Shell Rotella Cup-Date, Issue 2: Hutchinson

ShellRotellaCupWithOR 2018Worthington, Ohio---It's official: The Shell Rotella Cup has shifted into high gear.

The Power Pull Nationals welcomed six NTPA Grand National divisions to the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Minnesota for two nights of action on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16. One of those divisions, the Super Semis, were designated as Shell Rotella Cup participants under the program's new, expanded format. As such, up to 60 precious Cup points were there to be claimed by the heavy haulers---not to mention the weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts Hardest-Working Puller Award for the greatest total distance pulled.
 
In truck and tractor pulling, vehicles drag a 20-ton weight transfer sled along a straight, dirt track as the sled's resistance increases. Within a class of similar vehicles, the puller that achieves the greatest distance is victorious. The NTPA is the world's number-one sanctioning organization for premier-level events that feature highly specialized machines resembling farm tractors, trucks, and dragsters and dedicated competitors that battle for purse money and end-of-season championships. No other motorsport offers the diversity of vehicle types, variety of engine combinations, intensity of brand rivalries, and accessibility of competitors. If you're looking for fierce, fair competition in a family-friendly, patriotic atmosphere, give truck and tractor pulling a try in 2018.

Up first in Friday night's Semi class was Kurt Heyroth (Bangor, Wisconsin) and his "Tow Mater." A replica of Disney's Cars movie series character voiced by comedian Larry the Cable Guy, Heyroth's Peterbilt got 'er done with a full pull. Concerned about too many vehicles having to make a second trip down the Hutchinson track, officials decided to reset the weight transfer. And doubly unfortunately, "Tow Mater" could not return for a sequel. But the cartoon-come-to-life established itself as a serious player in the Grand National conversation.

M18A1424 loA more conventional favorite for both the Shell Rotella Cup and the season title was Dean Holicky (Montgomery, Minnesota), whose "Mother Trucker" Pete scored championships from 2014 through 2016 before yielding right-of-way to Dan Prahl's "Full Tilt" (Sunburg, Minnesota). Holicky pulled out to 334' for his first hook of 2018. Three draws later, Ryan DeBroux (New Franken, Wisconsin) and "Playin' with Fire," now in their sophomore season on the GN tour, joined Holicky in the second round.

In between, Jack Kielmeyer (Faribault, Minnesota), returning from a season-plus absence from the driver's seat following his "Jacked Up"'s catastrophic engine failure in late 2016, made his bid but came up short. And appearing last in the primary round was Prahl, but the fire in his Kenworth would not stay lit, and he got to only 2.5' in two attempts.

M18A1418 loIn the pull-off, Holicky downshifted and kept the engine revs high in rolling to 295.3', while DeBroux took the the same line that got him there and captured his first national victory at 303.5', in so doing taking his first-ever GN and Cup points lead and establishing an 8.2' advantage for the O'Reilly Hardest-Working Puller.

Interviewed several minutes after the winning run, DeBroux was still nearly lost for words. "I don't know what to say. This is my first win with NTPA; it feels pretty good. We've worked pretty hard, had a lot of failures, and it's pretty awesome when things work right." On a warm evening and with two passes spaced not that far apart, could DeBroux feel a change in his rig from the first run to the second? "I could tell the difference, and I could also see more fire come out of the stack---it's a little bit bigger candle."

M18A1449 loSaturday night, DeBroux and Holicky competed back-to-back, with "Playin' with Fire" stopping at 308.7' and "Mother Trucker" assuming the lead at 311.7'. But this night belonged to Prahl, who avenged his Session One struggles with Session Two's longest distance at 352.8' to post "Full Tilt"'s fourth win in six regular-season appearances dating to 2017.

The result: DeBroux and Holicky head to Tomah, Wisconsin's Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals tied for the GN and Cup leads; Prahl sits three points back, Pat Eilen's "Just Passin' Thru in Class" (Hampton, Minnesota) is minus-four, and Kielmeyer is seven behind. And that first O'Reilly Auto Parts Hardest-Working Puller gift card? By a margin of 5.2', it belongs in DeBroux's shirt pocket.

Along with the Semis, seven of Benson, North Carolina's eight Cup classes now head to Tomah from Thursday through Saturday, June 21-23, for the next leg of their Cup tour and will be joined for the first time by Light Super Stocks, Pro Stocks, twin-engine Light Unlimiteds, and Multi-Engine Modifieds. Super Farms have their next chance at Cup points at Rockwell, Iowa's North Iowa Nationals July 5-7. The 10-event series concludes for everyone in the winners circle at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio in August.

(photos by Moore Photos)

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

2018 NTPA GN Precommitted Competitors

Precommitment

Precommitment at a Glance:

For 2018, 10 precommitment positions were made available in each of the NTPA's 13 Grand National divisions. After the initial offering to 2017's top-10 GN point finishers, remaining 2017 GN point-earners were offered positions in descending order of finish.

Precommitted competitors who fulfill the program's terms receive free entry to their class(es) of precommitment at Super National and Grand National events and shares of the end-of-season Precommitment Fund. Any GN-licensed competitor can earn points at GN events, however, so precommitment is not a prerequisite to contend for a GN championship. So fans, remember just because your favorite driver is not on this list, they still may be at an event.

2018 NTPA Grand National Light Super Stock

The schedule (8 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Tomah, WI x 2; Brandenburg, KY x 2; Langford, NY x 2; Bowling Green, OH x 2
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Mike Chizek (Newton, WI) and Brian Korth (Beaver Dam, WI)

  • Considered Armed & Dangerous: 2017 Grand National Champion (216 points)...2 GN wins (Brandenburg S2, Langford S2)...average GN finish: 2.7 (7 appearances)...2015, 2014 GN champion.
  • Excessive Force: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-5)...2 GN wins (Langford S1, Bowling Green S1)...average GN finish: 3.3 (7 appearances)...2016, 2012, 2011, 2010 GN champion.
  • Deadly Force: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-15.5)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 4.9 (7 appearances).

Jason Hootman (Corfu, NY)

  • The Commander: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-1)...2 GN wins (Tomah S3, Brandenburg S1)...average GN finish: 2.4 (7 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off.

Kyle Karlen (Minerva, OH)

  • Bad Blood: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-20)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 5.6 (7 appearances).

Larry and Brandon Phillips (Vine Grove, KY)

  • Extremely Insane: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-27.5)...GN win (Bowling Green S3)...average GN finish: 5.3 (6 appearances).
  • Insanity: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-40)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 8.7 (6 appearances).

Marcus Wettleson (Postville, IA)

  • Gunpowder & Lead: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-84)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 10.4 (5 appearances)...2013 GN champion.

Adam Spiegelberg (Weyauwega, WI)

  • Detonator Black: 2017 Region III Enderle Pull-Off LSS qualifier.
  • Detonator Red: Limited Light Super Stock in 2017.

2018 NTPA Grand National Super Stock Diesel

The schedule (19 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Chapel Hill, TN x 2; Brandenburg, KY x 2; Langford, NY x 2; Napoleon, OH; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Sandwich, IL x 2
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 4/17/18):

Jody and Colin Ross (Waynesburg, PA)

  • Triple Bypass: 2017 Grand National Champion (441 points)...6 GN wins (Benson x 2, Tomah x 2, Napoleon, Bowling Green S5)...average GN finish: 2.7 (15 appearances)...won Shell Rotella Cup...won Enderle Pull-Off...2016 GN champion.

Travis Schlabach (Marengo, IA)

  • Bone Twister: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-15)...3 GN wins (Hutchinson S1, Rockwell S2, Chapel Hill S2)...average GN finish: 2.8 (14 appearances).

Steve Burge (Lynn, IN)

  • Lock-N-Load: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-41)...GN win (Bowling Green S2)...average GN finish: 6.5 (14 appearances).

Kent Payne (Veedersburg, IN)

  • Super Rooster: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-46)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 6.7 (15 appearances).

John Raymond (Caledonia, NY)

  • Smoke-n-Mirrors: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-71)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 8.4 (14 appearances).

Bill, Joe, and Jon Degenhardt (Norwalk, WI) and Esdon Lehn (Dayton, MN)

  • Diggin' Fever: Finished 8th in 2017 GN points (-164)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 5.7 (10 appearances).
  • Red Line Fever: Finished 9th in 2017 GN points (-190)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 8.3 (9 appearances)...2012, 2006, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999 GN SSD champion...1996 GN SS champion...1989 GN GN 9,500-lb. SS champion...1988 GN 11,200 SS champion...1985, 1984, 1983 GN 7,500-lb. SS champion.

Mike Beck (Napoleon, OH)

  • High Tech Red Neck: Finished 12th in 2017 GN points (-393)...average GN finish: 9.5 (2 appearances).

Darren and Drew Olden (Keedysville, MD)

  • Kryptonite: Did not appear in 2017...finished 5th in 2013 Region IV HSS points.

Jim Rand (Rohrersville, MD)

  • White Fawn: Did not appear in 2017...finished 11th in 2013 Region IV HSS points.

