Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Ideas

As the winter months drawl near and we are in the middle of the long drought in pulling, I would like to cover some topics of interest to the pulling fans.  If you have an idea of a story or puller you would like for me to highlight please let me know and I will gladly contact them to prepare a story for the blog.  Feel free to submit ideas to me at milesbeyond300@gmail.com. In the mean time you can visit the Pro Pulling League site to see the Champions Tour Champions story each week.  Thanks and Happy Holidays to you all from Milesbeyond300!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thoughts

The holiday season is among us as we have just finished Thanksgiving!  Alot has gone on since my last post, as I have been on tremendous travel for work, my wife and I bought a house, and the NFMS lists were released.  I was really hoping to be able to release each of my lists for the classes but did not get the opportunity to do so before the incredibly fast Farm Show Committee released the list. 

My initial reaction to the list was that the committee rewarded pullers for a full body of work in the pulling season, competitors that suffered breakage or missed some of the bigger hooks did not get into the big Dance! 

When truly breaking down the classes and the competitors accepted there are a large amount of surprises to me based on what my original predictions were. 

My first step to determining who got in was based on the previous years final results.  In most cases my step was right but there were several folks who were in finals last year but were not accepted in 2011.
DSS- 3 of 6 from Finals are back, Lehn must not have applied, Gettinger's sold their tractor, and Burge was not accepted not sure if he applied or not.
ULSS-5 of 6 from Finals are back, Joe K's Taking Care of Business Deere is not in in 2011.
TWD-7 of 8 from Finals are back, Ryan Writsel did not get in, however his father did after a great season in Ohio. 
SF- All 8 Finalists are back, with 6 of them competing on Friday Night.  That session will be a very cut throat class, as Russell Counce the NTPA Champion is in there, while PPL's runner-up Tom Gallitz will look to add another Red Tractor to the finals. 
PS-8 of 12 Finalists are back, The Boyds did not apply after deciding to take a break from the sport, John Burton, converted his tractor to Limited Pro for pulling is Missouri, Stuart Maize, suffered breakage early in the season and missed several hooks.  Finally Luke Kuelers was not accepted after two years in at Louisvlle, I am not sure he applied. 
MOD- 4 of 6 Finalists are back with Shawn Swearingen and Ken Veney not being accepted.  I am not sure Veney applied after hurting his tractor mid season at Fairfield, Illinois and deciding to get everything ready for 2011 season.  Swearingen did apply but was not out on the full circuit in the summer of 2010. 

Other interesting observations from the NFMS Lists-
Thursday Two Wheel Drive Class is filled with NFMS Rookies, the committee punched tickets for many new pullers over the season, but I count 7 competitors of the class of 15 that have never pulled on the famed grounds of Freedom Hall. 
Mark Austin
Renee Theobald
Cole Zajicek
John Mumma
Brad Campbell
Chris Smith
Jeff Writsel
*I do not believe any of these competitors have been to NFMS

Multi Truck Teams, with the same drivers were not rewarded as the Petro's and Long's who both earned the right to pull did not get there third vehicles in.  I agree that the same driver should not get to compete in multiple vehicles but the other classes such as LSS and ULSS have two tractors with the same driver.  I guess it is based on the number of applicants and their full body of work. 

The DSS Truck class has several trucks in the class that do not run in the class over the summer.  I am anxious to see how the varying rules of pulling organizations will all be added together in this class.  

As the winter is among us, I find myself already excited to get the pulling season underway.  I look forward to Gordyville when I will be among the Diesel and my friends in pulling! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lights Super Stocks at the NFMS!

The Light Super Stock class continues to grow in popularity on the National scene, as well as the regional and state level.  The 2010 NTPA Grand National Circuit truly showed that Esdon Lehn is the King of Smoke when he introduced a new light super (Redline Light) and scared all the Alky boys with his potent IH.  I had the distinct pleasure of watching Kevin Lynn pilot Redline Light in Brandenburg, Kentucky and my mouth dropped to the ground several times over the weekend when Kevin was hooked to the sled in competition.  What Esdon's tractor proved is that a smoker can still fight with the Alky boys, and with that I am wondering how many smokers may be added to the docket for Saturday Afternoon.  The 2011 season looks to be very exciting for the Light Super Stock Class, as the Pro Pulling League has announced they will run a Champions Tour points race next season.  I again changed my rubric/criteria slightly for the Light Super Stock portion of the NFMS!  Filling the class was no easy task as there are numerous competitors that earned the right but will unfortunately not receive an invitation. 

