Story by Darren Heartwell
Chuck Knapp won his second consecutive Grand National championship in the Unlimited Modified division in 2016. He also won the GN title in the Two Wheel Drive class in 2008. Chuck commented, “This is above our wildest dreams, didn’t expect this! Almost gave up after all the early breakage. My son, Kyloe, found the breakage and fixed it. He kept the morale going on the whole team! It’s more than we expected!”
The season started with ninth- and eighth-place finishes in Benson, North Carolina. After a rainout on Friday night, “Screamin’ D” finished eighth on Saturday night in Hutchinson, Minnesota.
Chuck recalled a “terrible start to the season, but it came around. A horrible driveline vibration was breaking things the first three hooks of the season. Kyloe figured it out before Tomah. It took a few more hooks to find and fix all the issues it caused.”
Chuck finished fifth in both sessions at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin. He finished fourth in Session One at the Lions Super Pull of the South in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. Session Two marked the only time he finished outside of the top 10 with a 15th place.
The next weekend, Session One was rained out in Fort Recovery, Ohio and Chuck finished sixth in Session Two. He earned his first win of the season in Mount Sterling, Illinois. The National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green marked the turning point of the season. “We finished third and first, everything went our way. It made a huge swing in the points and got us back in the game.”
Indeed, this impressive weekend vaulted “Screamin’ D” into the points lead. Chuck followed that up with fourth-place finishes in Greenville and Wellington, Ohio. Chuck had a 3.5-point lead going into the final hook of the year in Canfield, Ohio where he finished seventh to clinch his second title. He then capped his championship season by winning the Enderle Pull-Off All-Star event in Urbana, Ohio.
Chuck would like to thank his wife Dee, son Kyloe, (especially for tuning the engines), daughter-in-law Renee, and grandson Granger. He would also like to acknowledge R & J Performance, Ken Veney, SSI Superchargers, SCS Gearbox, Gorr Fuel Systems, K3 Tire, Zumbrota Bearing and Gear, and Cen-Pe-Co.