Tale Of The Tape: Team Destruction Vs. Team Marvel

By Scott Douglass
Sep 24, 2013

Heading back to one of the most popular stops on the Monster Jam® World Tour at the Gelredome in Arnhem, Holland, for the second ever Monster Jam team competition let’s borrow a page from boxing and MMA by creating a statistical “Tale Of The Tape” to preview the impending showdown between Team Destruction and Team Marvel.

This unique format will take a dozen Monster Jam superstars used to battling on the biggest stages in the world as individuals and group them into units, six representing Team Destruction and the other six flying the banners of Team Marvel. In this competition each superstar driver will focus on defeating one opponent rather than a full field, but they will have to try to get the upper hand in four separate one-on-one match-ups: wheelie competition, match racing, donut competition, and freestyle.

Monster Jam announcer Larry Jewett has become a statistical expert these days and he went to work looking at the results from 2013 for all of these Monster Jam stars in each of the genres they will compete in this weekend, examining the success over the entire year each individual Monster Jam truck and driver have had and then combing the numbers to look at which team heads to The Netherlands as the potential favorite. What the numbers show is a slight advantage for Team Destruction but what they really highlight is just how close and competitive this Monster Jam team event figures to be throughout the weekend.

Starting with the first competition, the wheelie contest, Team Destruction crosses the ocean with the clear edge in wheelie championships this year having totaled 26 wheelie championships among them to 13 for Team Marvel. Digging deeper into the stats the advantage for Team Destruction seems pretty solid in this area, especially considering that of the 13 wheelie plaques won this year by Team Marvel competitors, eleven of those were won by Hulk driver Jon Zimmer. So Team Destruction has the advantage on paper in wheelies considering both the overall total of wins and the number of different drivers on Team Destruction who have claimed championship wheelie plaques this year. Each Monster Jam competition has six points available with one point going to the winner of every one-on-one battle, so if Team Destruction backs up the body of work they have established throughout the season you would expect that outfit to take the lead early on. Should Team Marvel split the points in wheelies or even grab an advantage that could be a bad sign for Team Destruction.

Next the Monster Jam trucks will pull to the starting line for match racing on a big, fast Chicago style oval track. Looking at the total racing brackets won Team Marvel has the advantage, the members of that team have won the Championship Round racing trophy 47 times this year, bettering the 36 Championship Round races won this year by Team Destruction. Those numbers reflect success in complete racing brackets, but remember in the team format each Monster Jam truck will be looking to win their one-on-one match race, not an entire bracket. So maybe the win total in each round of racing is more pertinent to look at for this unique competition, and there the numbers could not be any closer. Team Destruction’s Monster Energy and Damon Bradshaw had a winning race performance in Monterrey, Mexico, last weekend adding a racing championship trophy and five more round racing wins to the team’s totals. To emphasize how close the numbers are here, those five Monster Energy wins push Team Destruction’s total of racing rounds won in 2013 past Team Marvel by one single victory. This year the drivers on Team Destruction have powered their Monster Jam trucks to a combined 256 round racing wins while Team Marvel’s roster has recorded 255 victories.

Team Destruction has that slight edge in total race wins but Team Marvel comes out on top when you look at the numbers on a percentage basis, although once again it is close between the two teams. Team Marvel boasts an overall round racing winning percentage of  67.2% to Team Destruction’s record of 60.3%. Obviously that is about as close to perfect parity on the stat sheet as you can get, and that points to the racing competition being not only thrilling, but ultra competitive in front of the Dutch fans. Should one team or the other breakthrough here and win four or five points in racing it could really tilt the balance of power their way.

In the donut competition the numbers favor Team Destruction, again narrowly, with 10 donut plaques won at events in 2013 to 6 for Team Marvel. So the stats are extremely close through the first three sets of battles but the numbers here say that Team Marvel needs to build a lead through the first three quarters because that final set of one-on-one showdowns between Monster Jam trucks will be six separate freestyle competitions, and there the edge on the results sheet so far this year clearly favors Team Destruction.

Boasting 11-time Monster Jam World FinalsSM Champion Tom Meents and Max-DSM, the reigning Freestyle Champion of the World, plus former World Champions Bradshaw in Monster Energy and Charlie Pauken in Grave Digger®, this group has been tough to beat all year and on paper comes to Holland as the big favorite in freestyle. In 2013 the superstars that comprise Team Destruction have won 40 Monster Jam Freestyle Competitions, including this year’s World Championship. Team Marvel has claimed a total of 24 freestyle trophies in 2013.

Summarizing the Monster Jam team competition Tale of the Tape, the numbers slightly favor Team Destruction as they look to avenge their overall defeat at the hands of Team Marvel in Arnhem one year ago:


Wheelie Wins 26 13
Racing wins   256 255
Racing win percentage 60.3% 67.2%
Racing championships 36 47
Donut championships 10 6
Freestyle championships 40 24
Total championship wins 112 90

The Dutch fans and every Monster Jam competitor are excited about this second renewal of the unique team competition in Arnhem and when you examine the numbers those fans should not only be ready for the ultimate thrills, but for an intense, ultra-competitive battle for the championship as Team Destruction and Team Marvel compete for victories all weekend in The Netherlands.

Read Past Columns