My rubric- Unedited!
1) Start with the Saturday Night Qualifiers
2) NTPA and Pro Pulling League Top 5 Competitors
3) Points winners from the : Outlaws, Badger State, Ohio State, BOB, ITPA
4) NTPA and Pro Pulling League Top 10 Finishers
5) Region Winners for NTPA/Pro Pulling League
6) Previous Years finish at NFMS
7)Champions Provisional
8)Points Champions from other state and regional pulling associations
9)High Points Finishers from the Outlaws, Badger State, Ohio State, ITPA, BOB


Criteria 1 (Typically I would take the finalists from Saturday Night, in this instance I took the top 5 and put them in the field)
1)Brian Korth Considered Armed and Dangerous
2)Kevin Lynn 504 Rocket
3)Team Red Thunder (Norby/Pichler/Schmidtknecht)
4)Larry Phillips Extremely Insane
5)Larry Phillips Insanity

Criteria 2 (NTPA Top 5 in Points)
6)Brian Korth MX210 NTPA Champion
7)Esdon Lehn Redline Light NTPA 2nd
8)Mark Peissig The Bomb NTPA 4th

Criteria 3 (Outlaw/Mid South Pullers/ ITPA)
9)Chuck/Cory Schlueter Barn Buddy Outlaws Champion
10)Kurt Kessler JD 4430 ITPA Champion
11)Kenneth Hale Nite Trouble Mid South Pullers Champion

Criteria 4 ( I altered this to taking the NTPA/PPL top 8, rather than top 10, since there is not PPL points race we move on to the next step )
12)Jason Irvin Drunkin Punkin NTPA 6th
13)Rex Kuhn Git R Done NTPA 8th

Criteria 5 (NTPA/PPL Region Winners )
14)Travis Morphet Diehard Diesel NTPA Region II Champion

Criteria 6 (The rest of my rubric is null with the exception of step 9 which is reserved for high points finishes from organizations like Outlaws, Mid South, ITPA, BOB, etc)
I made a decision for spot # 15, out of a large pool of tractors
15)Bob Barbee Stormy (Bowling Green Top 5)

I chose to put Bob Barbee in the field over several highly competitive tractors based on his performance against the Grand National Field at Bowling Green.

Others Competitors that I considered!
Jay Fuqua Tennessee Tracks (2nd Mid South Pullers)
Mike Wilhite Blue Blazes (A proven threat on the National Circuit)
Todd Maedge Monkey Mayhem (NTPA 10th in Points/ITPA State Fair Champion)
Glen Frese Red Ink (2nd Outlaws)
Justin Hoffman Red Power (3rd Outlaws)
Al Koch The Entertainer (A legend in the class)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NFMS Super Farm Predictions !

Here you go Smoke Fans, feel free to leave your feedback!
Remaining true to my rubric, I followed along my steps almost identically as I have in previous years but I realized that it is not always going to be spot on accurate like I first believed.  In Criteria 4 of the Super Farm Class I maded a few amendments, and cut the PPL/NTPA Top 10 to 8.  In doing that it freed up three spots for me to look further, as Josh Miley PPL #10 was already a qualifer from Criteria 1.  Super Farm has alot more tractors to choose from than the Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks as sanctioning bodies around the U.S. offer some form of Super Farm Class.  I chose to remain loyal to the larger sanctioning bodies for the bulk of the numbers based on the fact that last year PPL had 10 of the 30, while NTPA had 9 of the 30 when including their Regions. However, I did stick to my guns and provide a Champion from many sanctioning bodies a bid over a lower finishing competitor on a Grand National or Champions Tour Circuit.  Next class I will take a guess at is the Light Super Stock Tractor Class

