Monster Jam allows 'Superman' road rage

Monster truck driver calls event 'an addictive adrenaline rush'

Former Atlantan Chad Fortune’s job description reads truth, justice and car crushing.

As driver of the official Superman monster truck, Fortune pilots the towering ride at Monster Jam events all over the globe, leaping over hills and obstacles in a single bound. He uses the 10,000-pound ride to plow over and smash steel body cars and other vehicles with a power typically reserved for Krypton’s favorite son.

With the blessing of DC Comics and Warner Bros., the owners of the Superman character, Fortune gets to play the part, a bold “s” dominating the front of his blue uniform. And his passing resemblance for Christopher Reeve doesn’t hurt.

He’ll soon be landing at the Georgia Dome as he and his Superman truck take on Monster Jam’s biggest stars, Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction. And Supe will have his heroics cut out for him as another superhero-themed truck, Iron Man, makes it debut.

Q: You’ve played professional football and were a pro wrestler in both WCW and WWE. Any similarities between football, wrestling and monster truck driving?

A: There are two elements in our shows. There’s racing and there’s freestyle. Racing is the competition part when it’s head to head. It’s very physical with jumps, and it’s single elimination to find out who the champion of the night is. Freestyle is a chance to show off. It’s kind of like the entertainment part of the event. My wrestling and entertainment [background] comes into play big time, because I get to be Superman. ...You go out there and destroy everything for a minute and a half, take it to the edge and bring it back. At the end in a pile of smoke, I stand up there and pose like Superman.

Q: Does the fact you kind of look like Christopher Reeve have anything to do with you landing the gig?

A: I’ve been getting that almost all of my life. Who knows? It seems like maybe that’s what I was born to do, is to go out and play this character, have a good time, let the truck go out there and be the star, and me just ride it.

Q: You say your job is like being a superhero.

A: The whole thing about this is the truck is amazing. It’s 1,500 horsepower. You can pull a wheelie from a straight stop, you’re able to jump over 30 feet. You actually can feel like a superhero. You’re able to do anything you want. You’re able to go faster than a speeding bullet and crush cars at will. It’s an addictive adrenaline rush. When the crowd is going crazy, I’m kind of feeling pretty powerful at that point.

Q: What’s the wildest stunt you’ve ever pulled?

A: Every time you get in there it’s pretty wild. I believe it would probably be in the World Finals when I went to the top of a bus stack, rotated backwards and landed nose first. And the truck was actually balancing nose first, and I’m there sitting in the truck. So it did like a backwards somersault and landed with the nose of the truck sitting straight up and down.

Q: When you’re not driving Superman, what do you drive?

A: Just a Jeep Cherokee. No tickets and no road rage. I get it all out on the weekends.

Monster Jam

7:30 p.m. Jan. 9. $10-$35; Total Access Meet & Greet $200. U.S. Hot Rod Monster Jam, Georgia Dome, One Georgia Dome Drive, Atlanta. 800-745-3000, .