History Of The Monster Jam World Finals X
Monster Jam Media
Mar 15, 2013
World Finals X, March 28, 2009 – A Worthy Celebration for a Decade of Champions
Racing Champion – Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction
Freestyle Champion – Damon Bradshaw, US Air Force Afterburner
Racing Semifinalists: Maximum Destruction (Meents), Captain’s Curse (Alex Blackwell),
Safe Auto Minimizer (Marc McDonald), Blue Thunder (Linsey Weenk)
Top 5 Freestyle Scores: US Air Force Afterburner (Bradshaw) 36, Bounty Hunter (Jim Creten) 32, Brutus (Chris Bergeron) 29, Blue Thunder (Weenk) 28, (tie) Nitro Circus (Travis Pastrana), Stone Crusher (Steve Sims), and Monster Mutt (Charlie Pauken) 26
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam celebrated the tenth trip to Las Vegas to crown the World Champions as WFX saluted a “Decade of Champions.” When the championship hardware was handed out Tom Meents had extended his all-time record, driving Maximum Destruction to the World Racing Championship, Meents' 8th world title overall, then Damon Bradshaw became a World Champion for the first time with a rocking performance in U S Air Force Afterburner that claimed the freestyle crown.
This race bracket may have provided the most early round upsets ever, starting in the opening round when Bradshaw in the U S Air Force Afterburner shocked Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger and Lupe Soza in El Toro Loco stunned two-time defending World Racing Champion John Seasock and Batman. The trend continued in the second round when Frank Krmel, who had won the Double Down Trophy as the fastest qualifier the night before, was eliminated by former champion Madusa. Even with all of the early upsets the final four were all fast heavy hitters, Safe Auto Minimizer, Captain’s Curse, and Blue Thunder joining Maximum Destruction in the semifinals. Alex Blackwell then won the biggest race of his career, driving Captain’s Curse past Blue Thunder to advance into the World Championship Race for the first time.
The first quarter of 2009 was full of disappointments for Meents with surprisingly few wins, Maximum Destruction often succumbing to mechanical problems. Not on this night though. Vindication for the struggles of the season to that date came in the Vegas finale, Meents roaring Maximum Destruction to the World Racing Championship over Captain’s Curse in the finale. The Team Maximum Destruction celebration was memorable with Crew Chief Brandon Lambert shedding tears of joy and the entire crew displaying emotion not normally seen on this sometimes reserved crew, the reaction to their ability as a unit to put the regular season’s mechanical nightmare behind them and gain redemption in Las Vegas with yet another world title.
Freestyle included a first with a truck making a complete name change after racing when the Pastrana 199 body was removed from Cam McQueen’s truck and the brand new Nitro Circus body was installed. McQueen also stepped out of the driver’s seat, handing the wheel to extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana. The crowd was electric when it found out that Pastrana would freestyle Nitro Circus and he delivered a sensational performance but came up a little short in filling the clock. Still, Nitro Circus’ score of 26 would tie for fifth place in this year’ battle for the championship.
It would be another driver who first made his name in two-wheel competition, Bradshaw, who would take the coveted World Freestyle Championship. Crew Chief Jesse Barden had the truck prepared brilliantly and the U S Air Force Afterburner withstood Bradshaw’s amazing big air assault, the high energy run giving U S Air Force Afterburner the clear cut triumph.
2008 World Freestyle Champion Adam Anderson did not get the opportunity to defend his title thanks to one of the wildest racing moments ever seen in the ten years of action at Sam Boyd Stadium. Anderson lost control of Taz in the chicane and crashed into a tree off of the course. Adam was shaken up but uninjured; still, a trip to the hospital to make sure that he was fine kept Anderson from having the chance to win a second straight freestyle title.
The encore at WFX provided another first, as Meents thrilled the roaring crowd by back flipping Maximum Destruction.