KOEHLER’S ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MONSTER JAM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:
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 World Finals 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 World 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.
with Jim Koehler
MonsterJam.com: How did you get started competing on the
Monster Jam circuit?
Jim Koehler: Once I got my first 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 trucks for Advance Auto Parts 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?
Jim Koehler: 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?
Jim Koehler: 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 trucks year round.
MonsterJam.com: What is your greatest memory as a monster
Jim Koehler: My
greatest memory is winning the 2003 World Freestyle Championship in Las Vegas.
But really there are lots more because the monster truck sport 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
Jim Koehler: 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 truck before we run.
MonsterJam.com: If you were not competing on the Monster
Jam tour, what career path would you follow?
Jim Koehler: 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?
Jim Koehler: I
love seafood. Lobster, crab, shrimp, and a good steak.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite movie?
Jim Koehler: Comedies
are my favorite. The Hangover would be on top right now.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Jim Koehler: I love to watch Discover Channel type stuff.
How It’s Made, Dirty Jobs, Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch.
MonsterJam.com: What’s your favorite color?
Jim Koehler: GREEN
TRUCK INFO FOR AVENGER
Body: 1957 Chevy
Engine size: 540 CI
Chevy, 1600 horsepower
Racing Turbo 400 with Coan converter and shafts
Shocks: 26” nitrogen charged, a mix between Patrick
Enterprises and RaceSource Shocks
Oil, Coan Racing, R.J.S Racing equipment, Fatheads, Green Grease, Sata, Auto
Air, P.T.M. Corporation, Port-a-mate, NGK Spark Plugs, Bewick Transmissions,
Burkard Industries, Kutzall, Rubberhog, Aristocast, V.I.S., Masters Tool and
Die, Bell Engineering Inc.