BIGFOOT: What years did you work for BIGFOOT?
JOHN PIANT: 1995-2001
BF: Which BIGFOOT truck(s) did you drive?
JP: At some time or another, almost all of them. Started with county fairs and dealer shows in #2 and #3. I am sure I was in #6 and #7 at some event learning with Jim [Kramer] and Andy [Brass]. I drove #5 and Ms. BIGFOOT. I drove the Shuttle practicing for races using the rear steering for corners. I did a little bit of the testing on the first new chassis, #8. I am probably most well-known for piloting #4 to many victories.
BF: What was your favorite BIGFOOT truck?
JP: #4, hand down!
BF: What was the highlight of your BIGFOOT career?
JP: Being the first driver in the BIGFOOT organization to win the Special Events Triple Crown [championship]. This was the series of races from event director Special Events that at the Jamboree Nationals in conjunction with the street truck event.
Is there anything you wish you could have done in your driving career?
Nothing comes to mind in my era. Being competitive, I would say to win more. I got to drive an amazing truck in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. I got to meet and talk to thousands of people and be in a very small group of drivers who won, driving the legendary BIGFOOT.
BF: Is there a particular truck in today’s BIGFOOT fleet you wish you could drive?
JP: Sure! I’d take one of the newer trucks for a spin. If I am around, don’t turn your back. LOL.
BF: What do/don’t you miss about being a BIGFOOT driver?
JP: I do miss sitting on the starting line with 1400 hp under your foot and clearing the second set of cars on a long outdoor course. You just have to be there. I do not miss the long drives. We had way too many highway miles.
BF: Any advice you would give to a rookie?
JP: The only driver I mentored is still driving today, so I guess I did something right. Ask Dan Runte [laughs].
BF: What do you do for a living?
JP: I am the Team Manager for JConcepts, a performance accessories company that makes bodies, tires and wheels for R/C cars. I am still jumping cars in the dirt, only these are 1/10th scale, and I don’t need to see a chiropractor after a wreck. I travel to select racing events around the world and support our team with tires and assistance. That is the fun side. Also, I do various tasks in the office.
BF: What have you been doing since you left BIGFOOT?
JP: I was an electrician for 20 years. When the housing market was hit by the recession, my current job became my new career path. I was racing R/C cars as a hobby and actually was sponsored by JConcepts before going to work there.
BF: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
JP: Right now since my job is to be at the races, which happen on weekends, an off weekend will consist of riding my mountain bike. Depending on my schedule, I will put some laps in with my own R/C racing to prepare for an upcoming event.
BF: Anything you want to add?
JP: Thanks to the fans that remember me. I still meet people who have questions about my time there [at BIGFOOT]. It was a unique experience. The list of drivers of monster trucks is fairly short. The list of winning drivers of BIGFOOT is even shorter. I am glad I had the chance to get in and fly an 11,000 pound truck over some Cadillacs. I met and worked with some great guys in the shop. Thanks to Bob [Chandler] for giving me the keys!