Adams is the owner of Truk Werks, a new shop in Greencastle that is slated to open soon and will focus on aftermarket parts for trucks and sport-utiliy vehicles. Adams also plans on using the shop as a hub of operations for his monster truck team.
"Having the shop and running the race team out of the same facility gives us a chance to develop the business side of things and exercise those four-wheel drive demons," said Kyle Doyle, Adams' Champaign, Ill. public relations representative.
Adams, who grew up in Avon, has been driving monster trucks for 19 years. He has participated in monster truck shows in 48 states and five Canadian provinces. He has driven for several years with the Monster Jam live tour, which is also televised. Monster Jam events focus on freestyle monster truck competition, and are attended by millions of spectators each season. Adams drives for Monster Jam during the winter months.
"We could go eight to nine weeks consecutively, driving every weekend without a break," Doyle said. "There's really no logic to the schedule, either. It's not unheard of to go from Atlanta to Dallas to Chicago and back to Little Rock."
Adams said he enjoys doing shows in "small, hockey-style arenas."
Two of the trucks Adams drove on the Monster Jam circuit are currently available as miniatures manufactured by Hot Wheels. Production on one of them has stopped, but the second is still being distributed. A third truck is in the production stages and will likely be available sometime in 2009.
"It's critical that we be involved because we have to make sure our sponsors are always well-represented," Doyle said. "Corporate identity is key ... you have to make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's."
"To go from playing with Hot Wheels to having your truck be one ... it's pretty cool," Adams said.
Hot Wheels chooses the Monster Jam trucks it markets replicas of based on which trucks are the most aesthetically pleasant and perform best.
"When you're being made into a Hot Wheels ... that's when you know you've hit the big time," Doyle said.
Before he started driving the trucks, Adams "did custom truck stuff and painted a lot of custom trucks."
Adams is modest about his past successes, Doyle said.
"In the mid- to late 1980s and early 1990s, (Adams) worked with some very prominent teams," he said. "He did trucks for USA 1, and painted the first national championship truck."
Eventually Adams, who became interested in art through taking classes in high school and honed his mechanic skills in trade school, began focusing more on driving trucks than doing the artwork on them.
"Everybody's into vinyl wraps now," he said.
"Custom painting is becoming a lost art," he said.
Adams still paints some detail, such as headlights and taillights, on his trucks.
"Since I don't paint as much now, things like that take me a lot longer than they used to," Adams said.
Doyle, 23, was a follower of monster trucks and a fan of Adams' before the two even met. After Doyle graduated from high school, he worked for a monster truck team out of Champaign -- a team that often competed with Adams' team.
Doyle now works exclusively in public relations for Adams and one other monster truck team out of New Orleans.
Monster truck teams aren't comprised of many people -- there are normally only two or three people on a team, and the driver takes on many responsibilities. Adams' son Zach, 22, is his primary crew member and will eventually drive for the team.
Adams hopes his business will take off and keep him busy in the months when he's not driving in many shows.
"You don't have to have a monster truck to get parts from us," he said.
A definite opening date for the store hasn't been set yet, but Adams and Doyle are shooting for a grand opening on Independence Day weekend. Hours at the shop, which is located at 1220 N. Jackson St, will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The store phone number is 653-5637.
The store hours won't always be set in stone, though.
"Every once in a while they will be a 'gone racing' sign on the door," Adams said with a smile.