Super Farm Class Predictions
Criteria 1
1)Wayne Lamoureux Fear the Deere
2)Ryan Salenbien Never Satisfied
3)Nick Skaar Screamin Norwegian
4)Darrin Hunt Dreamin Too
5)Justin Wagler Real Deere
6)Shawn Wildermuth The Replacement Deere
7)Mark Roberts Spankys Toy
8)Josh Miley High Maintenan$e
Criteria 2
9)Russell Counce Dixie Deere NTPA #1
10)Brown/Wells Green Reaper NTPA #4
11)Russ Freeze Deere Trax NTPA #5
12)Al Wright Runnin Red Hot PPL #1
13)Tom Gallitz Runnin in the Red PPL #2
14)Don Slama Fast and Furious PPL #4
15)Steve Kriedeman Pale Rider PPL #5
Criteria 3
16) Scott Holtgrew Deerestroyer Outlaws Champion
17)Randy Barreau Tool Time Badger State Champion
18)Brian/Don Rhoades Gamblin Man OSTPA Champion
19)Greg Lamb Black Viper BOB Champion
20)Larry Dean Never Enough Mid South Champion
21)Darren Pinkesh Rabble Rowser ITPA Champion
Criteria 4 (Changed Slightly- took top 8 finishers from PPL/NTPA)
22)Dean Wildermuth The Replacement Deere II NTPA #6
23)Jamie Morrow Yes Deere NTPA #7
24)Travis Wisel Irrational Behavior NTPA #8
26)John Kutz Diggin Deere PPL #6
27)Blain Fraker Agitator PPL #7
28)The Hartman’s International Addiction PPL #8
29) Dean Hollicky Big Green Tractor NTPA Region III Champion/Pullers of Minnesota Champion
30)Sietsema/Smits Wolverine Deere NTPA Region II Champion

Others in Contention
Tim Perry Road Gear Deere Pacific Tractor Puller’s Association Champion (Brother Jeff has been in the last several years) All the way from Hillmar, California
Harley Sietsema Wolverine Deere III Wolverine Pullers Champion
Adam Cox NTPA Region IV
David Pedley Wide Loose Deere NTPA Region V        
Taylor VanBeek Extreme Pleasure Outlaws Runner Up
Gerald Gerlach GForce Badger State Runner Up
Jerry Wisel Constant Conflict NTPA #9
Chad Darlage Showtime PPL #9

Thursday, October 21, 2010

National Farm Machinery Predictions

Every year hundreds of competitors send their applications to the National Farm Machinery Show committee for review.  I have always loved the excitement that swarm's around the message boards in November as pullers start to receive their letters of acceptance.  Every year making the field becomes increasingly harder as competitors from around the world are now trying their hand at the "Big Show" of pulling.  In 2009, I sat down to devise a rubric of how I thought the fields would be set and who would make it in based on their seasons achievements. 

The first limiting factor is I truly have no idea who submitted an application and who did not. Secondly, I have no idea how the NFMS Committee evaluates the competitor pool and what they put the most emphasis on when reviewing applications.  Third how will they navigate multiple truck teams.  (Note- If the committee caps multiple truck teams my rubric will be incorrect)

The rubric I followed got me relatively close last year in my estimates of who would be accepted.  Certainly, I did not get everyone correct but I was pleased with the results.  Over the next few weeks I am going to release my guesses as to who I think  matches my rubric the closest.  In some cases the same truck meets numerous criteria, in that case I took the first instance and moved forward.  (ie- Petro wins NFMS 2010, Petro finishes 3rd 2010 Points)  Another major discussion revolves around multi truck teams and whether or not they should get all of their trucks in.  My philosophy in the beginning was if the trucks have seperate drivers, they are not to be considered a team.  In 2009 the Petro's dominated the NTPA circuit and rightfully earned their three trucks being in the 2010 show, it was with that I changed my mind entirely and decided to follow the rubric regardless. 

My rubric-

1) Start with the Saturday Night Qualifiers
2) NTPA and Pro Pulling League Top 5 Competitors
3) Points winners from the : Outlaws, Badger State, Ohio State, BOB, ITPA
4) NTPA and Pro Pulling League Top 10 Finishers
5) Region Winners for NTPA/Pro Pulling League
6) Previous Years finish at NFMS
7)Champions Provisional
8)Points Champions from other state and regional pulling associations
9)High Points Finishers from the Outlaws, Badger State, Ohio State, ITPA, BOB

Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks

Criteria 1
1)Jessie Petro 2 Timin
2)Randy Petro Kathy's Complaint
3)Dan Walsh Irish Challenger
4)Ricky Long Willy Makit
5)Jordan Nelson Midnight Madness
6)Ryan Writsel Lucky Stryke
7)Keith Long MAV TV
8)Will Teasley Bad Boy

Criteria 2
9)Chuck Knapp Back Forty NTPA 2nd
10)Randy/Jessie Petro Buckeye Hauler NTPA 4th
11)Renee Theobald Pretty Wicked NTPA 5th
12)Ricky Long Ridin Dirty PPL 3rd
13)Wayne/Donnie Sullivan Big Ed Red PPL 4th
14)Jeremy Nelson Midnight Gambler PPL 5th

