Story by Darren Heartwell
Dan Prahl clinched his first Grand National title by making a huge comeback in the season’s second half. He did not hold the points lead until after the final hook.
Prahl has been pulling for eight years. He started in Four Wheel Drive and moved into the Semi class four years ago. He recounted the changes made to his Kenworth in that time. “We changed to a triple-turbo setup two years ago. We went back to a single turbo last year. We returned to the three turbos with a different configuration this year. We were having issues with our clutch.” The biggest challenge was “getting everything to work together and be reliable.”
Prahl started the season with a fifth-place finish on Friday night in Hutchinson, Minnesota. He had his worst outing of the year with an eighth on Friday night at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin. He moved up to third in the Sunday afternoon session.
In Rockwell, Iowa, he experienced issues and finished sixth on Friday. He earned his first win of the season on Saturday night to start a dominant stretch that continued when he won again in Morley, Michigan.
The final two hooks of the season were at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio. Prahl finished second on Thursday night, the results of which put four trucks within three points heading into the last hook of the season.
Prahl commented, “Our truck has done poorly on dry tracks, [and] this was an afternoon hook. We had to make sure we could get traction.
“We knew we had the horsepower to beat them. We dropped air pressure in all our tires, cranked our pushdown down a little further, it was the right call, it worked!” He made a monster pass of 315.6’ to win the session, the ring, and the championship. “It all came together at the end!”
Prahl would like to thank “my family for being involved in pulling! My wife, Jennifer, for helping make this possible and my sons, Brandon and Jordan.”
He would like to acknowledge his sponsor, Dan’s Diesel and “the workers and staffs at our shops for keeping things going while we’re gone, and the NTPA for putting this circuit together.”
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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