ Mighty Monsters team operate.
So what do you think? Would you send your preteen to a monster truck camp? Watch the full “Xtreme Parents” episode of 20/20 (hover your mouse over the status bar and click on the last section to see Kid KJ’s segment) and let us know how far you’d let your child chase a potentially dangerous dream. Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page. A