Story by Darren Heartwell
John Strickland earned his second consecutive Grand National title in dramatic fashion in 2017. Strickland earned three victories and never finished outside of the top five all season long.
John started his title defense the best way possible with a win at his home track at the Mule City 300 in Benson, North Carolina. He said that this was one of the highlights of the season for him. He finished third in the second session there. The next hook in Tomah, Wisconsin was rained out. Strickland finished fourth in the second hook there. Teammate Brent Payne drove the tractor to another fourth place finish in Monroe, Michigan.
Strickland was back in the saddle for a runner-up finish at the Marion County Grand National in Salem, Illinois to take a one-point lead into Bowling Green, Ohio. He won the first hook at the National Tractor Pulling Championships and finished fifth on Saturday afternoon.
He went to Greenville, Ohio trailing by one point. Strickland won the first hook at the Great Darke County Fair to take a two-point lead. Following a fourth-place finish on Wednesday night, he trailed by one point with one hook remaining.
“We were behind going into Wellington. We won there last year to clinch the title so we knew we could perform well at that track.” John’s second-place finish at the Friday Night Spectacular in Wellington, Ohio clinched back-to-back championships for him.
He stated, “This year seems to be a little better than last year. This year was really a challenge. This will be a really memorable year for me!”
John would like to thank team owners Earl and Peggy Wells, John’s father-in-law and mother-in-law; his wife Dana; son Holt; and daughter Janalee. He would also like to thank Brent Payne, his wife Lee and children Annabelle, Johnny, and Jack, and the crew at GMS: Joe Ferneding, Dennis Payne, Dan Lyons, Timmy Hettrich, Craig Gettinger, Andy Smith, Austin Engel, Kevin Hall, and Ted Grassmick.
John added, “Brent does a great job working on our tractors and driving. He uses his tractor [GALOT] as a guinea pig.”
The GALOT Team also acknowledges GMS, GALOT Motorsports, CM Pulling Tires, Humpco Machine, Keating Machine, HPS Cylinder Head, Cen-Pe-Co, and Rite Care—Scottish Rite Masons, Helping Children Communicate—--Speech, Language, and Literacy.
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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