Worthington, Ohio---Welcome to the initial 2017 Regional National Road to the Enderle Traffic Report. We'll get deep into discussing the status of the 37 races for slots in the 5 p.m. session in a few sentences. But first, let's take a moment to remember the event's founders, as the 31st Pull-Off will be the first with neither Kent---whose Enderle Fuel Injection enters its fourth decade of NTPA sponsorship---nor Joan---whose encouragement was paramount to the event's very existence---there to greet the competitors and present the hard-won checks.
Their son Mike Keena and his wife Yovana will assume the roles the Enderles fulfilled with grace and passion for our motorsport and particularly its participants and fans. Mike told The Puller in March, "The only thing that is going to be missing at the Enderle is the man himself." We're sure he and Joan will still be watching.
LIGHT SUPER STOCK
A: George Everett and "Smokeless Alternative" clinched the Region II title at Logansport in a three-event, three-way point battle with Josh Hart and Jerry Yantes.
B: A quarter of the way along the Region III path (through Ellsworth), the Degenhardts' "Diggin' Hard" lead Marty Nelson by one and the Red Thunder Team by two. Menomonie is the next stop.
C: At the same time the Cass County Fair was settling Berth A, Bryce Pichler and "Red Thunder" were wrapping up the Region V slot in New Hampton in a two-event, three-session, four-day span.
HEAVY SUPER STOCK
A: Two wins and top-threes in all four appearances have John Pfeiffer's "Pfeiffermax" holding a seven-point lead over Heath Weilnau. Owensville is next up on Monday night.
B: After Decorah, Ken Witt and "Mr. Yuk" have a one-point edge over David Henderson in this Region III/V open fuel berth. Three hooks remain, all in their native Minnesota.
C: The Region III/V diesel-only berth has had three hooks, and "Diggin' Hard" has won twice to carry a two-point lead into the Degenhardts' native Norwalk. But the second-place "Stray Horse Gone Wild" has won there two years in a row.
D: Marty Harrell and the "Pure Country" Massey Ferguson clinched this Region IV wraparound berth at Pinetops in May.
A: Stan Warda's "Hammerin' Hank" has nailed a 29-point average over this year's four hooks. That, plus 2016 Allegan, equals an 11-point lead over Rob McTaggart.
B: But "The Other Woman" would still be invited (uh, awkward) because Region II's top two get in this year. The Caseys' "Whoopie Maker" (-1) and "Totally Exposed" (-16) are next in contention.
C: Reigning champ Trevan Rohde and "Somethin' Fierce" lead after Ellsworth. The Martyns' "Hustler" and the Hardys' "Gold Digger" stand second and third with five to go.
D: Chris Hales and "The Outlaw" staged a brilliant heist at Pinetops. They won Saturday's class to overcome a two-point deficit and surpass Phil Kelley by a single point.
E: But P.K. from PA loves IA most of all, and after Decorah the "Red-Blooded Binder" is in position for its third straight Region V championship. Dan Niemeyer and Dan Schulte are just behind.
LIGHT PRO STOCK
A: Kevin Smith is on top in Region II East. His "Flirtin' with Deerezaster" leads the Coslers and Kendall Houk by three with 11 hooks left in this subregion's backloaded schedule.
B: By comparison, Region II West has been busy with six hooks in the books and (only) nine to go. There, the "Red Avenger" of Mike Palmer has a 17-point advantage over Jason Fliehman.
C: Alan Cook's "Black Thunder" was victorious in Ellsworth to grab the lead over Justin Nagel and Dan Schullo. We'll have to wait until Labor Day weekend back in Wisconsin to see how this one turns out.
D: A second last fall in Raleigh and a win in Millers Tavern have given Ron Beasley's "Farmall Fever" the inside track over Mark Wiederhold and James Vanhoy (-5). Two more tough hooks await in Elizabeth City.
LIMITED PRO STOCK
A: Brad Boldry's "Smoke Fever" is undefeated through 40 percent of Region II's season. Jerry Shepherd (-2) and the Wisels (both -6) are the closest chasers with Fort coming up soon.
