My interview with Monster Truck Mechanic Miss Tool Box, Stephanie Cotnoir
While most will say that monster trucks are just for the guys, there are a bunch of girls out there that will tell you they are also for the girls, too. One of those is Stephanie Cotnoir, who is part of the Team Scream crew.
“There are several girls crewing and driving for different monster truck teams and they can do as much as guys do!” She added. “Same thing with off-roading! People usually look at me funny with my Jeep but once they see me working on it and driving it, then they stop thinking I’m just a ‘chick with her boyfriend’s truck.’”
Cotnoir, who is known to most as Miss. Tool Box, she got involved with Team Scream after e-mailing some pictures she took at Quebec show to the team.
“Steve (Koehler) wrote me back, we started talking, and couple months later I came to Michigan for a visit, and ended up living there four years, going to shows, doing the website, learning to work on the trucks, answering emails, etc.,” she said.
Ever since, she’s been involved with drivers Jim Koehler, Steve Koehler, Chris Burgeron and Brad Allen, working on the trucks. She also takes the photos each week of the team, uploading them to the team website and facebook page, making Team Scream one of the best known teams on the Monster Jam tour. Fans who follow the Team Scream page and Cotnoir’s page have gotten used to the inside, behind the scenes access, that is offered.
Being a part of the team for Cotnoir is a lot of fun.
“Honestly it’s fun, but it is also a lot of work,” she said. “I mean they do break a lot of stuff hehe! But being on the road, traveling, meeting awesome people and all the cool stuff we get to do make all the hard work pay off!”
Crewing for a team brings a lot of travel, but Cotnoir’s favourite venues to go to include Montreal, Jacksonville, Wildwood, and Las Vegas. She also noted that the California tour was great. With the traveling, some weekends can bring more work than others, such as this past weekend in Toronto. After breaking a Champaign glass on Wrecking Crew and a spindle on Avenger during the Saturday night show, Cotnoir and team were working till 4a.m. in the morning to be ready for the Sunday afternoon show. Each show is different as it all depends how much gets broken.
“Sometimes we do a show and everything goes well and all we have to do to be ready for the next show is to add fuel, check the oils, wipe it down, add tire shine and we’re good to go!” Cotnoir said. “Other times, like in Toronto, we break champaign glass, or spindle, and that’s definitely more work. But it is still fun, because we are working all together and even other teams’ crew members and drivers come to help or just hang out.”
When it comes to an actual show, having racing and then freestyle back-to-back, there is sometimes work done between, but not a lot.
“We don’t change the tire pressure during the show,” she said. “But I know that sometimes there are adjustments made, such as shocks, but it doesn’t happen often throughout a show.”
With all the work involved, Cotnoir’s advice to those wanting to get involved – “I hope you don’t need much sleep! Haha!”
When they’re not working, Cotnoir notes that everybody gets along and has a lot of fun.
“I mean everyone has different personalities, and we can’t all agree on everything, but we are a team, so we work together and do our best to do everything we can so the fans get the best show possible,” she said.
One of the most memorable experiences for Cotnoir goes back to 2011 with Jim Koehler won the World Freestyle Championship at World Finals in Las Vegas.
“I did Quebec-Las Vegas round trip that weekend, ended up staying in Vegas for less then 60 hours total, but believe me; it was so totally worth it!” She said. “It was incredible to be on the stage and see it all happen! The first time I was standing on the tire for introduction was also pretty cool. You hear all those people cheering and you are thinking, ‘Wow’!”
This past summer, Cotnoir got the chance to get behind the wheel in Massachusetts, which is an experience that she says was awesome.
“I was so happy to get my chance, and winning wheelie and racing was just icing on the cake!” She said. “Just wish my mom could have seen me, even though she would have probably had a heart attack! When she saw the video, she freaked out!”
While some crew members start out with the ultimate goal of wanting to drive, it was different for Cotnoir just due to how things came together with her joining Team Scream.
“I never had an ultimate goal, since I never expected to start crewing for the team,” she said. “It just all happened since I came to Michigan to see Steve. Since monster truck is such a big part in his life, I thought that I might as well be a part of it! After couple years crewing for the team tho, I was thinking it would be nice to get a chance to drive the truck, to see how it feels and all, so driving in Massachusetts was great!”
Another opportunity that Cotnoir got to be apart of was the monster truck calendar shoot in December, in which she says was an amazing experience.
“I am so glad I got to be a part of it!!” She said. “Hanging out with bunch of cool girls all weekend was great! Check allmonster.com soon, since there will be an article about the photoshoot!”
To Follow Stephanie Cotnoir’s adventures, like her facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MissToolBox.
To stay up to date with Team Scream, like their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TeamScreamRacingfanpage.
To find out the latest about the Monster Truck Girls calendar, check out their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MonsterTruckGirls.