History of the Monster Jam World Finals XI
By Monster Jam Media
Mar 14, 2012

World Finals XI, March 27, 2010 – The Greatest Rivalry in Motorsports Finally Settles Racing and Don’t Call Pauken “The Greatest Never to Win a World Championship” anymore

Racing Champion – Dennis Anderson, Grave Digger
Freestyle Champion – Charlie Pauken, Monster Mutt

Racing Semifinalists: Grave Digger (Dennis Anderson), Maximum Destruction (Meents), El Toro Loco (Marc McDonald), Blue Thunder (Linsey Weenk)

Top 5 Freestyle Scores: Monster Mutt (Pauken) 39, Escalade (George Balhan) 31, US Air Force Afterburner (Bradshaw) 31, Stone Crusher (Steve Sims) 28, Advance Auto Parts Grinder 28 and Maximum Destruction (Meents) 28

The one moment so many fans had dreamed of had never happened in the first ten years of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals presented by NGK Spark Plugs, but that electric moment finally arrived to begin the second decade in Sam Boyd Stadium, as Grave Digger and Maximum Destruction met in the World Championship Race. Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger defeated Tom Meents and Maximum Destruction in the most anticipated final round battle of all time, then another Team Grave Digger driver, Charlie Pauken, won his first World Championship turning in one of the greatest freestyles in Las Vegas history behind the wheel of Monster Mutt.

At Friday’s exciting Double Down festivities Marc McDonald and El Toro Loco earned the top seed in the racing bracket and McDonald would advance all the way to the semifinals for the second straight year as would Linsey Weenk in Blue Thunder. But in the final four the new superstars were eliminated by the two biggest names in the game and for the first time ever the Greatest Rivalry in Motorsports would be renewed in the World Championship Race, and every fan in the stadium was on their feet and cheering for their favorite as Anderson and Meents came to the starting line in the finals. Meents had marched into the championship round living on the edge, swinging very deep in the final turn and having to come from behind to pull out victory in each race on the final leap to the finish line. That strategy worked all night, but not in the World Championship Race. Anderson made not only a significantly tighter turn but was able to get Grave Digger’s massive horsepower back to full capacity in time to hold off his arch-rival, the Grave Digger creator winning the World Racing Championship for the third time.

As several superstars who built the sport claimed one or more World Championships during the first ten years of the World Finals veteran Charlie Pauken had earned the moniker “the greatest driver never to have won a World Championship”. On this night Pauken dug a grave for that description and emphatically buried it. The Team Grave Digger driver was again in the cockpit of Monster Mutt in Las Vegas and Pauken turned in a freestyle for the ages, one of the greatest ever. His continuous attack of every obstacle kept resulting in breathtaking huge air leaps and created several amazing saves which Pauken handled time after time. His margin of victory in the judges scoring tells the story: Monster Mutt’s scores from the judges totaled 39 points, the 2nd highest score in the history of this event, and that total was 8 points better than the next highest number, the 31 points earned by George Balhan in Escalade and defending champ Damon Bradshaw in U S Air Force Afterburner. Considering how competitive the 24 trucks in this event are year in and year out an 8 point margin of victory is a complete blow out, the largest margin of victory ever attained by the World Freestyle Champion.

The encore was a multi-tiered crowd pleaser featuring the debut of several new trucks, yet it was the old school styles that everyone was talking about: all three Anderson’s freestyled at the same time, each in a different version of Grave Digger. Adam flipped the Blue and Silver old school Grave Digger before the end of the performance but Dennis in the “spooky” familiar black and green body and Ryan in a replica of the original red primer Grave Digger mud truck continued to an unbelievable climax. With pyrotechnics going off all around them Dennis and Ryan both flew over the fountain obstacle to create a mid-air collision that those in attendance that night will never forget.