Peoria Man Becomes First Black Man with Autism to Drive A Monster Truck

On June 21st at Peoria’s Expo Gardens, Marcus Jackson became the first black man with autism to drive a monster truck (in the world)! A dream that was made a reality thanks to his spirit, and Best Buddies mission of inclusion.

Marcus was Best Buddies 2022 Champion of the Year after raising over $22,000! And on the night he was crowned Champion, an anonymous donor gifted the experience for Marcus to drive a monster truck after hearing about his love of the 12,000 lbs. machines.

Marcus was given two wheelie attempts, two race passes, and a 60 second freestyle in front of friends, family, and co-workers. And his attempts were flawless!!!

The crushed cars were provided by A-1 Towing, track equipment provided by Komatsu, and the location at Expo Gardens thanks to the Fair Board!


Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 3,000 elementary school, middle school, high school, and college Friendship and Promoter chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 56 countries and territories, positively impacting the lives of over 1.3 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live independently, become inspirational leaders and build lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit or connect with us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Want to drive a monster truck? Want to support Best Buddies mission of inclusion? Then get your tickets now for the 2023 Best Buddies Champion of the Year Gala!!!! And come dressed to kill.