Worthington, Ohio---Bowling Green fully settled three GN divisions and went a long way toward clarifying the picture headed to the season-ending Enderle Pull-Off. Read on to discover who are the 36 known qualifiers and which 29 still have to sweat it out over the season's closing weeks.
GN Light Super Stock
Wellington will decide the title, but Adam Spiegelberg's second and first in Wood County have his "Detonator Black" safely on the invite list for Urbana. Spiegelberg merely needs to hook to clinch the GN award over his brother Jordan ("Detonator Red," -15 from first, +28 from sixth), while Jason Hootman's "Commander" (+23), Marcus Wettleson's "Gunpowder & Lead" (+15), and Kyle Karlen's "Bad Blood" (+13) are out of contention for the championship but could still end the season on a high note in Champaign County. The Linvilles' "Ridge Runner" (sixth) will likely end up on the outside after a fine rookie season.
GN Super Stock Diesel
The Rosses have some wrenching to do after a faulty sensor led to conditions that wounded their "Triple Bypass" on its Friday pull-off run. But even a bump of the sled wasn't much of a bump in the road, as their 22.5-point lead looks pretty healthy headed to the Sandwich doubleheader. Kent Payne's "Super Rooster" (+140.5 from sixth) has given good chase all year but is simply running out of hooks to make up ground, while Esdon Lehn's "Diggin' Fever" (+126.5) is in the Champaign show for sure and his "Red Line Fever" (+51.5) nearly so. Realistically, it's Steve Burge's "Lock-N-Load" (+11.5) and Mike Beck's "High Tech Red Neck" (sixth) that will be fighting for berth number five in Illinois.
GN Super Stock Open
"GALOT II" (John Strickland) won its fourth straight title in BG, but team tractor "Get a Load of That," piloted by crew chief Brent Payne, earned the ring honors. Jordan Lustik's "Silver Bullet," Sid Broughton's "Desperado," and the Kale/Jerew "Ride the Lightning" are your other Enderle qualifiers.
GN Super Farm
With Sandwich x 2 to go, Brady Ferris and "Absolutely Nuts" (+24 from sixth) hold a two-point lead for the title over the Saturday BG winner Jon Silsby and "Crop Doctor" (+22). But though they're well up on the field, even they are not technically safe for the Enderle just yet. Ryan Anderson's ring-winning "Checkin' Out" and Chris Weidinger's "Black Power" are both plus-nine over sixth but also could move up if conditions are right in DeKalb County. Meanwhile, the Brook Ferrises (Sr. and Jr.) are going to have to work to keep their "Assorted Nuts" in the show over the Freezes' "Deere Traxx," which has a history of strong performances at that remaining venue.
GN Pro Stock
There's how much season left for the travelin' Pros? Five hooks! Three come in eight days in eastern Ohio, and then, like the Diesels and Super Farms, their road ends in Sandwich. Needless to say (but we will, because we love both words and math), none of the Enderle invitations have yet been sealed, but Jason Svonavec's "Bootlegger" (+37 from sixth) and Darrin Hunt's "D2 Pro Stock Edition" (-8 from first, +29 from sixth) are the safest. The MAC Trailer Team consisting of Mike Conny's "MAC Nasty" (+22) and daughter Julia Ray's "MAC Daddy" (+17) are also looking good but had better hook every time. After that, it gets interesting. Robby and Esdon Lemke's "New Generation Plus" is tied with Tim Cain's "Red Gambler" in the standings but would get invited at the moment based on a 2-1 edge in runner-up finishes. Then, Kevin Schmucker's "Git-Er-Dun Deere" is at minus-three and son Danny's "Rampage" at minus-seven and will be looking to move up at Canton, their home-county event. And with a handful to go, even Robert Martin's rides ("Think Green," -25 from fifth; "John Deere Green," -31) and Chris Cain's "Aces Wild" (-27) aren't out of the running. So to summarize: It's a father/son team on one tractor trying to hold off two father/son teams on four tractors plus two more tractors from the same team.
GN Two Wheel Drive
It's over, and the "dream season" of Russ Nichols is complete. His "On the Edge" turned in a masterful three-win, seven top-five season to hold off Bryan McDonald's "Suffering Sanity" and unseat the defending and five-time champion Randy Petro and "Kathy's Komplaint." As fate would have it, Nichols, who has a gift for drawing low numbers in BG, had the Saturday test hook. He wisely kept it and watched McDonald fall short just two trucks later and Petro drive past far enough on the pass after that for the win but not enough to collect the points necessary to overcome the deficit. Roger Simon's "Simon Sez Chevy" and Renee Theobald's "Pretty Wicked" completed the top five. Every one of them has at least one GN win to its credit, and for the first time in a decade, every one will arrive in a different hauler.
