Oh, to own a truck stop restaurant in Indiana. NTPA pullers will be dining on the road this week as the tour takes them---and us---to stops in the fellow Region II states of Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois.
Cassopolis, Michigan is first up on Tuesday, August 4 at 7 p.m. Region II Super Farms, Two Wheel Drives, and Modifieds will join Wolverine Heavy Supers at the Cass County Fair Nationals. Expected to compete in defense of their 2014 Region II titles are Jon and Ty Mowrey of Milford, Illinois (Super Farm, "Deal-N-Deere") and Don Deane of Trafalgar, Indiana (Modified, "Plumbers Nitemare"). Winners of the 2014 Cass County Fair Nationals were Lee Butts of Fairgrove, Michigan (SF, "Press On"); Sean Blagrave of Ackerly, Texas (TWD, "Wild Horse"); and Deane. Point leaders in the competing regional classes entering the week are Shane Masten and Arthur Whaley of Niles, Michigan (SF, "Thumpin' Pumpkin"), Marty Clock of Hartford City, Indiana (TWD, "Just Like Clockwork"), and Deane.
A ride across the northeast corner of Indiana separates Tuesday's and Wednesday's venues. At 7 p.m., Eaton, Ohio calls on the Two Wheelers as well as regional Heavy Supers, Light Pro Stocks, and Minis. The Preble County Fair Pull will begin at 7 p.m. Defending division champs are Ed Johnson of Alliance, Ohio (Heavy Super Stock, "Big Johnson") and Tom Shafer of Glenford, Ohio (Light Pro Stock, "The Boss"). Winners of the 2014 Preble County Fair Pull were Greg Lamb of Madison, Indiana (LT PS, "Black Viper"); Sean Blagrave of Ackerly, Texas (TWD, "Wild Horse"); and Bruce Slagh of Zeeland, Michigan (MINI, "Show No Mercy"). This season's point leaders at the start of the week are Kent Payne of Veedersburg, Indiana (HSS, "Super Rooster"), Scott Webb of Beverly, Ohio (LT PS, "Ragin' Red"), and Dave Lacey of Thedford, Ontario (MINI, "Triple Play Unchained").
Then, catch I-75 north to Monroe, Michigan for the Monroe County Fair Pull on Thursday, August 6 at 7 p.m. featuring GN Super Stock Diesels, Super Semis, and Modifieds along with RN Super Farms and Minis. The champs of 2014 were Steve Burge of Lynn, Indiana (Super Stock Diesel, "Lock-N-Load"); Dean Holicky of Montgomery, Minnesota (Semi, "Mother Trucker"); and Doug Lively of State Center, Iowa (Modified, "Bank Robber"). Burge and Holicky currently lead their divisions in 2015, while Brad Benedict of Marion, Ohio ("Non-Cents") tops the Mod standings. Winners of the 2014 Monroe Pull were Chuck Knapp of Charles City, Iowa (MOD, "Screamin' D") and Dave Whelan of Tipton, Michigan (SF, "My Last Excuse"). Fans at the pull can see it all in living color on the NTPA's LED Scoreboard.
Then, it's "Keep those big wheels rollin'"---on the road and down the track---as the Western Illinois Grand Nationals arrive on Friday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Unlimited Modifieds team with Super Stock Open, Pro Stock, and Super Farm Tractors. 2014 title winners were Adam Bauer of Paton, Iowa (Unlimited, "Cross Threaded"), Terry Blackbourn of Shullsburg, Wisconsin (Super Stock Open, "Extremely Armed & Dangerous"); Danny Schmucker of Louisville, Ohio (Pro Stock, "Rampage"); and Rob and Andrew Trowbridge of South Haven, Michigan (Super Farm, "Disturbed"). Winners of the 2014 Western Illinois Nationals were Schmucker; Russ Freeze of Manchester, Tennessee (SF, "Deere Traxx"); and Dave Archer of Marietta, Ohio (UNL, "Pioneer"), while current point leaders are Schmucker, Blackbourn, Knapp (UNL, "Screamin' D"), and the Prible Family of Bluffton, Indiana (SF, "Top Priority"). And adding to the fan experience will be the NTPA's Video Scoreboard.
For two of the Mt. Sterling classes (and the NTPA videoboard), it's a brief journey to the next destination, the Marion County Fair NTPA Grand Nationals in Salem, Illinois. The 7 p.m. start time will bring to the line Open Supers, Diesel Supers, and Pro Stocks. Last year's event winners in Salem were Brent Payne of Hamilton, Ohio (SSO, "GALOT II"); Esdon Lehn of Dayton, Minnesota (SSD, "Red Line Fever"); and Robby Lemke of Helenville, Wisconsin (PS, "New Generation Plus").
But it's on to Wapakoneta, Ohio for the double-duty Modifieds as the RRR Tire Moon City Nationals drop the first hook at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 8. The Mods, along with Grand National Two- and Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks and a Pro National class of Light Pros, are sure to entertain the Auglaize County Fair crowd. 2014 champions included Jessie Petro of Camden, Ohio (Two Wheel Drive, "Buckeye Hauler") and Jason Brammer of Donovan, Illinois (Four Wheel Drive, "Corn Fed"), while winners of the 2014 Moon City Nationals were Doug Theobald of Shelbyville, Indiana (TWD, "Wicked"); Paul Holman of Wauseon, Ohio (FWD, "4 Play"); Lively; and Justin Fleck of Minster, Ohio (LT PS, "IH Crazy"). Truck class point leaders entering competition are Petro and the Holman Brothers. Look for the LED scoreboard.
Meanwhile, it's all things great and small in Morley, Michigan, as the Trucking Capital hosts Super Semis along with regional Minis and state Supers beginning at 8 p.m. at the Celebration on the Pond.
And as long as we're celebrating, let's uncork the Champaign County Fair Pull in Urbana, Ohio on a Monday night this year: August 10 at 7 p.m. Light Pros and Super Farms will share the Enderle Pull-Off host track with Super Stock Diesel Four Wheel Drives and Modifieds. Shafer and Brian Diekman of Genoa, Ohio (MOD, "Rat Poison") won the 2014 Urbana classes that return; Carl Atley (SSD 4x4, "Lethal Weapon") was the 2014 Region II champion. (And the LED scoreboard will be in attendance as well.)
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 2015 NTPA Championship Pulling Circuit is sponsored in part by Case IH, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Power Service Products, Alliance Tire, Enderle Fuel Injection, MAC Trailer, Cow Tales, International Truck, Ag Protect 1, Shell Rotella, STOP-FYRE®, Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, Columbus Diesel Supply, Heritage Iron, Hypermax Engineering, Midwest Wheel Inc., the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio, PowerBore Cylinder Sleeves, Profab Machine Inc., and Riverside Engine Inc.
NTPA Championship Pulling presented by Case IH currently airs three times weekly on RFD-TV: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. EST, Wednesdays at 5 a.m. EST, and Mondays at 12:30 a.m. EST. Season 11 of NTPA Championship Pulling presented by Case IH premieres on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 and repeats during the scheduled air times listed above. RFD-TV is available through DirecTV (345) and Dish Network (231), along with Time Warner, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or log on to www.rfdtv.com.
Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries NTPA’s official monthly magazine, The Puller, in each of its 650+ locations. The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories and related pulling information. You will also see the NTPA’s PULL! souvenir program available in TSC stores everywhere.
For more information about the NTPA, visit www.ntpapull.com, www.facebook.com/ntpapulling, www.twitter.com/ntpapull, or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.