2018 NTPA Grand National Super Stock Open

The schedule (9 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Monroe, MI; Salem, IL; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Wellington, OH
The competitors (3 vehicles, as of 6/4/18):

John Strickland (Clinton, NC), Brent Payne (Hamilton, OH), and Earl Wells (Clinton, NC)

  • GALOT II: 2017 Grand National Champion (301 points)...3 GN wins (Benson S1, Bowling Green S2, Greenville S1)...average GN finish: 2.7 (10 appearances)...2016 GN champion.
  • Get a Load of That: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-13)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 4.2 (10 appearances).

Sid Broughton (South Haven, MI)

  • Desperado: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-83)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 6.3 (8 appearances).

2018 NTPA Grand National Super Farm

The schedule (13 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Ionia, MI x 2; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Hudsonville, MI x 2; Wellington, OH; Sandwich, IL x 2
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 6/4/18):

Brad Hart (Clayton, MI)

  • Don't Ask: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (lost tiebreaker on wins, 3-2)...2 GN wins (Benson S2, Rockwell S1)...average GN finish: 6.5 (17 appearances).

Brook, Brook Jr., and Brady Ferris (Addison, MI)

  • Absolutely Nuts: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-9)...GN win (Tomah S5)...average GN finish: 6.8 (17 appearances).
  • Assorted Nuts: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-47)...GN win (Benson S1)...average GN finish: 10.9 (17 appearances).    

Dave Whelan (Tipton, MI)

  • My Last Excuse: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-22)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 7.5 (17 appearances).

Tony Sietsema (Allendale, MI)

  • Wolverine Deere: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-43)...GN win (Rockwell S2)...average GN finish: 10.8 (17 appearances).

Jeff (Keystone, IN) and Mike Prible (Bluffton, IN)

  • Top Priority: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-72)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 12.4 (17 appearances)...2015 GN champion.

Chris Weidinger (Attica, OH)

  • Black Power: Finished 11th in 2017 GN points (-76)...best GN finish: 4th...average GN finish: 12.5 (17 appearances).

Russ Freeze (Manchester, TN)

  • Deere Traxx: Finished 12th in 2017 GN points (-77)...GN win (Sandwich S3)...average GN finish: 13.4 (17 appearances).

Jon Silsby (Vicksburg, MI)

  • Crop Doctor: Finished 13th in 2017 GN points (-81)...best GN finish: 4th...average GN finish: 12.9 (17 appearances).

Stan Warda (Berrien Springs, MI)

  • Hammerin' Hank: 2017 Region II Champion.

2018 NTPA Grand National Pro Stock

The schedule (18 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Chapel Hill, TN x 2; Brandenburg, KY x 2; Mt. Sterling, IL; Salem, IL; Sandusky, OH; Napoleon, OH; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Wellington, OH; Canton, OH; Sandwich, IL x 2
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Charles Pelletier (St. Armand, QC)

  • CP Dream II: 2017 Grand National champion (566 points)...2 GN wins (Mt. Sterling, Hudsonville S1)...average GN finish: 4.7 (20 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off.

Mark Lawyer (New Castle, IN)

  • Rapped Up!: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-17)...GN win (Sandwich S2)...average GN finish: 5.5 (20 appearances)

Mike Conny (Beloit, OH)

  • MAC Nasty: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-18)...7 GN wins (Benson S2, Hutchinson S1, Tomah x 2, Brandenburg S2, Hudsonville S2, Sandwich S3)...average GN finish: 5.7 (20 appearances)...2016 GN champion.

Robby Lemke (Helenville, WI)

  • New Generation Plus: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-21)...2 GN wins (Brandenburg S1, Bowling Green S3)...average GN finish: 5.8 (20 appearances)...2015, 2007 GN champion.

Danny and Kevin Schmucker (Louisville, OH)

  • Rampage: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-38)...GN win (Salem)...average GN finish: 7.1 (20 appearances)...2014, 2012, 2011 GN champion.
  • Git-Er-Dun Deere: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-49)...3 GN wins (Chapel Hill x 2, Wellington)...average GN finish: 7.5 (20 appearances)...2010, 2008 GN champion.

Tim and Chris Cain (New Palestine, IN)

  • The Red Gambler: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-54)...GN win (Sandusky)...average GN finish: 9.0 (20 appearances)...2009 GN champion.
  • Aces Wild: Finished 9th in 2017 GN points (-105)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 10.9 (19 appearances).

Cody Shay (Shannon City, IA)

  • Red Edge Pro: Finished 8th in 2017 GN points (-93)...best GN finish: 4th...average GN finish: 11.5 (20 appearances).

Tim Ammons (Hagerstown, MD)

  • Ultimate Harvester: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-216)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 14.7 (17 appearances).

2018 NTPA Grand National Two Wheel Drive

The schedule (14 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Ionia, MI x 2; Brandenburg, KY x 2; Mt. Sterling, IL; Waverly, IA; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Greenville, OH; Canfield, OH
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Jessie and Randy Petro (Camden, OH) and Joey Frasur (Liberty, IN)

  • Buckeye Hauler: 2017 Grand National Champion (331 points)...GN win (Brandenburg S2)...average GN finish: 6.7 (12 appearances)...2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 GN champion...[J.Petro: 2009 GN champion].
  • Kathy's Komplaint: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-5)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 7.5 (12 appearances)...2011, 2010, 2001, 1995 GN champion...NTPA Hooker of the Year.
  • Runnin' Block: Finished 11th in 2017 GN points (-82)...best GN finish: 8th...average GN finish: 17.6 (12 appearances).

Craig and Ashley Corzine (Assumption, IL)

  • Burn Notice: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-8)...GN win (Benson S1)...average GN finish: 7.3 (12 appearances)...won Shell Rotella Cup...won Enderle Pull-Off [A.Corzine].
  • Second Degree: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-39)...2 GN wins (Ionia S2, Bowling Green S5)...average GN finish: 12.9 (12 appearances).

Bryan McDonald (Kennedyville, MD)

  • Suffering Sanity: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-25)...2 GN wins (Tomah S4, Ionia S1)...average GN finish: 9.2 (12 appearances).

Renee and Doug Theobald (Shelbyville, IN)

  • Pretty Wicked: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-31)...GN wins (Brandenburg)...average GN finish: 9.5 (12 appearances).
  • Wicked: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-81)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 16.8 (12 appearances).

Russ Nichols (Lore City, OH)

  • On the Edge: Finished 8th in 2017 GN points (-52)...GN win (Bowling Green S2)...average GN finish: 12.1 (12 appearances).

LeAnn Tormoehlen-May (Vallonia, IN)

  • Thriller: Finished 9th in 2017 GN points (-59)...GN win (Wapakoneta)...average GN finish: 13.6 (12 appearances).

2018 NTPA Grand National Four Wheel Drive

The schedule (16 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Chapel Hill, TN x 2; Monroe, MI; Langford, NY x 2; Norwalk, WI x 2; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Wauseon, OH
The competitors (10 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Peyton Davis (Tappahannock, VA)

  • Punisher: 2017 Grand National Champion (456 points)...2 GN wins (Tomah S2, Langford S1)...average GN finish: 6.8 (17 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off.
  • Young Gun: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-18)...2 GN wins (Chapel Hill S1, Monroe)...average GN finish: 7.7 (17 appearances).

Jim and Paul Holman (Wauseon, OH)

  • 4 Play: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-14)...4 GN wins (Chapel Hill S2, Langford S2, Norwalk S2, Hudsonville S1)...average GN finish: 8.2 (17 appearances)...2016, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1994, 1991, 1990 GN champion...1989 GN 6,200-lb. FWD, 5,800-lb. FWD champion.

Donald LaBonte (Stanstead, QC)

  • The Rock: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-20)...GN win (Bowling Green S4)...average GN finish: 7.9 (17 appearances).

Rob, Carmen, and Tanya Foster (Fairgrove, MI)

  • Simply Red: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-22)...2 GN wins (Norwalk S1, Hudsonville S2)...average GN finish: 8.9 (17 appearances)...2010 GN champion.
  • Foster Child: Finished 9th in 2017 GN points (-50)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 10.8 (17 appearances).

Ted Skelton (Harvard, IL)

  • The Rock: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-24)...GN win (Hutchinson S1)...average GN finish: 9.9 (17 appearances).

Larry and Lisa Peterson (Baldwin, WI)

  • Profab Geared Up: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-29)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 9.1 (17 appearances).
  • Profab: Finished 8th in 2017 GN points (-33)...GN win (Benson S2)...average GN finish: 9.5 (17 appearances).

Tyler Cobb (Baxley, GA)

  • Bandit: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-67)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 11.3 (17 appearances).

2018 NTPA Grand National Super Stock Diesel 4x4

The schedule (15 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Fort Recovery, OH x 2; Mt. Sterling, IL; Salem, IL; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Hudsonville, MI x 2; Sandwich, IL
The competitors (6 vehicles, as of 6/4/18):

Carl Atley (Xenia, OH)

  • Lethal Weapon: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-10)...3 GN wins (Tomah S2, Bowling Green S5, Greenville S2))...average GN finish: 5.1 (9 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off.

