History of the Monster Jam World Finals XII
By Monster Jam Media
Mar 16, 2012

World Finals XII, March 26, 2011 – Going Old School: the World Finals Originals Win Again

Racing Champion – Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction
Freestyle Champion – Jim Koehler, Avenger

Racing Semifinalists: Maximum Destruction (Meents), Bounty Hunter (Jim Creten), Mohawk Warrior (George Balhan), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk)

Top 5 Freestyle Scores: Avenger (Koehler) 32, Nitro Circus (Cam McQueen) 32, US Air Force Afterburner (Bradshaw) 30, Iron Man (Lee O’Donnell) 28, Bounty Hunter (Jim Creten) 28, and Mohawk Warrior (Balhan) 28

In the history of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam World Finals presented by NGK Spark Plugs only two drivers had competed in each of the previous 11 trips to Las Vegas, and it was that pair of World Finals originals, Maximum Destruction’s Tom Meents and Avenger’s Jim Koehler, who celebrated on the winner’s stage at the end of the night as winners of the 12th World Championships.

The racing bracket had a familiar look as the two competitors who have appeared in the most World Championship Races, Meents and Bounty’s Hunter’s Jim Creten, each plowed through the bracket and into the finale. Previous history again held in the final round as Maximum Destruction defeated Bounty Hunter, Meents extending his record for total World Championships to nine, and his record for most racing titles to five. In his new Lucas Oil Crusader consistent Linsey Weenk made it into the semifinal round in Las Vegas for the 3rd straight year.

This battle for the freestyle title may have included the most drama ever, and it will be remembered for the emergence of the backflip at the World Finals. Coming out first in the competition it was Cam McQueen who put the backflip in the game right off the bat, landing a 360 degree beauty in Nitro Circus. Not only had McQueen set the bar as high as it had ever been set by the first to freestyle in any World Finals, but he got to crow about finally accomplishing a thrilling move that his good friend Travis Pastrana had been unable to do in Nitro Circus. Madusa then became the first woman to backflip a monster but her stunt actually went too far, a 450 degree rotation, or backflip and a half if you prefer, ended the freestyle with the pink Madusa truck landing on its roof.

McQueen did not end up winning the World Freestyle Championship but he did set one record that cannot be topped, it can only be equaled, by competing first, going into the hot seat as the leader immediately, and staying in the hot seat the rest of the night. The only problem for McQueen’s hot seat stay was that he got company when 2003 World Champion Jim Koehler in Avenger equaled Nitro Circus’ score. The pair watched together as several of the greatest performers in the sport and a slew of former World Champions tried to pry away the lead, but each of those scores came up short and at the end of the night Nitro Circus and Avenger were tied, sending the World Freestyle Championship to a tie-breaker for the second time in history. The first tie-breaking scores were added back in but the two were still tied, so the second set of thrown out scores were then added back in to give Avenger a one-point advantage, Koehler winning the World Freestyle Championship for the second time.

Again the encore had the amazing crowd buzzing beginning with all three Advance Auto Parts Grinders freestyling together, and then all three Maximum Destruction’s amazed the crowd. At the end of the night though the most talked about performance was the final encore, the debut of the new Son-uva Digger truck. Ryan Anderson turned in an amazing exhibition freestyle that included the cleanest landing of a backflip ever seen and the newest Anderson ended the night basking in a thunderous standing ovation.