B: A win by Scott Nordby's "Intense Headache" in Pierce County has him up one on class rookie Kevin Lindstrom and two on Jason Rosenquist.
C: But Lindstrom's "Hyper Harvester" is tied with Jeremy Ploetz' "Big One" after the former's win Saturday night in New Hampton. Figanbaum/Vsetecka sit seven back with two hooks in a week and a half left on the Region V schedule.
TWO WHEEL DRIVE
A: After two hooks out of nine, Jeff Writsel has dominated the Eastern subregion thus far with wins in Marion and Wilmington. Howard Antram (-7) and Jacob Shepard (-8) are within striking distance.
B: Between his two trucks, Randy Petro has wins in six of seven Western subregion hooks including the Greentown partial washout. His regional entry, "Vintage Kathy's Komplaint," is up one on Brent Secrest and Petro team truck "2 Timin'."
C: Dustin Amundson won the Showdown in Curdtown with "Bottoms Up," the first of an eight-event schedule. Tony Fleming (Hi! Maintenance) and Kim Moore are the next two in line as two hooks in Anoka approach.
D: Two hooks in Betsytown over August's first weekend will settle this berth. Steve Wilson (Running Bear) leads wife Crystal by one and John Pickler by four.
E: With W's in Decorah and New Hampton, Amundson's bucket is "Up" in Region V as well with a five- and 13-point bulge over Rockwell winners A.J. Riedl and Troy Warschkow, respectively.
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
A: Thru Logansport, Steve Elchinger's "Jus' Passin' Thru" has been in the passin' lane. His lead is seven over Dave Bos and Dave Moore with a half dozen runs yet to make.
B: A second in Curdtown netted David O'Connor 30 points. His "Nasty Habit" is up on Rich Thomsen (-1) and Matthew Davis (-2) with Anoka's Miller Lite edition the next Showdown to come.
C: Co-leaders John T. Davis' "The Legend" and Kevin Schools' "Jus' Rutt'n" will wage a battle of former Grand National rides at Morgan's Corner. But don't count out two-time champ Randy Brann (-4).
D: Jamie Busch's "Thunder Struck" hasn't rode down the highway very far to lead fellow north Iowan Tracy Nicholson by one tally. Averaging 28 points over Rockwell and New Hampton has also put him up six on Mike Manke with just Monticello to go.
A: After two hooks along the Region II North path, David Lacey's "Triple Play: Double or Nothing" is ahead of Ken Bultemeier by three and Lacey's own "Triple Play Unchained" by seven with seven to go.
B: Across U.S. 30 in the South section of Region II, it's almost a mirror image: "Triple Play" is up on Kevin Bradtmueller by five and "Double or Nothing" by six with five hooks remaining.
C: Donnie Reeve's "California Mule" kicked into high gear in Ellsworth and thus leads Chad Timmerman and Nathan Hoffman by place points for Region III's first Enderle berth of its own.
D: With "Unchained," Lacey's already secured the real "South" berth: The one awarded by Region IV dating to Raleigh and ending in Pinetops. (Remember, if the same vehicle wins both, we combine the points and invite the runner up.)
E: Hoffman found his four-leaf clover in New Hampton and had a brilliant performance with "Shakin' Shamrock" to win the two-hook shootout by three and become Region V's first MINI invitee.
A: In the Northwest Region II berth, Ryan Writsel is perfect through two hooks plus Arcola's rainout. His 75 points lead Don Deane by three and Alan Judy by five.
B. In the Southeast Region II berth, Ryan and Jeff Writsel have a win apiece. Ken Miller (-3) stands second, Deane (-4) third.
C: Anoka will start and finish the Enderle chase in Region III.
D: Sporting a new sized-up powerplant, Chip Street's "Wildfire" scored two fifth places at its former home track in Pinetops to claim the Region IV berth. Interestingly four of the six point-earning vehicles were turbine-powered.
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