When people find out what Ron Duncombe does for a living, they’re generally rather impressed. And maybe a little bit jealous.
“Everybody thinks I’ve got the coolest job in the world,” said the monster-truck driver. “And I’ll be honest with you — I really do.”
The 46-year-old West Jordan man is no newcomer to motorsports. He’s competed in everything from BMX to oval track midgets to monster trucks.
“I’ve been involved with racing all my life,” he said, “but this is the biggest thing I’ve done.”
Well, certainly the biggest vehicle. And probably the biggest thrill.
“The funnest thing about driving them is just the thrill that you get with 1,550 horsepower at the end of your right foot,” Duncombe said.
He’ll have all that power under his control this weekend at EnergySolutions Arena as the Monster Jam comes to town. He will be behind the wheel of Maverik and show the local fans what he does for a living.
“Just like each and every one of us, it can still be a job. It’s a lot of weekends. It’s a lot of crazy hours,” he said. “But when you get up in that cab and you strap those belts tight, it’s magical, man.”
Maverik is more of “a regional team” than some of the other competitors, which made it an even bigger thrill when Duncombe was named the 2012 Monster Jam sportsman of the year — an award voted on by fellow drivers.
“That was huge for us,” he said. “And any time you can beat one of these competitors, that’s awesome, too.”
He’s looking forward to returning to ESA and knows he’ll have lots of friends and family in the seats.
“There’s certainly added pressure here. You always want to do well at your hometown events,” he said.
“But I don’t care if you’re 8 months old or 80 years old, monster trucks are monster trucks and everybody absolutely adores them. It’s the great thing about it.”
P Competing trucks include Grave Digger driven by Dennis Anderson, Scooby-Doo driven by Nicole Johnson, Lucas Oil Crusader driven by Linsey Weenk, Captain’s Curse driven by Alex Blackwell, Time Fly’s driven by Kelvin Ramer, Bounty Hunter driven by Darren Migues and Iron Outlaw driven by Trent Montgomery.
When • Tonight at 7:30; Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Where • EnergySolutions Arena, 301 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets • Adults $22-30, kids $5; available at the ESA box office, all SmithsTix locations and online at smithstix.com.