Worthington, Ohio---"Not the quarry, but the chase. Not the trophy, but the race."---proverb.
Charles Pelletier, native of St. Armand, Quebec and proprietor of Concassage Pelletier, can stake his claim to all four: The quarry, which his family owns and operates. The chase, which he completed last year to outrun 2016's champion Mike Conny. The trophy, évidemment.
And this year's spirited race, most but not all of which Pelletier and his "CP Dream II" John Deere led. A five-time winner, including three of the first five hooks---one each at Hutchinson, Minnesota; Tomah, Wisconsin; and Chapel Hill, Tennessee---"Dream" still found itself broken and being towed off the Lions Club track on Saturday night after camshaft failure. By that point, Pelletier was on his third engine to keep ahead of the manic pace of his challengers, most notably Mark Lawyer's "Rapped Up with a Vengeance," which departed Tennessee with a one-point lead.
But when the Pros reconvened in Brandenburg, Kentucky, Pelletier won on five cylinders and placed third on six. Another 59 points came in Mount Sterling and Salem, Illinois. And a rough slab of granite in Sandusky and Napoleon, Ohio was balanced by a marble-smooth second in Bowling Green and win in Canton. "CP"'s season-ending ledger showed 13 top-fives across 17 appearances and a 23-point winning margin.
For the second straight year, Lawyer's "Rapped Up!" wound up a runner-up with a strong two-session performance in Sandwich, Illinois. That knocked Jason Svonavec's thrice-victorious "Bootlegger" (-26) to third. Tim Cain's "Red Gambler" (-50) and Robby Lemke's "New Generation Plus" (-67) were also top-five finishers and so earned invitations to the Enderle Pull-Off in Urbana, Ohio on Saturday, September 15.
Kevin and Danny Schmucker last repeated as Pro Stock champs in 2011 and 2012. Before that, Larry Shope had two runs of three titles apiece around the turn of the millenium. Pelletier joins the Schmuckers and Robby Lemke (2015, 2007) as the only GN-active multi-year division winners.