Shane Kellogg (Kenton, OH)

  • Trump: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-19)...GN win (Bowling Green S2)...average GN finish: 5.9 (9 appearances).

Don Bowling (Fostoria, OH)

  • Pulling for the Cure: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-27)...GN win (Fort Recovery S2)...average GN finish: 7.1 (9 appearances).

Justin Gearhart (Kingston, OH)

  • Cream of the Crop: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-36)...GN win (Sandwich S1)...average GN finish: 8.4 (9 appearances).

Brion Withrow (Mechanicsburg, OH)

  • The Nut Job: Finished Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-39)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 9.0 (9 appearances).

Jeffrey Mifek (Princeton, MN)

  • Triple Alpha Process: New vehicle in 2018.

2018 NTPA Grand National Super Semi

The schedule (11 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Ionia, MI x 2;  Morley, MI, Bowling Green, OH x 2
The competitors (8 vehicles, as of 6/18/18):

Dan Prahl (Sunburg, MN)

  • Full Tilt: 2017 Grand National Champion (239 points)...3 GN wins (Rockwell S2, Morley, Bowling Green S4)...average GN finish: 3.4 (8 appearances).

Dean Holicky (Montgomery, MN)

  • Mother Trucker: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-1)...GN win (Tomah S6)...average GN finish: 3.5 (8 appearances)...2016, 2015, 2014 GN champion.

Brian Elithorpe (Bridport, VT)

  • Nikki's Nightmare: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-2)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 3.8 (8 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off.

Tom and Pat Eilen (Hampton, MN)

  • Just Passin' Thru in Class: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-5)...2 GN wins (Tomah S3, Rockwell S1)...average GN finish: 4.1 (8 appearances).

Sonny Graese (Crivitz, WI)

  • Stacks: Finished 6th in 2016 GN points (-14)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 6.3 (8 appearances).

Ryan Debroux (New Franken, WI)

  • Playin' with Fire: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-73)...best GN finish: 5th...average GN finish: 7.8 (6 appearances).

Jack Kielmeyer (Nerstrand, MN)

  • Jacked Up: Did not appear in 2017...Finished 5th in 2016 GN points.

Kurt Heyroth (Bangor, WI)

  • Tow Mater.

2018 NTPA Grand National Modified Mini

The schedule (21 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Chapel Hill, TN x 2; Fort Recovery, OH x 2, Langford, NY x 2; Sandusky, OH; Napoleon, OH; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Greenville, OH; Wellington, OH; Wauseon, OH
The competitors (9 vehicles, as of 5/22/18):

Joe Eder (North Collins, NY)

  • Polar Air [Bobcat Jr.: 2017 Grand National Champion (531 points)...4 GN wins (Tomah S5, Chapel Hill S1, Langford S1, Bowling Green S3)...average GN finish: 3.3 (18 appearances)...won Shell Rotella Cup.]

Larry and Adam Koester (Wadesville, IN)

  • Footloose: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-42)...GN win (Fort Recovery S2)...average GN finish: 7.1 (18 appearances)...2008, 2006, 2001 GN champion.
  • Beast of Burden: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-44)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 6.3 (18 appearances)...[A.Koester: 2007 GN champion].
  • Walk the Line: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-72)...GN win (Napoleon, OH)...average GN finish: 8.5 (18 appearances)...2016 GN champion.

Ken Veney (Wadsworth, OH)

  • Funny Lil' Farmall: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-47.5)...2 GN wins (Bowling Green S5, Greenville S2)...average GN finish: 6.3 (18 appearances).

Adam Bauer (Paton, IA)

  • Iron Toy: Finished 9th in 2017 GN points (-109)...GN win (Hutchinson S1)...average GN finish: 6.9 (18 appearances)...2013, 2011, 2009 GN champion.
  • Cowboy Up: Finished 10th in 2017 GN points (-114.5)...4 GN wins (Langford S2, Greenville S1, Wellington, Wauseon)...average GN finish: 6.3 (18 appearances)...2012 GN champion.

Jerry Thompson (Janesville, WI)

  • Hellraiser: Finished 12th in 2017 GN points (-153.5)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 13.6 (16 appearances).

Chase Richardson (Leitchfield, KY)

  • The Vibrator: Finished 13th in 2017 GN points (-205)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 10.0 (12 appearances).

2018 NTPA Grand National Light Unlimited

 The schedule (10 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Tomah, WI x 2; Fort Recovery, OH x 2; Mt. Sterling, IL; Waverly, IA; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Hudsonville, MI x 2
 The competitors (6 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Brandon and R.J. Simon (Farley, IA)

  • Simon Sez: 2017 Grand National Champion (250 points)...4 GN wins (Tomah S2, Ionia S1, Fort Recovery S2, Bowling Green S2)...average GN finish: 1.6 (8 appearances)...2016, 2014 GN champion.
  • Simon Sez Show No Mercy: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-11)...3 GN wins (Ionia S2, Fort Recovery S1, Bowling Green S1)...average GN finish: 3.0 (8 appearances).

Keith Wayson (Harwood, MD)

  • Super Bee: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-17)...1 GN win (Sandusky)...average GN finish: 3.8 (8 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off...2015 GN champion.

Craig Corzine (Assumption, IL) and the Bollingers (Stonington, IL)

  • Money Pit Screwed Up: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-17)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 3.8 (8 appearances).

Ed (Union, MI) and Ted Boyer (Edwardsburg, MI)

  • Mr. Twist and Shout: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-44)...best GN finish: 4th...average GN finish: 5.5 (6 appearances).

David Richardson (Leitchfield, KY)

  • New vehicle in 2018.

2018 NTPA Grand National Modified

The schedule (14 hooks, as of 4/2/18): Ellsworth, WI; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; New Hampton, IA x 2; Monroe, MI; Norwalk, WI x 2; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Sandwich, IL x 2
The competitors (8 vehicles, as of 3/19/18):

Ricky Rose (Glencoe, MN)

  • Giddy Up: 2017 Grand National Champion (322 points)...6 GN wins (Ellsworth, Rockwell S1, Monroe, Bowling Green x 2, Sandwich S2)...average GN finish: 1.7 (11 appearances).

Bret Berg (Farmington, MN)

  • Money Maker: Finished 2nd in 2017 GN points (-15)...4 GN wins (Tomah x 2, Rockwell S2, Sandwich S3)...average GN finish: 3.3 (11 appearances)...won Enderle Pull-Off...2016, 2012, 2011 GN champion.

Bob Jostock (Lapeer, MI) and Bill Douglas Jr. (Alvinston, ON)

  • Wild Child: Finished 3rd in 2017 GN points (-35)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 5.4 (11 appearances)...2007 GN champion.
  • Spook Gone Wild: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-41)...best GN finish: 4th...average GN finish: 6.0 (11 appearances).

Dennis Christensen (Glencoe, MN)

  • Pack Rat 4: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-36)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 5.4 (11 appearances).

Doug Lively (State Center, IA)

  • Bank Robber: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-43)...GN win (Wapakoneta)...average GN finish: 3.3 (10 appearances)...2014, 2013 GN champion.

Joe, Bob, and Ray Fintak (North Collins, NY)

  • North American: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-55)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 7.6 (11 appearances).

Corey Kielmeyer (Faribault, MN)

  • Double Trouble: 2017 Region III Enderle Pull-Off MOD qualifier...1 RN win (Anoka S2)...best GN finish: 3rd.

2018 NTPA Grand National Unlimited

The schedule (19 hooks, as of 3/19/18): Benson, NC x 2; Hutchinson, MN x 2; Tomah, WI x 2; Rockwell, IA x 2; Chapel Hill, TN x 2, Fort Recovery, OH x 2; Langford, NY x 2; Bowling Green, OH x 2; Greenville, OH; Wellington, OH; Canfield, OH
The competitors (7 vehicles, as of 5/21/18):

Chuck Knapp (Charles City, IA)

  • Screamin' D: 2017 Grand National Champion (442 points)...8 GN wins (Benson S1, Hutchinson S1, Tomah S6, Chapel Hill S1, Fort Recovery x 2, Mt. Sterling, Bowling Green S5)...average GN finish: 1.6 (14 appearances)...won Shell Rotella Cup...won Enderle Pull-Off...2016, 2015 GN champion.

Wayne Purser (Norman, OK)

  • Uncle Sam: Finished 4th in 2017 GN points (-53)...GN win (Bowling Green S1)...average GN finish: 5.6 (14 appearances).

Ricky Rose (Glencoe, MN)

  • Giddy Up: Finished 5th in 2017 GN points (-57)...GN win (Wellington)...average GN finish: 6.1 (14 appearances).

David Richardson (Leitchfield, KY)

  • For Sale: Finished 6th in 2017 GN points (-63)...best GN finish: 3rd...average GN finish: 6.4 (14 appearances).

