Story by Darren Heartwell
Rod Deck earned his second consecutive title in dramatic fashion in 2017 aboard the “Dream On” Case IH.
“I’m still speechless,” said Deck. “Last year I was ahead by 30 points all season. This year I struggled all year until midseason. I finally got the bugs out of it. I appreciate the fact that I have a son that I can go out and bond with and do this pulling thing. We’re basically best friends and he’s proud when I win and I’m happy when he does well!”
The Super Farm season kicked off at the Mule City 300 in Benson, North Carolina. Deck notched a ninth on Friday night and an eighth on Saturday night. He finished 13th on Saturday night at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin, then moved up to third place on Sunday afternoon. “Dream On” finished 12th on Friday night in Rockwell, Iowa and sixth on Saturday evening.
Deck stated, “I had a lot of issues at the start of the season. We went to Ionia, Michigan and I wrecked the turbocharger the first night, finishing 15th. Dave Whelan [“My Last Excuse” driver] took a trip to Ryan Salenbien’s shop and picked me up a different one to put on. It was like the tractor ran day and night after that.”
He finished second on Saturday to begin his crawl back into points contention. Rod moved on to Brandenburg, Kentucky where he swept both hooks to get within 10 points of the lead. He finished ninth on Friday night and second on Saturday night at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio to pull within two points with five hooks remaining.
Deck finished seventh in both hooks in Hudsonville, Michigan and seventh again in Wellington, Ohio. He was six points behind with two hooks remaining in Sandwich, Illinois. Deck won the afternoon session to pull within four going into the final hook of the season.
Rod commented, “I earned the win in the first session to hold the tiebreaker. My plan in Sandwich was to hold onto second place. The ‘Absolutely Nuts’ tractor was right behind me; they had a great season.
“I didn’t think I could make up the six points in two sessions but I had the luck of the draw. Russ Freeze had a real good run and won by a couple inches. To get three tractors to squeeze in between Brad Hart and I, it came down to the last hook. Dave Whelan, the guy who saved me in Ionia, made the points for me. I owe a big thanks to Dave!
“My hat’s off to Brad. He was a great competitor all year; he’s a great guy!” “Dream On” and Hart’s “Don’t Ask” were tied with 448 points, but the title went to Deck due to his three wins versus Hart’s two. Deck capped off another championship season with an Enderle win.
Rod acknowledges Ryan Salenbien at Salenbien Peformance, Extreme Tire Cutting, Mark Colberg at Colberg Machine, and Cen-Pe-Co. Rod thanks his son, Bryan, for all of the research and development work, his daughter-in-law Connie Deck who worked on the irrigation system while they were gone pulling, God, his daughters Michelle and Melyssa, and son-in-law Jeremy Dexter, who re-scheduled their wedding due to Sandwich, and his grandchildren---Justin, Ryan, Anna, and Bronson.
About National Tractor Pullers Association
The NTPA is the sport’s oldest and most respected truck and tractor pulling sanctioning organization. Governed by a board of directors, the NTPA is managed by World Pulling International (WPI), an independently owned entity. Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, the NTPA provides rules and regulations and the infrastructures required for organizations throughout the country to arrange truck and tractor pulls. The 2018 NTPA Championship Pulling Circuit was sponsored in part by Case IH, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Alliance Tire, Enderle Fuel Injection, MAC Trailer, Ag Protect 1, Shell Rotella, STOP-FYRE®, Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, Columbus Diesel Supply, Heritage Iron, Stainless Diesel, Midwest Wheel Inc., the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio, PowerBore Cylinder Sleeves, Profab Machine Inc., the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin, and Riverside Engine Inc.
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