Story by Darren Heartwell
The Ross Family Pulling Team earned their second consecutive championship with their McCormick MTX200. Father and son share driving duties, and the entire family is involved. Jody stated,“Nobody said it would be easy, and it’s not. If it was easy, I wouldn’t be doing it...I’m thankful things came out the way they did!”
“We came out of the box with two wins in Benson, North Carolina, [and] a fourth in Hutchinson, Minnesota,” recalled Colin. “Dad won both hooks in Tomah, Wisconsin, we were four-for-five. Travis Schlabach was only one point behind at that point, he was extremely consistent.”
The team finished seventh and fifth at the North Iowa Nationals in Rockwell. Jody was in the driver’s seat for a runner-up finish at the Lions Super Pull of the South in Chapel Hill, Tennessee on Friday night. Colin took the controls on Saturday and finished second as well.
Jody commented, “July was a rough month; we lost my mother, Jean. We worked on the tractor religiously for major issues.” Jody began August with a seventh in Wapakoneta, Ohio—the last time the team would finish outside the top five—to fall 10 points behind Travis. The team figured out they had an injector pump issue and fixed it before the hook in Napoleon, Ohio, were Colin won to get within six points of the lead going into Bowling Green, Ohio. Jody parked “Triple Bypass” in third on Friday afternoon. then Colin won on Saturday night to clinch the team’s second straight ring.
Having closed the deficit to one point with just two hooks left in Sandwich, Illinois. Jody stated, “We let it all hang out. The top three were in that mode as well. We didn’t have as good of a run as we would’ve liked on Saturday afternoon [third], but it was in one piece, and we drove it off the track. We have had an issue with that at Sandwich the past couple years...The filter was clean so we were good to go on Saturday night after checking a few things over.”
Going into the final hook, the Rosses held a one-point lead over Schlabach’s “Bone Twister” and the Blagraves’ “Red Horse.” Unfortunately, Schlabach broke that afternoon, so he was not able to compete. Jody added, “We hated that, we want to pull on the track. That’s not the way we want to do things.” In the evening session Stan Blagrave won with “Red Horse,” his second win on the day, and Colin finished second. “Blagraves ran very well, as they always do,” said Jody. “That tied us. We had the tiebreaker with six wins.” The Blagraves had five.
For an exclamation point to the exceptional season, Jody won the Enderle Pull-Off. He commented, “This really caps off the year! I would like to thank everyone who has helped us along this journey. We’ve pulled for a long time, but this feels good, as good as winning a championship. We’ve been here several times, been second a couple times. This is our first Enderle win, I really wanted it!”
Jody thanks his parents, Joe and Jean Ross, his in-laws John and Dixie Christopher, his wife Charlotte, daughter Lily, and son Colin.
Jody and Colin would also like to thank Jim Main for his years of friendship and endless support with engineering and design and Shawn Orndoff for his meticulous fabricating and welding skills. Without these two men, “Triple Bypass” would only be a dream.
The family thanks Shawn Alger, Bill Crayne, Gary Bennett, Joe Carter, Donny Moore, and Dave Miller at Ross Tractor Sales for keeping things going while they’re away. They also acknowledge Tim and Josh Shipley at Shipley Tractor, Wimer Fuel Injection, Hypermax Engineering, Mark Massey, Nick McCormick (Sonny Bryant Crankshaft supplier), Engler Machine, Profab, Chris Spect at Columbus Diesel, Nichols Tire, Korek Designs, and Carlton Cope.
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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