Bret Berg (Farmington, MN)

  • Money Maker: Finished 7th in 2017 GN points (-69)...best GN finish: 2nd...average GN finish: 6.9 (14 appearances).

Adam Bauer (Paton, IA)

  • Cross Threaded: Finished 8th in 2017 GN points (-114)...GN win (Greenville S2)...average GN finish: 6.9 (12 appearances)...2014, 2013 GN champion.

Joe Eder (North Collins, NY)

  • Polar Air: New vehicle in 2018. [GEICO: Best 2017 GN finish: 4th.]

Week Six Preview

Worthington, Ohio---After five weeks of rain-soaked, -shortened, -delayed, or -threatened events, here's hoping for five days of blue skies over Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana as the NTPA has its first multi-event weekend of the year.

Up first is the 43rd Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals at Recreation Park in Tomah, Wisconsin. Now running in five sessions from Thursday night, June 21, through Saturday night, June 23, Tomah's tightened timetable will showcase 12 Grand National divisions along with single Region III points classes for Super Farms (Pro National purse), Light Pro Stocks, and Limited Pro Stocks.

Standings leaders entering Tomah include Stan and Steve Blagrave of Ackerly, Texas ("Red Horse" GN SSD), John Strickland of Clinton, North Carolina ("GALOT II" GN SSO), Mark Lawyer of New Castle, Indiana ("Rapped Up with a Vengeance" GN PS), Bryan McDonald of Kennedyville, Maryland ("Suffering Sanity" GN TWD), Rob and Carmen Foster of Fairgrove, Michigan ("Foster Child" GN FWD), Justin Gearhart of Kingston, Ohio ("Cream of the Crop" GN SSD 4x4), Ryan DeBroux of New Franken, Wisconsin and Dean Holicky of Montgomery, Minnesota ("Playin' with Fire" and "Mother Trucker" GN SEMI), Adam Bauer of Paton, Iowa ("Cowboy Up" GN MINI), Ricky Rose of Glencoe, Minnesota ("Giddy Up" GN MOD), Chuck Knapp of Charles City, Iowa ("Screamin' D" GN UNL), Rod Deck of Winside, Nebraska ("Dream On" Region III SF), Randy Murdock of Warrens, Wisconsin (International 1456 Region III LT PS), and Bill Figanbaum of Tripoli, Iowa ("Instigator" Region III LIM PS). For Light Super Stocks and Light Unlimiteds, Tomah represents the season's first event, and for all 12 GN classes, it's either the first or second leg of the expanded Shell Rotella Cup tour presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Getting ready to fire just as the proceedings in Wisconsin draw to a close are two Region II events---one with a storied history, another ready to make history. Invading Preble, Indiana's Fireman's Park on Saturday night, June 23, it's the Power-O-Rama and five classes, all making their 2018 debut: Light Pro Stocks (West), Four Wheel Drives, StainlessDiesel.com Pro Stock Diesel 4x4 3.0s (West), and Mini and Multi-Engine Modifieds. Meanwhile, Orrville, Ohio, famed as the corporate headquarters of Smucker's, will be shaking like a bowlful of jelly when supercharged Two Wheel Drives, along with Pro Stocks and Limited Pros, rattle the Wayne County Speedway. The Pros were washed out at Sugarcreek four weeks ago, and it's the first scheduled hook for the others.

Finally, on Monday night, June 25: What's your hurry? Rushville, Indiana's namesake county fair marks the next stop for the Pros and western Light Pros and the first for Two Wheel Drives (West) and Heavy Super Stocks.

Next week, regional action hits Arcola, Indiana and Hopkinsville, Kentucky for twin-track, two-session events. Of particular note: The latter will settle the coveted Region VI Enderle berths.

See you then.

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

Super Farm Competitor Tony Capozzo Has Died; Update: Funeral Info

We regret to report the passing on Tuesday, June 12 of Tony Capozzo, 70, of Richmond, Michigan. Mr. Capozzo and his sons Charlie and Nick have campaigned the "Cruel Intentions" John Deere Super Farm for a decade on the Grand and Regional National and Wolverine state circuits.

Mr. Capozzo served our nation in the Vietnam War in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Richmond Lions Club since 1977, assuming several leadership roles, and of the St. Augustine Catholic Church of Richmond.

The proprietor of Capozzo & Sons Excavating, Mr. Capozzo was dedicated to year-round pulling at all levels with anything painted John Deere green. He and his sons have for several years owned and operated the "Devil Deere" Model A and the "Ace in the Hole" 70 in Division III on the National Antique Tractor Pullers Association and Eastern Michigan Tractor Pullers Association, of which he was a charter member.

Mr. Capozzo is survived by siblings Carol (Jerry) Orr, Margaret (Matt) Gaskin, and Jim (Lori); sons Charlie (Barb), Scott (Jessica), and Nick (Amy); and grandchildren Madison, Taylor, Peyton, Dalton, Britton, and Rylee. His complete obituary may be found here.

Visitation for Mr. Capozzo's family and friends will be Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Rewalt-Peshek Funeral Home, 68655 Stoecker Lane, Richmond, Michigan  48062 (586.727.7519). A Scripture Service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. His Funeral Mass will be Monday at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass, at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 68035 Main Street in Richmond (804.275.7962).

Memorial donations may be made to the Richmond Lions Club, P.O. Box 221, Richmond, Michigan 48062.

Please think of Charlie, Nick, and their brother Scott in their time of sorrow.

Tomah's Steven "Doc" Doll Has Passed

Our office has been notified of the death on Thursday, June 7 of Dr. Steven J. “Doc” Doll, 68, of Tomah, Wisconsin. Mr. Doll was a valued member of the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals crew for many years.

A celebration of Mr. Doll's life is being planned for a later date. The Torkelson Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Monroe County 4H, 14345 Cty Hwy B, Room 1, Sparta, WI 54656.

We join the Tomah family in mourning their loss.

Berlinda Rowland, Longtime Bowling Green Secretary, Has Passed

We were recently informed of the passing on Sunday, June 3 of Berlinda Rowland, 62, of McClure, Ohio. Mrs. Rowland was an office assistant for the Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pullers Association for nine years, working at the National Tractor Pulling Championships' Bowling Green facility.

Mrs. Rowland is survived by her husband Jim; her children Josh (Elizabeth), Tyler (Sara), and Tiffanie (Steve) Creager; seven grandchildren; sisters Diane Junge and Louann Fisher; brothers Tommy (Kimberly) Junge and Terry (Tamera) Junge. Her complete obituary may be found here.

Visitation for Mrs. Rowland's family and friends is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Rodenberger Funeral Home, 310 Frank Street, McClure, Ohio 43534 (419.748.8011). Her funeral service will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 155 Depot Street, McClure (419.748.8414).

Our hearts go out to the Rowland and NTPC families for their loss.

R+L Carriers and Clinton County Fair NTPA Nationals Form Partnership

RL Logo stacked 342 LargeWorthington, Ohio---R+L Carriers has teamed with the Clinton County Agriculture Society to sponsor the 2018 Clinton County Fair NTPA Nationals in Wilmington, Ohio on Saturday, July 14. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Based in Wilmington, R+L Carriers is a global transportation company with a fleet of over 21,000 tractors and trailers. In addition to all 50 United States and Canada, R+L Carriers transports freight to and from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.

"On behalf of the Clinton County Agriculture Society, I would like to thank R+L Carriers for kindly sponsoring our events at the Clinton County Fair," stated Ag Society director John Fankhauser. "We truly appreciate their continuous support and their very generous donation; their contribution will dramatically help us develop and succeed in future endeavors."

All five divisions to compete at Wilmington will receive a portion of the $2,500 R+L Carriers "Showdown Bonus." Each of the top three in Light Pro Stock Tractors, Two-Wheel-Drive and StainlessDiesel.com Pro Stock Diesel 4x4 3.0 Trucks, and Mini and Multi-Engine Modifieds will get a check---$250, $150, or $100---in addition to the regular NTPA Regional National purse. Showdown Bonus checks will be presented in the announcers tower at the conclusion of each class.

Quoting from their mission statement, R+L Carriers is "designed to provide superior service at competitive pricing through safe and efficient operations and innovative thinking to the ultimate benefit of our customers and shareholders. Customer satisfaction is mandatory to ensure future success."

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

New Mini Rod Rule Effective Immediately

The following rule effects only minis with planetary type rear axles. 

Effective Immediately (6/4/2018):

Mini Rods with Planetary rear axles must shield the transmission with a minimum of .125 steel or titanium. Shield must cover the full width of the transmission (minus the reverser) top and both sides while open at the bottom in a “U” shaped over the transmission. Shield not to exceed one inch air gap between shield and transmission. Shield must be attached at the top forward to the engine plate or engine and at the bottom to each side of the chassis.

Or be allowed a transmission blanket consisting of 15 layers of Kevlar or 20 layers of ballistic nylon attached in the same fashion.

