Story by Darren Heartwell
Charles Pelletier made history in 2017 by becoming the first Quebec native to win a Grand National title. Charles said he is a “lucky man! Very proud” to be the first competitor from his province to reach the sport’s pinnacle. The 2016 GN Rookie of the Year started by pulling farm tractors. His first pulling tractor was an Allis-Chalmers D21.
About five years ago, Charles and his wife Linda were at a pull watching Pro Stock tractors. He told Linda, “I will have one someday.” Linda replied “Why not now?” so they decided to build a Pro Stock.
Charles stated “This is my life now. I’m never back home, never working. The kids, Elsa and Jonathan, take care of my business and allow me to be here in the U.S. pulling. All summer long, my life is dedicated to pulling!”
Pelletier started the season strong with two runner-up finishes in Benson, North Carolina at the Mule City 300. He notched another second-place finish on Friday night in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Saturday night was rained out.
He finished fifth in both hooks at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin but fell out of the points lead. Third- and second-place finishes at the Lions Super Pull of the South in Chapel Hill, Tennessee put him back atop the standings.
The first hook in Brandenburg, Kentucky could have been one of the low points of the season. Pelletier was disqualified for going out of bounds and received last-place points. He said that this was actually one of the highlights of the season because he realized we have to be “sharp and pay attention to detail. Be professional; it goes so fast.” He bounced back from this setback to finish sixth on Saturday night.
Pelletier said, “Russell and Josh Shipley worked hard to change the whole tractor from the front hook to the drawbar. We had to figure out how to weight it and how to drive it. We finally found the right weight and made some changes to the setup, and it worked for me.”
He won the event in Mount Sterling, Illinois to gain the lead permanently. “CP Dream II” was in the runner up spot in Salem, Illinois. Then it was on to Ohio for four hooks. He finished fourth at the Erie County Fair in Sandusky and sixth in Napoleon. At the National Tractor Pulling Championships, where he won the ring in 2016, he finished 16th on Friday night and sixth on Saturday night. He began to open up a larger lead with a win and a second in Hudsonville, Michigan. He finished seventh at the Friday Night Spectacular in Wellington, Ohio before the event in Canton, Ohio was rained out.
The dream came true for the Pelletier family in Sandwich, Illinois. Charles parked the beautiful John Deere in eighth place in the afternoon session. He finished second to clinch the Championship in the evening session.
Charles would like to thank his wife, Linda: “She is the reason we do this, she does a monster job keeping the tractor clean and inspires us to keep going.”
He would also like thank his children—--Elsa, Jonathan and Jennie—--and Russell and Josh Shipley at Shipley Tractor.
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.
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