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Jim Koehler

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Jim Koehler
Personal information
Full nameJames David Koehler
Nickname(s)Mr. Excitement, Jim, Jimmy
Born (1966-07-13) July 13, 1966 (age 55)
CountryUnited States
SportMonster Jam
Achievements and titles
World finals
  • Freestyle: 2003, 2011

James David Koehler (born July 13, 1966), better known by his screen name Jim Koehler or Mr. Excitement, is a professional monster truck driver. He currently drives Avenger on the USHRA Monster Jam circuit.


Koehler completed Avenger in 1997. Both the driver and the truck were relatively unknown until a breakout appearance at the Minneapolis Monster Jam event in the Metrodome in November, 1999. The event included the USHRA's first judged freestyle competition, and Koehler scored a 29 out of a possible 30 points to finish behind Tom Meents in Bulldozer with a high-energy run that showed the influence of Meents and Dennis Anderson. When the event aired on TNN in January, the run, combined with Koehler's high-energy pit interviews made him an overnight star on the Monster Jam circuit. He is also known to change the color and paint job of his truck in every World Finals since 2004.

Later that season, Koehler made the highlight reel again in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans with a massive cartwheel crash in the final round of racing against Rob Knell and NWO. That run added to Koehler's already growing reputation as a "wildman", and it earned him a berth in the first ever Monster Jam World Finals thanks to fan votes.

Koehler continued to maintain his wild reputation, however did not win many freestyles due to often hurting the truck before the end of the allotted time. Some also felt that he was underscored on freestyles due to early draws. However, he was an annual World Finalist and is one of the few drivers to be invited to all twelve. A body change from a Chevy S-10 to a 1957 Chevy Bel Air also helped to increase his popularity. During this time he also expanded his team to include Brutus, owned and driven by Chris Bergeron.

In 2003, Koehler won the biggest award of his career, the Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Championship. It pushed Koehler's popularity through the roof and he has won several freestyles since. He also won this award in 2011, after a 32-point tie with nitro circus. On November 14, 2009, he drove the Aussie Avenger in the South Pacific World Finals 2 and won freestyle.

Unlike other owner/drivers, the monster truck is not Koehler's primary job. He owns and operates a marina in Chesterfield, near his hometown of Columbus, Michigan.

In 2020, Koehler completed his first mini-flip off of an 8-pack wheelie ramp at Indianapolis, IN, during its second show.


Koehler's freestyles are typically full of momentum and very hectic. He will often hit obstacles at unconventional angles and will "cross-thread" the track, similar to Anderson and Meents. Avenger's soft suspension often leads to the truck getting into contorted positions which other trucks cannot manage. Koehler uses this to his advantage, and his strongest move is his ability to save the truck from a rollover, which results in long "side surf" two-wheel runs.

At the World Finals, Koehler has built up a long-standing tradition of swimming in the pool on the track, sometimes even bringing scuba gear. He has also carried over this tradition to a normal show when he dived into the Ride Now! Pool at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.

Off the track, Koehler is well known for being fan friendly and for his high-energy interviews. He has come to be known among fans by the nickname "Mr. Excitement". He has also appeared/competed in every consecutive Monster Jam World Finals (the only driver with the same named truck in every world finals)


USHRA Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Champion - 2003, 2011

In 2009, Jim Koehler and Aussie Avenger won the South Pacific World Finals II Freestyle in Australia.

In 2010, Jim Koehler won the freestyle World Finals in Australia.


1997–Present: Avenger (owner and driver: Jim Koehler)

2003–2013, 2016–Present: Brutus (owner: Jim Koehler, past driver: Chris Bergeron, current driver: Brad Allen)

2007–2017: Wrecking Crew (owner: Jim Koehler, past drivers: Steve Koehler, Dave Radzierez, Mike Thompson)

2007–2012, 2014-2015: Spike Unleashed (owner: Jim Koehler and Past drivers: Rich Hilgendorf, Jeff Anderson, Cory Rummell)

2013-2015: Mega Bite (owner: Jim Koehler and past driver: Brad Allen)

2016–Present: Rage (owner: Jim Koehler, current driver: Cory Rummell)

2018–Present: Axe (owner: Jim Koehler, past drivers: Mike Thompson, AJ Ganci, current drivers: Chris Kohler, Kyle Garr)

External links[edit]

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