Shell Rotella Cup-Date, Issue 1: Benson

ShellRotellaCupWithOR 2018Worthington, Ohio---In the end, Mother Nature decided that she wanted to watch a tractor pull after all.

Swirling storms and overcast skies midweek gave way to sunshine and brief periods of 100 plus-degree temperatures in Benson, North Carolina on Friday. On Saturday, the start of the GALOT Motorsports Park Mule City 300 was interrupted after just one competitive pass and delayed by nearly two hours. But the June 1-2 event nonetheless opened the 2018 Grand National season for the National Tractor Pullers Association and the Shell Rotella Cup Series presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts.

In truck and tractor pulling, vehicles drag a 20-ton weight transfer sled along a straight, dirt track as the sled's resistance increases. Within a class of similar vehicles, the puller that achieves the greatest distance is victorious. The NTPA is the world's number-one sanctioning organization for premier-level events that feature highly specialized machines resembling farm tractors, trucks, and dragsters and dedicated competitors that battle for purse money and end-of-season championships. No other motorsport offers the diversity of vehicle types, variety of engine combinations, intensity of brand rivalries, and accessibility of competitors. If you're looking for fierce, fair competition in a family-friendly, patriotic atmosphere, give truck and tractor pulling a try in 2018.

Now designated an anchor event in the 10-location series, the Mule City 300 welcomed eight divisions for two nights of smoke, noise, and thunderous power. Each division has two or three more stops on this year's Shell Rotella Cup tour, which has expanded to reward all 13 of the NTPA's Grand National divisions. In addition to precious Cup points, at stake each weekend are Hardest-Working Puller total distance awards and the accompanying $100 O'Reilly Auto Parts gift cards.

SSD 1T RedHorse loAll five of the Shell Rotella Cup's traditional divisions were present. In Super Stock Diesel Tractors, class titans Stan Blagrave of Ackerly, Texas (Red Horse, 2015 Cup) and Travis Schlabach of Marengo, Iowa (Bone Twister, 2016 Cup) departed Benson tied for the GN and Cup point lead. Blagrave, the 2002 and 2013 champ alongside his brother Steve, bested Schlabach by 11' in Session One, while Schlabach was the first to figure out a reconditioned Session Two track and returned for a pull-off when Blagrave, who was ultimately the division's Hardest-Working Puller, could not. (Next NTPA event: Hutchinson, Minnesota; next Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

TWD 2T BuckeyeHauler loIn Two-Wheel-Drive Trucks, good news for 2016 Cup claimant Bryan McDonald of Kennedyville, Maryland (Suffering Sanity) turned to bad news for the rest of the division when reigning champion Jessie Petro of Camden, Ohio (Buckeye Hauler, 2015 Cup) tore through the Mule City clay to claim the Saturday session and the HWP. Petro's path to a title in each of the past six seasons has involved a sluggish start and a furious finish. Off to his best beginning in years, he and Craig Corzine of Assumption, Illinois (Burn Notice, 2017 Cup) trail McDonald by only three points. (Next NTPA/Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

FWD 1T Rock loIn Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks, Tyler Cobb of Bartow, Georgia (Bandit) celebrated his first Grand National victory as close to home as the Association's schedule allows. His pass on the final hook of the class of 21 and of Session One preceded a sixth place in Session Two, when it was 13-time GN champion Paul Holman of Wauseon, Ohio (4 Play, 2016 Cup) who edged Larry Peterson of Baldwin, Wisconsin (Profab Geared Up) by less than 6". Steady over both nights was "The Rock," piloted by Ted Skelton of Harvard, Illinois, which caught Cobb in the points and passed him for the HWP. (Next NTPA event: Hutchinson, Minnesota; next Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

MINI 1 Lambada loIn Modified Minis, Adam Bauer of Paton, Iowa needed two chances on Friday to get his "Cowboy Up" spurred into action to ride past Netherlander Wim Dingerink's "Lambada," which had led for 10 hooks. But Saturday, "Up" went sideways, and Dingerink danced on to the win, the HWP, and the Shell Rotella Cup lead. Bauer's "Iron Toy" (2009, 2011, 2013 champion) took a pair of thirds to sit three points behind "Lambada"; Phillip Fairbanks of Fitchburg, Massachusetts (Bobcat Jr., -6), among the six drivers who teamed for the 2017 championship, got a seventh and a second. (Next NTPA event: Hutchinson, Minnesota; next Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

UNL 1 ScreaminD loAnd in Unlimited Modifieds, Bauer's five-engine "Cross Threaded" had an eerily similar weekend to its smaller stablemate, as a victorious 363' Session One pass presaged mechanical failure in Session Two. Three-time defending champion Chuck Knapp of Charles City, Iowa (Screamin' D, 2016-2017 Cup) withstood Bauer's onslaught and grabbed a win himself on Saturday to claim the HWP and the point lead by two over Bret Berg's "Money Maker" of Farmington, Minnesota. (Next NTPA event: Hutchinson, Minnesota; next Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

SSO 1 GALOTII loThree other divisions experienced their first Shell Rotella Cup competition. In Super Stock Open Tractors, opening-night nerves plagued the four-tractor field, even in front of a hometown crowd. Defending titlist (and GMP track manager) John Strickland of Clinton, North Carolina (GALOT II, HWP) squeaked by his teammate Brent Payne of Hamilton, Ohio (Get a Load of That, -2) with only 2.5' to spare in Session One. Strickland's and Payne's AGCOs combined to improve by 60' in Session Two---and finished in the same order. (Next NTPA/Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

SF 1 HammerinHank loIn Super Farm Tractors, we can forgive Stan Warda of Berrien Springs, Michigan if he is in serious "Hey, I got this" mode. All he and his "Hammerin' Hank" did was win their first two appearances while Grand Nationally licensed after achieving consecutive Region II titles. Positioned six points behind are Chris Weidinger of Attica, Ohio (Black Power) and Brook Ferris of Addison, Michigan (Assorted Nuts). (Next NTPA/Cup event: Rockwell, Iowa)

SSD4x4 1 CreamOfTheCrop loAnd in Super Stock Diesel 4x4 Trucks, it was weekend sweep number three as Justin Gearhart of Circleville, Ohio (Cream of the Crop, HWP) won his second and third straight regular-season hooks dating to 2017. Don Bowling of Fostoria, Ohio drove his "Pulling for the Cure" (-2) to two runner-up finishes, while stalwarts Shane Kellogg of Kenton, Ohio (Trump) and Carl Atley of Xenia, Ohio (Lethal Weapon) traded thirds and fourths. (Next NTPA/Cup event: Tomah, Wisconsin)

Five more divisions have yet to make their Shell Rotella Cup Series debuts. Super Semi Trucks will do so at the Power Pull Nationals in Hutchinson, Minnesota on June 15-16, while Light Super Stock and Pro Stock Tractors and Twin-Engine Light Unlimited and Multi-Engine Modifieds will go for those O'Reilly gift cards at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin on June 21-23.

And everyone has August 16-18 circled on their calendars, as the $54,000 Shell Rotella Cup purse will be distributed in the winners circle at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio. Until then, watch this space for Shell Rotella Cup updates as each event in the series, presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, wraps.

(photos by Tracy Waters)

 

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

Shell Rotella Cup Bonus Program Expands to All GN Divisions, 10 SN/GN Events

ShellRotellaCupWithOR 2018Worthington, Ohio---Now, everyone gets a chance to hoist the Cup.

Demonstrating a deepening commitment to National Tractor Pullers Association Championship Pulling and its Grand National competitors, Shell Rotella will award $54,000 across all 13 divisions on the Association’s premier circuit in 2018.

The awards, presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, will go to top-three finishers in GN points accumulated at 10 Super and Grand National events. Each division will have a three- or four-event series.

“Shell came to us at the end of last season and inquired how our involvement together could become greater,” explained Gregg Randall, NTPA General Manager. “The natural progression was to expand the current Shell Rotella Cup to all of our GN divisions. We looked at our 2018 schedule, and some things just clicked into place.”

One of those things that clicked was Bowling Green, Ohio’s inclusion of the Light Unlimiteds, which meant that every Cup check could be cut in the same winners circle. Other factors were the growth of events in Rockwell, Iowa and Langford, New York (to three and two days, respectively) and the enthusiasm and cooperative spirit expressed by each of the promoters in making the enlarged schedule work.

“Of course it’s great for our competitors,” Randall continued, “but not to be lost in this is how six more events get to share in the prestige of the Cup challenge.” In addition to Rockwell’s North Iowa Nationals (July 5-7) and Langford’s Northeast Nationals (August 4-5), the Shell Rotella Cup tour’s new stops include the Power Pull Nationals in Hutchinson, Minnesota (June 15-16), the Ionia Free Fair Pullsation in Ionia, Michigan (July 13-14), the Fort Recovery NTPA Grand Nationals in Fort Recovery, Ohio (July 27-28), and the Meade County Fair NTPA Grand Nationals in Brandenburg, Kentucky (July 27-28).

