Ronnie Reed | 1996
Ronnie Reed | 1996
The career of Modified puller Ronnie Reed is one of noteworthy accomplishment. A native of Kansas, Reed started in the sport in 1972, but he didn't officially join NTPA until four years late, in 1976.
Longtime fans of NTPA pulling may remember his Modified rides. He called them Nemesis, which is the name of a Greek goddess who was known for retribution, or it can also mean "a usually victorious rival." When you look at Ronnie's ulling career, the name Nemesis seems to fit his accomplishments very well, especially the part about "usually victorious."
The 5 class was always Ronnie's class to shine in and shine he did, going head-to-head against some of the toughest competitors to ever wrap their hands around a steering wheel. Pullers such as Pulling Hall of Famers Bruce Hutcherson and Lloyd McVey-and he usually came out on top. Just look at the record books.
Beginning in 1980, he won his first crown. But it didn't come in the 5 class. Instead, it came in the 12,200 lb. class, an uncharacteristic weight class for the Longford, KS puller, and he did it with just two Rodeck engines supplying the horses. As it turned out, it was the last two-engined Modified to ever win that weight class. When Pulling Hall of Famer Bruce Hutcherson won that heavy class one year later, it took a four-engined Modified to do what Ronnie had done with two engines.
Also in 1980, Ronnie was honored as Modified Puller of the Year. Three years later, in 1983, he again rode into the limelight, taking the crown in the 5200 lb. class with a two-engined tractor that was powered by Arias, an engine that he introduced to pulling and came as a result of his time spent in drag racing. The popularity of the Arias engine immediately caught on with Modified pullers. They knew a pulling engine that promised dynamite power when they saw it.
For the next two years as well, Ronnie played a game of keep-away with the crown in the 5200 lb. class, with his Arias powered Modified. But in 1985, with a newly-built three-engined Modified (Arias engines, of courses) in his stable, he also snagged a points crown in the fiercely competitive 7200 lb. class, as well as collaring his third straight points crown in that 5200 lb. class.
But there was more to Ronnie's career than just his performance on the track, as sterling as that was. He dedicated himself to improving the sport, with service on the NTPA Executive Board. His years on the Board were from 1981 through December, 1987, with 1983-1987 being the years he served as secretary.
He liked his years on the Board, telling The Puller one time, "I never keep track of the hours...the way I look at it is if the association does well, we all do well."
His first re-action to his Hall of Fame status he said was "one of total surprise. It was certainly unexpected." Then he added, "Once it kind of sunk in, then I felt quite honored. You don't really think so much about your accomplishments at the time they happen. But as time goes on, those accomplishments seem to grow and gain a greater significance and take on more meaning for you. Again, I'm quite honored."