GN Four Wheel Drive
With just Wauseon to go, the Davis Motorsports Team is assured of having two trucks hook in Urbana. Peyton's "Punisher" leads the division by 11 over brother John T.'s "Young Gun," which won for the second time in three weeks and claimed the BG ring. The Holmans' "4 Play" is 26 back for the title but 29 up on sixth place, so the brothers look to make their historic 32nd Pull-Off. Last year's top two, Carmen Foster's "Foster Child" (+20 from sixth) and Ben Ellis' "Benjammin" (+13) are out of contention for the 2019 title but could still end on a high note. But to lock up that chance, they'll have to hold off Barry Cobb's suddenly dangerous "Hit Man" (sixth), which earned two seconds in the last month.
GN Super Stock Diesel 4x4
Did "Trump" get tired of winning? Um, no. Shane Kellogg asserted executive privilege over the field in Bowling Green with a win and a 30-point second to extend "Trump"'s Electoral College advantage to 11. (OK, we'll stop now.) Todd Dugan's "Angry Farmer Products" (the former "Lethal Weapon" did all right for itself with 56 points in Wood County and a near-clinch of an Enderle berth at plus-27, and Van Haisley's "Rock Hard Ram" needs to hook and not get last place in a full field on Truck Night in Sandwich and he'll be in. Not as certain are Don Bowling's "Pulling for the Cure" and Shane Wurm's "Boost," each of which leads Erik Stacey's "Smok'n Ya HD" for that final berth. Will Stacey's highly touted new chassis pay big dividends in DeKalb County?
GN Super Semi
The title race will be over on Wednesday of Week 13 in Hudsonville, but all five qualifiers are now known: Dean Holicky's "Mother Trucker," Pat Eilen's "Just Passin' Thru in Class," Ryan DeBroux's "Playin' with Fire," Brian Elithorpe's "Nikki's Nightmare," and Jack Kielmeyer's "Jacked Up." Eilen is minus-three heading to the Community Fair, so he needs to get himself and the convoy ahead of Holicky to have a shot at winning his first title and denying Holicky a fifth.
GN Modified Mini
Hooks in north-central and northwestern Ohio will determine the slate that makes it to Urbana, but Ken Veney of Wadsworth already has his ticket punched. "Funny Lil' Farmall" plowed through most of the 46-Mini field in BG with a fourth and a second that earned a ring and 58 points. His lead over Joe Eder's "Polar Air" is now 22.5 points and his margin back to sixth is a now-insurmountable 50.5. Meanwhile, Eder or his driver Bart van der Sluis can make sure "Polar" (+27 from sixth) is in the show with a good outcome in Wellington, and Adam Koester can do the same with "Walk the Line" (+23). But Napoleon winner Chase Richardson and "Vibrator" (+15) will almost certainly have to wait until Wauseon to clinch, and Koester will be competing hard with Richardson aboard his own "Beast of Burden" (+4 from sixth) and dad Larry's "Footloose" (sixth) in jockeying to qualify three Koester Racing Minis.
GN Light Unlimited
Doug Theobald, Grand National Champion. The first title for the storied pulling family came in Doug's first year of competition, when by his own admission early in the season, "Everything we did went right." "Full-Blown Wicked" ended up with three victories in its rookie campaign and will be a favorite to add a fourth in Champaign County. Meanwhile, Keith Wayson's "Super Bee" had two wins of its own amid six top threes, and Jason Gibson's "Young Blood Jokers Wild" will also be in Urbana after its first season included four top fives. The Farley, Iowans will be represented as well with their "Simon Sez" and "Show No Mercy" entries, which landed fourth and fifth.
Bret Berg's "Money Maker" has earned at least 28 points every time out this year and owns three wins. That's been good for an eight-point lead over Jeff Rose and "Giddy Up" and an 18-point advantage over the Jostock-Douglas "Wild Child" and "Spook Gone Wild" entries. Those four will transfer to the Enderle for sure, and Dennis Christensen's "Pack Rat 4" will join them by merely hooking twice on Tractor Day in Illinois.
It was Eder's first truly forgettable weekend of the year, but it probably won't matter. Eder's "Polar Air" struggled against the part-time GN competition of the Boyds and Sheltons in posting a sixth and a seventh in Bowling Green. But the best his title rivals could do was swap second and third: Wayne Purser's Saturday-winning "Uncle Sam" (-20 from first, +109 from sixth) took over the number-two slot from defending champ Chuck Knapp's "Screamin' D" (-21, +108). They and Ricky Rose's four-engine "Giddy Up" (+43) are locked into the Pull-Off roster, while Adam Bauer's "Cross Threaded" (+26 from sixth) can guarantee its spot with a fourth or better at the Friday Night Spectacular. Kevin Criswell's "Blown Centless" (sixth) will need Bauer to trip up to have a chance.
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