They join the four familiar locales, now designated as “anchor events”: Benson, North Carolina’s GALOT Motorsports Park Mule City 300 (June 1-2), Tomah, Wisconsin’s Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals (June 21-23), Chapel Hill, Tennessee’s Lions Super Pull of the South (July 20-21), and Bowling Green’s National Tractor Pulling Championships (August 16-18).

Each of the five divisions that have been a part of the Shell Rotella Cup series since its beginnings in 2007---Super Stock Diesel, Two Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive, Modified Mini, and Unlimited---will have a four-stop tour that starts in Benson, continues in Tomah, and concludes in Bowling Green. In between, the Diesel Supers, Four Wheelers, Minis, and Unlimiteds visit Chapel Hill, while the Two Wheelers travel to Ionia.

In each of the eight newly minted Cup divisions, rewarded will be the top three point-earners across either three or four venues:

Light Super Stock (Tomah, Brandenburg, Langford, and Bowling Green), Super Stock Open (Benson, Tomah, and Bowling Green), Super Farm (Benson, Rockwell, Ionia, and Bowling Green), Pro Stock (Tomah, Chapel Hill, Brandenburg, and Bowling Green), Super Stock Diesel 4x4 (Benson, Tomah, Fort Recovery, and Bowling Green), Super Semi (Hutchinson, Tomah, Ionia, and Bowling Green), Light Unlimited (Tomah, Fort Recovery, and Bowling Green), and Modified (Tomah, Rockwell, and Bowling Green).

Fans can keep up to date on Shell Rotella Cup point standings at the conclusion of each session at www.NTPAPULL.com and are invited to check the site for regular “Cup Update” reports. Shell Rotella’s message will appear in 30-second spots in 13 episodes of “NTPA Championship Pulling” on RFD-TV presented by Case IH, and viewers will be kept abreast of Cup standings during each episode. Click here for a summary of the expanded 2018 Shell Rotella Cup schedule.

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

Hall-of-Famer John Hileman Has Passed

It is our sad duty to report the passing on Tuesday, May 29 of John Hileman, 77, of Rockford, Ohio. Mr. Hileman won five NTPA Grand National championships across the Modified and Two Wheel Drive divisions between 1978 and 1996 and was inducted into to the Pulling Hall of Fame in 2000.

Mr. Hileman's name first appeared in The Puller magazine in 1974 atop the results for the 5,000-lb. Modified class at the Indiana State Fair. His home base on the Buckeye and Hoosier state border lent itself to competing in both as well as on the Regional and Grand National circuits with his 454 Chevy/Cockshutt 40 combination, and over the course of his NTPA career he was named "Hooker of the Year" (i.e., the sport's most prolific competitor) four times.

In 1976, Mr. Hileman added a triple 427 Ford-powered Modified to the trailer to pull the heavy classes and would enter both tractors at 7,000 lbs. The next year, he and his brother Dave teamed to claim Region II titles at three weights---5, 7, and 9---with the single-engine tractor. Eventually, the brothers each competed with their own twin 454-powered Mods: Dave with "Buckeye Special" and John with "Old Red."

In 1978, John broke through for his first Grand National title, which came in the 7,200-lb. class. After taking second to good friends Dave and Ralph Banter in 1979, he reclaimed the 7 MOD in 1980. Then came a switch to triple-Rodeck power and with it back-to-back GN championships in the 7 in 1983 and 1984 and three straight in Region IV from 1983 through 1985. In all, Mr. Hileman laid claim to eight RN titles as well as three (two summer and one winter) TNT Pulling Circuit championships.

In 1988, he retired the "Old Red" name in favor of another color: "Ohio Gold." A Levi Garrett sponsorship changed the name for 1989, but it returned in 1990 and for the balance of his Modified career, which ended in 1995.

A decade earlier, Mr. Hileman had added "The Sultan," a Thunderbird-bodied Two Wheeler, to his arsenal. It, too, assumed Levi Garrett badging through 1989, when it was renamed "Golden Thunder." With it, Mr. Hileman won his fifth and final championship and Puller of the Year award in 1996.

The Hilemans' contributions to pulling extended well beyond the track. John served on the Association's Executive Board for several years, while his wife Ann wrote a monthly column for The Puller throughout the span of his pulling career. John was honored with the Mechanic of the Year Award in 1983, and the Hilemans were named the first-ever NTPA Family of the Year in 1985. Mr. Hileman's Hall-of-Fame inductee profile, which includes many personal reflections from Ann and from John on a bygone era in pulling, may be viewed here.

Son Johnny posted his thoughts on Facebook on his father's passing, which we have reprinted here. Also, amid a request for prayers after a recurrence of Mr. Hileman's brain cancer, Mr. Hileman's granddaughter Jacquee Eicher wrote to us in March. There, she explained what tractor pulling and its people meant to the man:

"I grew up attempting to count the hundreds of trophies and plaques that adorn my grandparents' home, proving that this was more than a hobby or job, this was a way of life.   My grandfather still talks so fondly of the people he met throughout those years and I can tell the deep love he still has for the sport and the community."

Surviving in addition to Ann are their two daughters and three sons:  Debbie (Jay) Julow, Janice (Michael) Stephenson, John II (Tammy), Rick, and Jim (Elena De La Rosa Blanco); grandchidren Scott Bowman, Jr., Steve (Maya) Bowman, Anna (Doug) Roolf, Jacquee Eicher, Ray Julow, Nathan Hileman, Nicholas Hileman, Alyssa Hileman, Santiago Hileman, and Marina Hileman; and great-grandchild, Melia Olry.  Also surviving is his brother David (Barb) and a sister-in-law, Cindy Hileman Alspaugh and her husband Ed.  Mr. Hileman's complete obituary may be found here.

Memorials may be directed to the Rockford United Methodist Church Kids’ Club, the Youth Group, the Henderson Project, the Memorial Fund, or the Building Project.  Condolences may be expressed at ketchamripley.com.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann, Dave, Johnny, Jacquee, and entire Hileman family in their time of sorrow.

Lawrenceburg, TN (MSPA) Cancelled Friday; Still on for Saturday

Due to inclement weather, the Mid-South Pullers Association season opener in Lawrenceburg, TN has been cancelled for Friday, June 1. The Saturday session remains on as scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Check midsouthpullers.net for updates.

Event entry will be open for limited hours beginning this afternoon at 4p. Roll cage inspection by Tom Jackson, originally scheduled for Friday, will instead be available on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.

John Hileman (1941-2018)

Hileman1John L. Hileman, 77, of Rockford, Ohio passed away Tuesday May 29th 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at Mercer Health in Coldwater, Ohio, where he had been a patient.

John was born on February 2, 1941, in Van Wert County, Ohio, the son of Isaac R. and Wilma (Swoveland) Hileman, both of whom preceded him in death. John graduated from Rockford High School and on June 11, 1960, he married the love of his life, Ann Myers Hileman, who survives in Rockford.

John lived his entire life in the Rockford area, where he farmed his land; he also worked at International Harvester for 17 years. He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, and served many roles in the life of the church. John was driven to succeed in whatever he has done, and he was always there to help people, no matter whom it was. For nearly a quarter of a century, John competed with the National Tractor Pulling Association, and was well known to many both for winning National Championships as well as for his sportsmanship and showmanship. He enjoyed traveling and did so extensively with Ann and his family visiting a wide range of places in the United States and Canada. He became a goodwill ambassador for the NTPA in Holland where he competed with his tractor and represented the sport overseas. He was especially proud and humbled as he stood there on the podium, holding an American Flag, as they raised the Flag of the United States overhead. So many wonderful things were shared with him and his family through his tractor pulling career.

Surviving in addition to his wife, Ann, are two daughters and three sons:  Debbie (Jay) Julow of Northville, Michigan; Janice (Michael) Stephenson of Fort Wayne, Indiana; John (Tammy) Hileman II of Celina, Ohio; Rick Hileman of Battle Creek, Michigan; and Jim (Elena De La Rosa Blanco) Hileman of Washington, D.C.  John loved the time he spent with his grandchildren:  Scott Bowman, Jr., Steve (Maya) Bowman, Anna (Doug) Roolf, Jacquee Eicher, Ray Julow, Nathan Hileman, Nicholas Hileman, Alyssa Hileman, Santiago Hileman, and Marina Hileman, along with one great grandchild, Melia Olry.  Also surviving is his brother, David (Barb) Hileman and a sister-in-law, Cindy Hileman Alspaugh, and her husband Ed of Decatur, Indiana.  Deceased is a brother, Dean Hileman.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Rockford United Methodist Church with Pastor Chip Steffy officiating.  Burial will follow at the Mt. Tabor Cemetery, located at 3666 N. Piqua Rd., Decatur, Indiana.  Friends may call at the Rockford United Methodist Church, located at 202 S. Franklin St. in Rockford, on Friday from 2-8 p.m., and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Memorials may be directed to the Rockford Methodist Church Kids’ Club, the Youth Group, the Henderson Project, the Memorial Fund, or to the Building Project. Condolences may be expressed at ketchamripley.com

(Reprinted from Facebook)

Thoughts from Johnny Hileman on His Father's Passing

May 29th was a glorious day in heaven---my father went Home to Heaven.

