Super Stock Diesel 4x4
Carl Atley won his first GN championship in 2018. The “Lethal Weapon” Ford came out on top in the second year on the GN circuit for the Super Stock Diesel Four Wheel Drive Trucks.
Carl has been a proponent of the class for many years, having pulled diesel trucks since 1998. He also serves as a mentor to a large group of competitors in this class. Atley stated, “I love the pressure” of competing at this level, but it took “a lot of pressure off” by winning this GN title.
Atley started the season with third- and fourth-place finishes in North Carolina. Rain resulted in the cancellation of the Thursday night class at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals, and then Atley had his lowest finish of the season, a seventh place, on Friday afternoon. At that moment, “Lethal Weapon” trailed division leader Justin Gearhart’s “Cream of the Crop” by eight points.
The turnaround came at a first-time venue for the SSD 4x4 class: the North Iowa Nationals in Rockwell. There, Carl got first place in both appearances, tying Van Haisley’s “Rock Hard Ram” on Thursday night and winning outright on Friday night by 2.5’ over Shane Kellogg’s “Trump” Dodge.
But the triumphs in Rockwell also foreshadowed the biggest challenge of the season: Carl had back surgery and was forced to miss the pull on the regular-season schedule that was closest
to home: Ohio’s Fort Recovery Grand Nationals. Kent Crowder piloted the “Lethal Weapon” to a runner-up finish on Friday and a victory on Saturday to seize the points lead. Both of Crowder’s dramatic top twos at the Fort came out of 18-truck fields and six-truck pull-offs.
As a grateful Atley recalled, “Kent stepped in for me and got a first and a second. Laying in bed, I was really pleased when I heard that!”
After only missing that one weekend of competition, Carl was back in the seat. He finished third at the Western Illinois Grand Nationals in Mount Sterling and won the next evening at Salem, Illinois’ Marion County Fair.
Coming at the end of a Friday afternoon session threatened by weather, the first class in Bowling Green, Ohio was terminated after five trucks. Atley finished fourth on Saturday night in his only regular-season appearance in his home state. He notched back-to-back second-place finishes in Hudsonville, Michigan to carry a 10.5-point lead into the final hook of the season. Carl clinched the championship with a victory at the Sandwich Fair, and then returned to the Buckeye State to end the season with a victory at the prestigious Enderle Pull-Off.
Carl would like to thank his sponsor Ohio CAT, Scheid Diesel, Nichols Tires, his wife Melanie, his son Cory, and his pit man Sam Spitler.
About National Tractor Pullers Association
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