Story by Darren Heartwell
Jessie Petro continued to rewrite the record books by winning his sixth consecutive and seventh overall Grand National title in the Two Wheel Drive class in 2017. This championship included another clutch, late-season charge to seize the title.
The 2017 title was earned with consistency; he won only one GN hook the entire season. The Petro Motorsports team has now won nine TWD championships in a row, starting with Jessie’s first title in 2009 with “2 Timin’,” continuing with father Randy’s wins in 2010 and 2011 in “Kathy’s Komplaint,” and now Jessie’s six straight with “Buckeye Hauler.”
The season did not start out on a positive note for the reigning champion. Jessie drove “Buckeye Hauler” to a 15th-place finish at the first hook in Benson, North Carolina. Jessie commented, “For whatever reason, that truck does not like Benson on Friday night.” He finished second in the Saturday session at the Mule City 300 and took the points lead with his second entry, the “P5” truck.
“Buckeye Hauler” finished 15th and 17th at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin, but then would not finish outside the top 10 the rest of the season. Jessie finished fourth and ninth in Ionia, Michigan and was 12 points out of first place heading to Brandenburg, Kentucky. He gained several points with a third-place finish on Friday night and pulled within five points of the lead with his only victory on Saturday night.
He took a one point lead over his father, Randy, with a third place finish at the Moon City Nationals in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Randy reassumed the lead after Jessie’s sixth place finish on Friday afternoon at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio. Jessie finished third on Saturday night to seize a lead he would not surrender.
A runner-up finish in Greenville, Ohio extended his lead to five with one hook remaining. Unfortunately, the final event of the season was rained out in Canfield, Ohio.
Jessie added, “This truck lives up to its name. It really likes Ohio and Ohio dirt. I was pleased with the way the truck ran in the latter part of the season. The highlights of the season were winning the championship, finishing first and second with my Dad again this year, and qualifying for the Enderle Pull-Off.”
Jessie would like to thank Randy and Kathy Petro, his girlfriend Jessica, daughter Audrey, Joey Frasur, Justin and Brandon Dake, Alex Honican, Joanna and Tom Dunaway, Mark Stelle, and Terry Frasur.
Jessie would also like to acknowledge and thank Bob Miner and Adam Koester at Miner Brothers Racing, JDF Performance, CFH, Fowler Engines, Chad Mayhill at CM Pulling Tires, Full Pull Motorsports, Champion Spark Plugs, Shell, Case IH, Cen-Pe-Co, and the NTPA.
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 is 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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