My hero will not be just down the road on the farm, but watching over me from heaven as fathers always do.

I will find it hard not to shed a tear when I think of my dad.

He was a huge part of me and it is very painful to let a huge part of you go.

My empty space of longing fills when I think of all the great friends we have made and the great family we share.

Thanks for being a Great Dad !!! Give lots of hugs to everyone in heaven.

I Love You.

Johnny

(Reprinted from Facebook)

Dan Utz, 1981 GN 52 MOD Champion, Has Died

The WPI/NTPA office has been notified of the passing on Monday, May 28 of Dan Utz, 65, of Bloomville, Ohio. Mr. Utz drove the "Thumper" twin Hemi-powered Modified in NTPA competition from 1980 to 1983, winning the Grand National 5,200-lb. class title in 1981.

Mr. Utz's rookie campaign with NTPA was memorable, as he won three times on the Grand National circuit (in Bowling Green, Ohio; Springfield, Missouri; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and finished in the top six in four weight classes including runner-up in the 5 MOD.

Then he had his best season in 1981, winning at Columbus and Davenport en route to the title as well as six times on the regional circuit. That same year, he was the U.S. Hot Rod Association's champion in 7,200-lb. Modified and finished fifth, eighth, and ninth in NTPA standings in the 7,200, 9,200, and 11,200, respectively. After another win in BG in 1982, he tallied a second USHRA championship in 1983.

A graduate of Buckeye Central High School, Mr. Utz attended the Ohio State University for one year before returning to the family farm. He was also in insurance sales for over two decades. He enjoyed other forms of motorsports, including drag racing, and loved to engage friends in Ford-versus-Chevy and John Deere-versus-Case IH debates. He and his wife Barb spent their summer weekends camping. He enjoyed visiting with his grandchildren and attending their school functions and sporting events. Mr. Utz was a member of the Crawford County Gideons and attended LifePoint Community Church in Plymouth.

In addition to Barb, Mr. Utz is survived his children Jeremy (Beth), Matthew (Theresa) Tharp, Robbie, and Jennifer (Justin) Jacobs; grandchildren Danny, Kenny, and Samantha Utz and Jay and Madison Tharp; brothers, Craig (Cathy) and Douglas (Ginny); sister, Beth (Bob) Warren; several brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. His complete obituary may be found here.

Visitation for family and friends will be Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at LifePoint Church, 260 Riggs Street, Plymouth, Ohio 44865 (419.687.4504); Mr. Utz's funeral service will follow. Memorials may be made to Buckeye Central Future Farmers of America and/or the Gideons; notes for the family may be left online at www.munzpirnstill.com.

We extend our condolences to the Utz family.

Working Weekends: O’Reilly to Reward Top Total Distance-Earners at Shell Rotella Cup Events

ShellRotellaCupWithOR 2018Worthington, Ohio---The Shell Rotella Cup now tours 10 events and rewards all 13 divisions on the NTPA’s Grand National circuit. And presenting sponsor O’Reilly Auto Parts will provide competitors with an extra incentive to burn it in at the end of each and every run.

The Official Auto Parts Store of the NTPA, O’Reilly will present a $100 gift card at each Cup event to each Cup-competing division’s “Hardest-Working Puller,” defined as the competitor whose GN-registered vehicle posts the greatest total credited distance over the course of its division’s appearances. (Primary-round distances are capped at the maximum track length, while pull-off distances are unlimited.) Total “Hardest-Working Puller” rewards will approach $5,000 on the season.

“It’s a much appreciated bonus, and it gives our fans and pullers yet another dimension to follow during this expanded Shell Rotella Cup series,” stated Gregg Randall, NTPA General Manager.

“We might assume that the leaders in Cup points will typically have the best weekends. But a guy or gal could come into an event maybe on the outside edges of Cup contention, and if they have a great couple of hooks, they’ll go home a winner.”
2018 Shell Rotella Cup events include Benson, North Carolina; Hutchinson, Minnesota; Tomah, Wisconsin; Rockwell, Iowa; Ionia, Michigan; Chapel Hill, Tennessee; Fort Recovery, Ohio; Brandenburg, Kentucky; Langford, New York; and Bowling Green, Ohio.

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.

Watch the 13th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. Stream RFD-TV on the Country Club service: www.rfdcc.com. Season 14 of "NTPA Championship Pulling" debuts Tuesday, August 21.

NTPA Live Streaming will produce internet broadcasts of 14 national events in 2018. Visit WatchNTPA.com to purchase live and on-demand access to individual events or the $299 Season Pass---that's less than $10 per session! NTPA Live Streaming's new interface includes "Live DVR" controls and adaptive bitrate technology to promote an interruption-free broadcast. Check the site for lists of streamed events and compatible internet devices.

Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries The Puller and the PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook.

Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.

For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.

2018 Contingency Program

Designed to benefit competitors on the Grand National and Regional National circuits, the NTPA’s Contingency Programs are sponsored by 17 great companies.

To qualify, a competitor must hold a current, 2018 NTPA License, register their vehicle(s), and submit the enrollment form. Decals for the sponsoring companies of a competitor’s choice must be displayed on both sides of the competition vehicle. Decals will be distributed by mail and at the Super National event in Tomah, Wisconsin. If you enroll a vehicle which has multiple drivers, please list all drivers on the application.

If you wish to enroll multiple vehicles for a single driver, please list all vehicles on the application. Please select the sponsors from whom you wish to receive contingency benefits; otherwise, you will be enrolled as having selected all sponsors. If benefits are to be issued to a person or company other than the name listed, please include this information. Enrollment forms must be received by the NTPA Office by Monday, June 25. Forms received after this date will be ineligible.

Questions? Contact Sarah Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 614-436-1761

2018 Contingency Signup
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GRAND NATIONAL

21314722 655421537986555 7806881554153437709 nBill Miller Engineering

Contact: Bill Miller- 775.887.1299 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MOD, LT UNL, TWD, FWD, MINI (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50, *$200/$100; $13,800)

To qualify for credit vouchers, competitors must provide proof of purchase within the last 24 months. If competitors run aluminum connecting rods OR pistons, competitors will receive $100 for first, $50 for second. *If competitors run both aluminum connecting rods AND pistons, competitors will receive $200 for first, $100 for second.

BMRS logo web

Brown & Miller Racing Solutions

Contact:Scott Hunter- 704.793.4319 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MINI (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50; $6,000)

Vouchers expire one year from issuance.

CDS 50Years 2

Columbus Motorsports

Contact: Brad Fry- 800.818.7867 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: SSO, SSD, PS, SEMI (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50; $8,550)

Current Columbus Motorsports (Columbus Diesel Supply) customers will be credited the amount won to their existing account. If you are not a current CDS customer, you must set up an account, and credits will be issued to that account. To celebrate our 50th anniversary and your customer loyalty, we are offering additional rewards. All first-/second-place winners who have signed up for Columbus Motorsports will be entered into a drawing to be held after the season ends. If the randomly selected winner is a current CDS customer, he will receive $500. If he is not, but becomes one, he will receive $250.

DIAMOND PISTON LOGO 2015

Diamond Pistons

Contact: Randy Curtis- 586.792.6220 x 106 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MOD, LT UNL, SSD, PS, SF, TWD, FWD, MINI, SSD 4x4 (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50 vouchers; $23,550)

GMS

Gene’s Machine Shop

Contact: Brent Payne- 513.756.9900 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: SSO, SSD, PS, LSS (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50; $8,100)

Gift certificates will be mailed and must be presented at the time of purchase.

 

Haisley Piston Logo Vector 1 08 09

Haisley Machine

Contact: Patty Haisley- 765.948.3164 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 toward the purchase of $1,000 or more/$50 toward the purchase of $500 or more; $27,750)

 

 

Harland Sharp

Harland Sharp

Contact: Steve Becker- 440.238.3260 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50 cash; $27,750)

To qualify for cash payment, must present proof of purchase within last 36 months. Must submit IRS Form W9 for payment.

humpco web

HUMPCO Manufacturing

Contact: Brent Payne- 513.756.9900 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MOD, LT UNL, SSO, SSD, PS, LSS, SF, TWD (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50; $18,300)

Gift certificates will be mailed and must be presented at the time of purchase.

logo msdwhitebkg

MSD Ignition

Contact: Holley Performance Contingency-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, LT UNL, MOD, TWD, FWD, MINI (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50 cash; $13,750)

To qualify for cash payment, competitors must use the following MSD Ignition products: MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor Wire Set (red or black) and submit an IRS Form W9.

PowerBoreweb

PowerBore Cylinder Sleeves

 Contact: Brent Boyle- 330.332.1566 ext. 140 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 voucher for sleeves toward a purchase of $1,000 or more/ $50 voucher for sleeves toward a purchase of $500 or more; $27,750)

Profab Color

Profab Machine, Inc.

