Monster Energy truck driver Todd LeDuc is hoping to celebrate more than his birthday in mid-January. The three-year Peoria resident is looking for a win at State Farm Stadium’s Monster Jam on Saturday, January 19.
“It’ll be fun to have a victory in front of my family,” LeDuc says enthusiastically.
The married father of 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons has been driving the Monster Energy truck around the world for three years. Earlier this year, on the European tour, he set world records for jumping over the most trucks in Germany and Amsterdam.
“That was cool to do,” he says. “I have two young boys and I’m living the dream by traveling the world, too. It can’t get any better than that.”
Family is important to LeDuc. His career was a logical choice, considering his father is Curt LeDuc, a legendary off-road racer. LeDuc won his first competition in 1984 at age 5 when he raced his plastic Big Wheel tricycle to victory in front of thousands of fans during an exhibition at one of his father’s off-road races in Canada.
In 1998, Todd started racing downhill mountain bikes and eventually won three California state championships. As a pro, he won two more and a national pro men’s downhill championship.
His motorsports career began in 2005 when he started co-driving with his father in his full-size class 8 truck in desert races. Again, the LeDucs prevailed, this time in the Best in the Desert racing series.
Now he’s driving monster trucks and having tableside smack talk with his family.
“We were all very competitive and pushing each other when we were growing up,” says LeDuc, whose family has been approached to do reality shows. “It’s carried over into sports I’ve done. I live for it. It’s a weird fix. It’s something that keeps me getting up in the morning and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
“My brother and I have so much competition between us. Like at Thanksgiving dinner, we’d needle each other and say, ‘I had 14 wins. You only had 12.’ Stuff like that. It’s so much fun looking back. It used to be so aggravating. It’s pushed us to the level we’re at in our careers.”
LeDuc, whose nickname is Malo Sapo (the “mean toad”), says he is grateful for the level at which he competes. Touring the world has opened his mind to other cultures, and the importance of tolerance and appreciation.
“The whole world is a pretty cool place,” he adds. “To see the different architecture and different cultures – like going to China for the first time – was amazing.
“I’m excited to see if we’re going to make some new stops this year and add stamps to my passport.”
He’s just as happy in the Valley, where he enjoys the close proximity to California, Las Vegas and Flagstaff.
“I love exploring this area,” LeDuc explains. “That’s one of the most fun parts about moving to a new city. I love maybe going to Out of Africa and up to Sedona, and taking my RZR out and going up to Crown King. It’s especially fun having kids. My 5-year-old is going to school. We practice his letters and words every day. It’s so much fun. Passing on knowledge to your kids is really cool.”
LeDuc wants more than his children to look up to him. He wants to be a legend like Tom Meents of Maximum Destruction.
“When people talk about monster trucks, I want them to talk about me,” he says. “I want to keep traveling the world and keep winning more championships and doing what I can for the fans of Monster Jam. Knock on wood, I hope my kids would drive, also.”
Monster Jam, State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, 602.379.0102, statefarmstadium.com, 7 p.m. Saturday, January 19, tickets start at $15.