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 whose values totaled $51,400. Such were the prizes earned by competitors in the National Tractor Pullers Association's Grand National series who had earned the first, second, or third-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? (There's still time.)
Below, we congratulate the top three finishers in each Shell Rotella Cup division and synopsize their championship-caliber performances in Bowling Green.
Light Super Stock
The tracks were tough and the setups were 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 costly on that second pass. His weakened machine 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 earn 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 on his "Crop Doctor" International 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 overall GN champion in Bowling Green: Russ Nichols' "On the Edge." And the first to congratulate him? Second-place finisher and good friend Bryan McDonald. But the man from Maryland had a pretty nice consolation prize: His "Suffering Sanity" claimed the Cup by five tallies following a pair of top-10s in the 52-truck fields. Oh, and the defending champion Randy Petro did OK, too, by scoring a win on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile Roger Simon's "Simon Sez Chevy" was the Hardest-Working Puller.
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 then out the clock on his nearest rivals. One of those is very near: brother John T. and their "Young Gun" team truck claimed a victory, the HWP, and the ring in BG. The 13-time champion Holman Brothers were victorious on Friday afternoon to surge into third with "4 Play."
1. Peyton Davis (Tappahannock, Virginia)/Punisher
2. John T. Davis (Tappahannock, Virginia)/Young Gun
3. Jim and Paul Holman (Wauseon, Ohio)/4 Play
Super Stock Diesel 4x4
Shane Kellogg played his cards just right. Three wins (including one in Bowling Green) among four 30-point performances provided his "Trump" (HWP) with a strong hand and a solid positioning for a Grand National championship to be determined in Sandwich, Illinois in a couple weeks. Todd Dugan and "Angry Farmer Products" took over for Carl Atley to finish second in Cup after a midseason transaction.
1. Shane Kellogg (Kenton, Ohio)/Trump
2. Todd Dugan (Bladensburg, Ohio)/Angry Farmer Products
3. Van Haisley (Fairmount, Indiana)/Rock Hard Ram
"Mother Trucker" had them all in the side mirror after its Tomah sweep, but Pat Eilen and "Just Passin' Thru in Class" came back to tie with a double-win of their own in near-hometown Hutchinson. Then, Dean Holicky's Peter-built its lead over the final three hooks by a point each in Rockwell and BG, second-place finishes all, to claim the hardware and the season's last HWP.
1. Dean Holicky (Montgomery, Minnesota)/Mother Trucker
2. Pat Eilen (Hampton, Minnesota)/Just Passin' Thru in Class
3. Brian Elithorpe (Bridport, Vermont)/Nikki's Nightmare
"Funny Lil' Farmall" put a serious whooping on the Mini competition throughout the 2019 Cup series. Though it won only once---at Tomah---Ken Veney's IH-grilled dragster cruised to the Cup by 17.5 points by placing in the top four each time out including a fourth and second in Wood County for the ring and HWP. Adam Koester's "Walk the Line" and Reese Shelton's "Cuttin' Up" were the closest finishers.
1. Ken Veney (Wadsworth, Ohio)/Funny Lil' Farmall
2. Adam Koester (Wadesville, Indiana)/Walk the Line
3. Reese Shelton (New London, North Carolina)/Cuttin' Up
In a division with seven regular competitors, the season-ending awards were pretty evenly distributed. Steve Bollinger's "Money Pit Screwed Up" earned the BG ring and Hardest-Working Puller Award, Doug Theobald's "Full-Blown Wicked" claimed his family's first GN championship, and Keith Wayson's "Super Bee" won the Cup in a tiebreaker over Theobald.
1. Keith Wayson (Harwood, Maryland)/Super Bee
2. Doug Theobald (Shelbyville, Indiana)/Full-Blown Wicked
3. Brandon Simon (Farley, Iowa)/Simon Sez
Bret Berg's "Money Maker" (HWP) lived up to its name. It won outright in Tomah and in a three-way tie in Rockwell to get off to a strong start in the six-hook Cup tour and cruised to the title by six points. Jeff Rose had a fine first season in the seat of dad Ricky's "Giddy Up" Mod in its three-engine configuration, and wily veteran Bob Jostock's "Wild Child" was steady as ever with four top-fives in six Cup hooks.
1. Bret Berg (Farmington, Minnesota)/Money Maker
2. Jeff Rose (Glencoe, Minnesota)/Giddy Up
3. Bob Jostock (Lapeer, Michigan)/Wild Child
Joe Eder's "Polar Air" took flight at midseason with wins in Rockwell and Chapel Hill among four straight in overall GN competition. Though Eder closed out the tour outside the top five twice in Bowling Green, "Air" was still seven points above the Saturday night-winning "Uncle Sam" of Wayne Purser and eight over four-time champion Chuck Knapp's "Screamin' D." Grayson Shelton's "Ruckus" put together three awesome passes to win the HWP.
1. Joe Eder (North Collins, New York)/Polar Air
2. Wayne Purser (Norman, Oklahoma)/Uncle Sam
3. Chuck Knapp (Charles City, Iowa)/Screamin' D
Photos by Tracy Waters/Nitrozilla.com (LSS, SSO, PS, TWD, FWD, SEMI, MINI, LT UNL, UNL) and MoorePhotosMN.com (SSD, SF, SSD 4x4, MOD).
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 was 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.
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