JIM KOEHLER’S ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MONSTER JAM WORLD FINALS
Freestyle: 2003, 2011
Known to millions of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® fans as “Mr. Excitement,” Jim Koehler has combined an over-the-top, loud and enthusiastic interview style with equally wild freestyle performances to become one of the sport’s most unique and popular personalities. Leader of the aptly named “Team Scream,” the multi-truck team based in Columbus, M.I. Koehler’s unit stays busy year round, keeping their machines constantly on the road and in action. Koehler became the first competitor other than Dennis Anderson or Tom Meents to win the coveted World Freestyle Championship when he claimed that title in March of 2003 at Monster Jam World FinalsSM IV in Las Vegas. Koehler then joined Meents as the only performers to win the freestyle crown more than once when he won the 2011 Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Championship in a close battle where he took the tie-breaker over Cam McQueen in Nitro Circus. Koehler has been honored many other times for his amazing freestyle performances on the track, as well as taking home “Sportsman of the Year” and other such honors for his off the track works helping and teaching other competitors and for his many contributions within his community. Fans in Las Vegas always look forward to seeing what Koehler has in store, sporting exotic new looks on his Avenger each year at the finals, and his signature jump into any water on the track has become a popular World Finals tradition.
Q&A with Jim Koehler
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the Monster Jam circuit?
Once I got my first Monster Jam truck built I sent pictures and videos to all of the promoters out there. Then I met Rico Hawkes with Monster Jam, he gave me his card at a show so I called. Then Keith Speller who schedules the Monster Jam trucks for Monster Jam called me with one show for me to compete at in Minneapolis. That went well and then they sent me to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1997. The big domes in Minneapolis and Pontiac, that’s where I got started.
MonsterJam.com: What do you enjoy doing while on the road with Monster Jam?
Actually all of us with Team Scream don’t get to do very much when we are on the road. We leave to get to a show, do the show, and then leave for home right after every show. We can’t just stay on the road. We all have jobs to get back to.
MonsterJam.com: What do you do with your free time?
Free time is rare, but when I do get some free time I spend it with my family and do what they want to do. But again there’s not very much free time because we are running the Monster Jam trucks year round.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a Monster Jam truck driver?
My greatest memory is winning the 2003 World Freestyle Championship in Las Vegas. But really there are lots more because the sport of Monster Jam makes for a lot of good memories and allows me to meet a lot of great people.
MonsterJam.com: Do you have any pre-show rituals that you run though?
Yes, I like to stick pins into the voodoo dolls of the other drivers, or even light the voodoo dolls on fire! Okay, I’m just kidding. Actually I just make sure that we go through a normal pre-check on everything on the Monster Jam truck before we run.
MonsterJam.com: If you were not competing on the Monster Jam tour, what career path would you follow?
It’s really hard to see me doing anything else. It would definitely be some sort of racing, either off-road or off-shore.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite food?
I love seafood. Lobster, crab, shrimp, and a good steak.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Comedies are my favorite. The Hangover would be on top right now.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
I love to watch Discover Channel type stuff. How It’s Made, Dirty Jobs, Ice Road Truckers,
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite color?