Contact: Larry Peterson- 715.796.5230 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 cash/$50 cash; $27,750)

To qualify for cash payment, competitors must use the following Profab Machine, Inc. products:

                UNL, MOD, LT UNL: Must use a Profab crossbox and/or transmission

                MINI, SSO, SSD, PS, LSS, SF, TWD, SEMI: Must use a Profab transmission

                FWD, SSD 4x4: Must use a Profab transfer case and transmission

All other National competitors are eligible to receive certificates toward the purchase of Profab Machine, Inc. products using the following criteria: First Place: $100 certificate toward a purchase of $500 or more. Second Place: $50 certificate toward a purchase of $250 or more.

RP logo MSDP shield

Racepak LLC

Contact: Mary House- 949.709.1661 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MOD, LT UNL, SSO, SSD, PS, LSS, SF, TWD, FWD, MINI, SSD 4x4 (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50; $26,100)

Contingency payments issued upon verification of specified product usage and display of Racepak decals. Payment will not be issued to winner/runner-up if product is not installed or in use on vehicle. Requirements for payout include the use and verification of the following products: IQ3 Data Logger, G2X, G2X Pro or SmartWire. Payments cannot be issued without a completed W-9 form submitted to Mary House, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

scheiddieselLogo

Scheid Diesel Service Co., Inc.

Contact: Kent Crowder- 812.917.4980 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 toward the purchase of $1,000 or more/$50 toward the purchase of $500 or more; $27,750)

SCSLogo2

SCS Gearbox

Contact: Craig Sage- 419.483.7278 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total:   $50/$25; $13,875)

Competitors running SCS products (other than SCS Probell bellhousings) may redeem their vouchers for CASH. Competitors running SCS Probell bellhousings ONLY are eligible for vouchers toward future SCS purchases. Vouchers expire one year from issuance.

                MINI, SSO, SSD, LSS, PS, SF: Must run SCS Transmission OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                TWD: Must run SCS Transmission and Reverser OR SCS Aluminum Planetaries OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                FWD, SSD 4x4: Must run SCS Transfer Case and Transmission OR Complete Rear End Spool/Axles, OR Aluminum Front & Rear Hubs OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                SEMI: Must run SCS Mack Transmission Kit OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                MOD, UNL, LT UNL: Must run SCS Combing Box OR SCS Transmission OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

SmithBros color with checker 2

Smith Brothers Pushrods

Contact: Pierre Chango II- 800.367.1533 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: UNL, MOD, LT UNL, SSD, TWD (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50 vouchers; $11,100)

 

sonnys racing logo

Sonny’s Racing Engines

Contact: Kelly Ward- 434.239.1009 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: GN FWD (1st/2nd; Total: By event: Benson x 2, Hutchinson x 2, Tomah x 2, Monroe, Langford x 2, Norwalk x 2, Wauseon (12 hooks total): $200/$100. Chapel Hill x 2: $400/$200. Bowling Green x 2: $500/$300, BG overall top GN: $750. Top three 2018 GN points finishers with a Sonny’s engine: $1,000/$500/$250; $8,900.)

To qualify, competitors must be running a Sonny’s Engine.

STOP-FYRE®AKE Logo with Web 01 The World’s BEST Fire Extinguisher™

Contact: Patrick Smith- 507.258.4541 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total:   $200 toward the purchase of any STOP-FYRE® unit/$100 toward the purchase of any STOP-FYRE® unit. (Must be purchased from AKE Corporate. No expiration date.); $55,500)

To qualify, competitors must have our NEW Standard STOP-FYRE® unit (which now has a gauge) mounted on their pulling vehicle during the pulling event. This $600 unit can be purchased through AKE Safety Equipment for $500.

 

REGIONAL NATIONAL

Haisley Piston Logo Vector 1 08 09Haisley Machine

Contact: Patty Haisley- 765.948.3164 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 toward the purchase of $1,000 or more/$50 toward the purchase of $500 or more; $40,800)

 

 

Harland SharpHarland Sharp

Contact: Steve Becker- 440.238.3260 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100/$50 cash; $40,800)

To qualify for cash payment, must present proof of purchase within last 36 months. Must submit IRS Form W9 for payment.

 

PowerBorewebPowerBore Cylinder Sleeves

Contact: Brent Boyle- 330.332.1566 ext. 140 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 voucher for sleeves toward a purchase of $1,000 or more/ $50 voucher for sleeves toward a purchase of $500 or more; $40,800)

 

Profab ColorProfab Machine, Inc.

Contact: Larry Peterson- 715.796.5230 /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 certificate toward a purchase of $500 or more/$50 certificate toward a purchase of $250 or more; $40,800)

 

scheiddieselLogoScheid Diesel Service Co., Inc.

Contact: Kent Crowder- 812.917.4980 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $100 toward the purchase of $1,000 or more/$50 toward the purchase of $500 or more; $40,800)

 

SCSLogo2SCS Gearbox

Contact: Craig Sage- 419.483.7278 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total: $50/$25 vouchers; $20,400)

Competitors running SCS products (other than SCS Probell bellhousings) may redeem their vouchers for CASH. Competitors running SCS Probell bellhousings ONLY are eligible for vouchers toward future SCS purchases. Vouchers expire one year from issuance.

                MINI, HSS, LSS, PS, SF:   Must run SCS Transmission OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                TWD:     Must run SCS Transmission and Reverser OR SCS Aluminum Planetaries OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                FWD, SSD 4x4, PSD 4x4: Must run SCS Transfer Case and Transmission OR Complete Rear End Spool/Axles, OR Aluminum Front & Rear Hubs OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

                MOD:    Must run SCS Combing Box OR SCS Transmission OR SCS Probell Bellhousing

 

AKE Logo with Web 01STOP-FYRE® The World’s BEST Fire Extinguisher™

Contact: Patrick Smith- 507.258.4541 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Eligibility: All Regions, All Divisions (1st/2nd; Total:   $200 toward the purchase of any STOP-FYRE® unit/$100 toward the purchase of any STOP-FYRE® unit (Must be purchased from AKE Corporate. No expiration date.); $81,600)

To qualify, competitors must have our NEW Standard STOP-FYRE® unit (which now has a gauge) mounted on their pulling vehicle during the pulling event. This $600 unit can be purchased through AKE Safety Equipment for $500.

Enderle Pull-Off Implications of Pinetops Postponement

As the season-opening Pinetops 300 has been tentatively rescheduled for late September, Raleigh 2017 stands as the only Region IV event to count toward qualifying for the 2018 Enderle Pull-Off.

Four divisions will have 2018 Enderle qualifiers based on results from Raleigh 2017: Heavy Super Stock, Super Farm, Light Pro Stock, and Modified.

Three divisions---Two Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive, and Modified Mini---will not have 2018 Enderle qualifiers. Across Raleigh and Pinetops, the Minis had only one Regional National hook scheduled, and rules require two or more scheduled hooks on a path to determine a qualifier. Meanwhile, the TWDs' and FWDs' hooks at Raleigh 2017 were invitational and thus do not count toward qualifying. The truck classes would have had qualifiers based on their two open hooks at Pinetops, but no track action occurred, so the berths will remain vacant.

Looking ahead, divisions participating in the 2019 Enderle Pull-Off will now have three qualifying events in Region IV: Pinetops 2018 and Raleigh 2018 this fall and Pinetops 2019 next spring. 

Can't get enough of the Enderle Pull-Off? Visit the Road to the Enderle Standings page for the up-to-the-minute status of all the great races. And check NTPAPULL.com for "Road to the Enderle" Traffic Reports beginning at midseason.

Pinetops 300 Postponed; Tentatively Rescheduled for September

Due to inclement weather expected to impact the Pinetops, North Carolina area throughout the weekend, the 42nd annual Pinetops 300, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, has been cancelled.

The 2018 event has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 28-29.

As the cancellation announcement comes more than eight hours prior to the start of the event, entry will not open on-site on the originally scheduled dates, and no Regional National points will be awarded this weekend.

Check NTPAPULL.com for updates.

 

O'Reilly Executive Tom Conquergood Has Died

The WPI/NTPA office is shocked and saddened to learn of the death on Saturday, May 5 of Tom Conquergood, 51, of Springfield, Missouri and Glasgow, Kentucky. Mr. Conquergood was the Events Motorsports Manager for O'Reilly Auto Parts and in this capacity worked with members of our staff to promote O'Reilly's involvement in NTPA truck and tractor pulling.

Visitations will be held in Springfield on Monday, May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and in Glasgow on Thursday, May 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. His funeral service is scheduled for Friday, May 11 at 2 p.m. in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Details and Mr. Conquergood's full obituary may be found here.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Tom's wife Marla and the Conquergood and O'Reilly Auto Parts families.

Contact Info

ADDRESS:
National Tractor Pullers Association
6155-B Huntley Road,
Columbus, OH 43229


PHONE: (614) 436-1761

FAX: (614) 436-0964