Worthington, Ohio---The Cup has been claimed.
Beautiful, sunny skies beckoned pulling fans from across the nation---and competitors from around the globe---to northwestern Ohio for the 53rd annual National Tractor Pulling Championships. And its world-famous winners circle, situated trackside and directly in front of the venerable Wood County Fairgrounds grandstand, was the site of not only 130 trophy and 13 Championship Ring awards but also of 39 Shell Rotella Cup check presentations. Such were the prizes earned by competitors in the National Tractor Pullers Association's Grand National series who had earned the most points across the 2019 Shell Rotella Cup tour, which included stops in Benson, North Carolina; Tomah, Wisconsin; Hutchinson, Minnesota; Rockwell, Iowa; Chapel Hill, Tennessee; Ionia, Michigan; and Bowling Green, Ohio.
In NTPA Championship 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 who achieves the greatest distance is victorious. At events across the United States, elite competitors campaign their specialized machines---which resemble farm tractors, trucks, and dragsters---for chances at purse money and precious points toward end-of-season championships.
In 2019, the Association is proud to complete its first half century as the world's original and number-one sanctioning organization for premier-level truck and tractor pulling contests. Fierce, fair pulling competition and a family-friendly, patriotic atmosphere are hallmarks of NTPA Championship Pulling. If you haven't experienced the rumbles, roars, and rivalries of the heaviest sport on wheels, why not give it a try this summer?
Below, we congratulate the top three finishers in each Shell Rotella Cup division and synopsize their championship performances in Bowling Green.
Light Super Stock
The track was tough and the setup was elusive for the 6,000-lb. multi-turbocharged division, but Adam Spiegelberg, whose Detonator Black had led the standings all season long, turned in a second and a first to clinch the Cup and the final Hardest-Working Puller weekend total-distance award of the season.
1. Adam Spiegelberg (Weyauwega, Wisconsin)/Detonator Black
2. Jordan Spiegelberg (Weyauwega, Wisconsin)/Detonator Red
3. Larry Phillips (Vine Grove, Kentucky)/Extremely Insane
Super Stock Diesel
Jody Ross qualified his family's "Triple Bypass" for a three-tractor pull-off in the Diesels' first weekend appearance, but a malfunctioning sensor proved to be costly on that second pass. He could only budge the sled inches in the Supers' second hook but his Cup point lead was substantial enough to withstand the hit. Brandon Hunt's "Liv'n a Dream" took a first and a second to win the HWP.
1. Jody and Colin Ross (Waynesburg, Pennsylvania)/Triple Bypass
2. Kent Payne (Veedersburg, Indiana)/Super Rooster
3. Esdon Lehn (Dayton, Minnesota)/Diggin' Fever
Super Stock Open
The GALOT Motorsports Team proved it was the class of the field once more in Bowling Green by ending their six-hook season (which coincided with the Cup tour) with a win each. Brent Payne and "Get a Load of That" won the HWP, but John Strickland and "Get a Load of That II" proved to be victorious in the series.
1. John Strickland (Clinton, North Carolina)/Get a Load of That II
2. Brent Payne (Hamilton, Ohio)/Get a Load of That
3. Jordan Lustik (Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania)/Silver Bullet
Jon Silsby roared back to first place on Saturday after a mid-pack Friday finish to win the Cup by six points over the Ferris family's "Absolutely Nuts." Ryan Anderson's "Checkin' Out" used a ring- and HWP-winning weekend to edge out the Ferrises' other tractor, "Assorted Nuts," for third.
1. Jon Silsby (Vicksburg, Michigan)/Crop Doctor
2. Brady Ferris (Addison, Michigan)/Absolutely Nuts
3. Ryan Anderson (Hoopeston, Illinois)/Checkin' Out
"Hot when it counted" is how to describe Darrin Hunt's season aboard his "D2 Pro Stock Edition." His Cup-and-down season saw each of his three GN victories to date come in Shell Rotella action including his Saturday night triumph in BG. Jason Svonavec's "Bootlegger" took the HWP, though, by just over a foot of total distance.
1. Darrin Hunt (Herndon, Kentucky)/D2 Pro Stock Edition
2. Jason Svonavec (Rockwood, Pennsylvania)/Bootlegger
3. Robby and Esdon Lemke (Helenville, Wisconsin)/New Generation Plus
Two Wheel Drive
The wheelstanding division crowned its 2019 champion in Bowling Green: Russ Nichols' "On the Edge." And the first to congratulate him? Second-place finisher and good friend Bryan McDonald. But he had a pretty nice consolation prize: His "Suffering Sanity" claimed the Cup by five tallies.
1. Bryan McDonald (Kennedyville, Maryland(/Suffering Sanity
2. Russ Nichols (Lore City, Ohio)/On the Edge
3. Randy Petro (Camden, Ohio)/Kathy's Komplaint
Four Wheel Drive
Peyton Davis has been methodically dealing out the pain this year. His "Punisher" stormed out to an early Cup lead on the strength of two wins and has run out the clock on his nearest rivals. One of those is very near: brother John T. and their "Young Gun" team truck scored a win and the ring in BG. Another is the 13-time champion Holman Brothers, who were victorious on Friday afternoon to surge into third.
1. Peyton Davis (Tappahannock, Virginia)/Punisher
2. John T. Davis (Tappahannock, Virginia)/Young Gun
3. Jim and Paul Holman (Wauseon, Ohio)/4 Play