Final Five Champions Determined as GN Regular Season Closes in Sandwich

The last of 2023’s very best were identified at the NTPA Grand National circuit’s final regular-season event, the DeKalb County Fair Grand Nationals in Sandwich, Illinois.

On Thursday night, Erik Stacey of Winchester, Ohio won his first Super Stock Diesel 4×4 Truck title with “Smoknya” in a head-to-head showdown with fellow contender Nick Gillett’s “Top Shelf.” The two arrived in Illinois tied for the division lead, and Stacey’s third-place finish was enough to edge Gillett, who landed in fourth.

Then on Saturday came the trophy presentations for four big-tire divisions. Kent Payne needed only one run on the day for his “Super Rooster” to clinch his first Super Stock Diesel championship. After a fourth-place finish in the afternoon session established an insurmountable lead, Payne scratched from the night session to set a 17.5-point concluding margin.

In Super Farm, Russ and Greg Freeze withstood a two-win assault from challenger Ryan Anderson by posting a fourth and a third aboard “Deere Traxx” en route to their own first GN title. The Freezes led from the opening bell in Benson for a dominant campaign in a division that features close competition.

In Pro Stock, Brent Meyer and “Injected Funds” realized the ultimate goal of their dream GN rookie season. Meyer held off Brandon Simon’s “Loud & Heavy” for his inaugural championship with 10th and 9th places in the doubleheader.

And in Modified, Brandon Simon first caught and then passed incoming leader Tommy Owens with a Sandwich sweep. Simon’s four-engine “Simon Sez,” competing in the 7,500-lb. class for the first time in 2023, bested Owens’ “Ramblin’ Rose,” which has now been runner-up for three consecutive seasons.

All 13 Grand National champions will be recognized during opening ceremonies at the 36th Enderle Pull-Off on Saturday, September 16 in Urbana, Ohio and at the NTPA’s Convention and Awards Banquet on Saturday, December 2 in Dublin, Ohio.

About the 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 Columbus, Ohio, the NTPA provides rules and regulations and the infrastructures required for organizations throughout the country to arrange truck and tractor pulls.

The 2024 NTPA Championship Pulling Circuit is sponsored in part by Case IH, Beck’s Hybrids, WIX Filters, Hot Shot’s Secret, Enderle Fuel Injection, MAC Trailer, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Cow Tales, Mitas Tires, Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, Ag Protect 1, U.S. Army, and STOP-FYRE.

Grand National Divisional Sponsors include New Fields Ag (Super Stock Diesel), Hi Torque (Super Farm), Yoder Popcorn (Pro Stock), CM Pulling Tires (Two Wheel Drive), Doctor Preload (Super Semi), and GMS Manufacturing & Machine (Light Modified). Region III is sponsorted by TerraMax. Region IV is sponsored by Pro Puller Tires. Point fund sponsors include the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin; Heritage Iron Magazine; Midwest Wheel Inc.; and Riverside Engine Inc.

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