At 8 years old, Kaid Jaret Olson-Weston doesn’t have a driver’s license. Yet that hasn’t stopped the third-grader from becoming the youngest mini-monster-truck driver in the United States.
During the week, Kaid attends Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale. On the weekends, he hits the road, performing around the country at monster-truck events and fairs.
But he always has to finish his homework first.
“I like doing donuts. I like going over the cars. My favorite is doing the wheelies. My truck has so much power,” says Kaid Jaret, known as Kid KJ to his school-age fans and followers in the monster-truck scene.
His star has been rising, and he’s become a media darling, thanks to his YouTube videos of exhibitions and roadshow stops across the country.
On Friday, he’ll be featured in a segment on ABC’s"20/20"newsmagazine. He also taped a children’s TV game show in Los Angeles last week. He’s become a pro at interviews, answering reporter’s questions thoughtfully.
“I like standing straight up off the ground. It’s the funnest part about monster trucks,” the youngster says during a phone interview Thursday while on a break in Los Angeles.
An early interest in motors and outdoor sports drove Kaid’s passion for monster trucks.
He was 3 years old when he attended his first monster-truck show at Sun Life Stadium.
“When he came back, he said, ‘I want to be a monster-truck driver,’ ” recalls his father, Tod Weston, a Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer who began exploring ways for his son to indulge in his new interest.
That led to a go-cart that looked like a monster truck when he was age 4. Still, that wasn’t enough. Kaid tugged at his parents that he wanted something bigger.
“He was pretty much set on what he wanted to do,” Weston says.
The parents commissioned a half-scale monster truck for him when he was 6 years old. He’s been on the road performing his skills ever since.
His bright-blue-and-green truck is called Monster Bear. At 11 feet long, 7 feet high and weighing just under 3,000 pounds, it’s half the size of a full-size monster truck, which is about 20 feet long, 13 feet high and 10,000 pounds.
“What he is driving is not considered a true monster truck. It’s a mini version of a monster truck,” says Marty Garza, communications director for the Monster Truck Racing Association. He noted that his industry group prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from performing in traditional monster-truck shows. “We are proud of him. He is doing a great job. Someday, he will move up to drive real monster trucks.”
Kaid’s exhibitions are not just fun and games. His truck was modified to fit his small frame, so it has a harness, neck restraints and a roll cage that keep him tightly strapped in. He also wears a fire suit.
His parents also have a remote ignition-interrupt system that can stop the truck during shows if something goes wrong. Kaid wears a headset that keeps him in constant communication with his parents.
“It’s an extreme sport, but it’s extremely safe. We made it safe,” Weston says. “I see the passion in him. I see him doing what he loves, and I see him doing it well. It’s a gleam from ear to ear.”
The boy’s monster success is a family affair. His father travels with him on the monster-truck circuit, and Weston is training other kids in monster-truck performing through his company Uncle Tod’s Motorsports in Pompano Beach.
Kaid’s mom, Nancy, also has her own monster truck, the Fancy Nancy. The family, including Kaid’s younger brother Jake, trains on its farm in Ocala.
His parents aren’t pressuring him to pursue this as a career. After all, he’s only 8.
“If he decides that he wants to take a different path, it’s up to him,” Weston says.
But for now, all Kaid wants is to keep on monster-trucking.
“I like motor sports so much because it’s what I have been doing all my life,” Kaid says.
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