Criteria 3
15)Robert Zajicek Gun Smoke (Outaws Champ)
16)Carey Motorsports Destination Unknown/All Fired Up (BoB Points Champs Tied-1 truck in)
17)John Mumma After Midnight (ITPA Champ)

Criteria 4
18)William/Heather Beeler Fearless NTPA 6th
19)Geoffrey Bartley Lumberjack NTPA 7th
20)William/Heather Beeler Unforgiven NTPA 8th
21)Kyloe Knapp Eighty Acres NTPA 9th
22)Stan Shelton Cutting Edge PPL 6th
23)Chris Smith PPL 10th

Criteria 5
24)Jeff Writsel At it Again NTPA Region 2
25)Dustin Amundson Jack Pot NTPA Region 3
26)John Gott Sled Slayer NTPA Region 4
27)Corey Kielmeyer Beer Wagon NTPA Region 5
28) Keith Slayden American Made NTPA Region 6
29)Jared Nelson Rockstar Chevy PPL Midwest Region

Criteria 6
Doug Theobald and Lisa Tatum both were a top 10 finisher.  I gave the final spot to Tatum based on Criteria 7.

Criteria 7
30)Lisa Tatum Full Throttle Champions Provisional


Always in consideration:

Been in Numerous times
Doug Theobald Wicked Willy
Adrian Hunter The Hunter
Chase Richardson Gutted
Danny Sullivan Hansel Sullivan Memorial Pull

Solid Points Finishes elsewhere
Allen Brown Sweet Thang
Randy Wendling Broke and Busted
Bill Oberste Missouri Gambler
Oz Hay Nitroholic
Carey Motorsports 2nd Truck
Tony Tatum Parts City Auto Parts

Final Remarks
Multi Truck Teams have claimed a huge amount of spots in my rubric, this may be the flaw in how I devised my list. 
The current list has 3 Petro's, 2 Sullivans, 2 Knapps, 2 Writsels, 2 Beelers, 3 Longs, 4 Midnight Trucks (18 Trucks)
Petros- 1,3,4 NTPA
Sullivans-OSTPA Champ/Top 5 PPL and Stimulus Package Top 10 PPL Champions Tour Event Winner
Knapps-2,9 NTPA
Writsels-Top 8 Returner, NTPA Region II Champ
Beelers-6,8 NTPA
Longs- 1,2,3, PPL Champions Tour
Midnight-Jordan Nelson Top 8 Returner, Jeremy Nelson Top 5 PPL, John Mumma 1st ITPA/7th PPL, Jared Nelson Midwest Region Champion

I hope you all enjoy this!  The next class I guess at will be the Super Farm Tractors!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Farm Show changes the bill on Saturday Afternoon!

The National Farm Machinery Show committee has pulled the plug on the Modified 4x4 Trucks and has introduced the Super Stock Diesel 4x4 Trucks to the docket of the famed indoor championship.  It has often been a debate on what classes should or shouldn't get the opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities in front of the capacity crowds in Louisville and regardless of what decision someone is always going to be unhappy. 

Do I believe the Modified 4x4 Trucks deserved a chance to pull at the NFMS?  Will sure I did but I also can vouch for the fact that when the class began, a large amount of the crowd left.  It is important for the committee to please their crowds and in this move they have chosen to introduce a new class to the action packed weekend.  My concern comes from the idea of finding enough Super Stock Diesel Trucks to fill the class.  I have been annoucing this summer and have yet to see more than 8 in a class, even at the Diesel Extravaganza in Terre Haute. I shall be an interesting winter of pulling and could change the shape of the NFMS for the coming years, as diesel fans continue to voice their opinions. 

The End of the Season

It's that time of year again, the crops are being harvested and pulling series around the country are crowning champions.  The NTPA is in Sandwich, Illinois last night and this weekend to close the books on the 2010 season, while the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League will crown their first champions of the season in Wheatland. 

With the Pro Pulling League the real question is can David slay Goliath in the form of the Youngbuck or Takes a Licken in their respective divisions of Premier Crop Insurance Pro Stock Tractors and E-3 Sparkplug Modifieds.  The Youngbuck team of Moss and Stratton enters the weekend four points behind the Lucas Oil Green Streak.  The 2010 edition of Takes a Licken could not be performing better and has the Bunnage's on a streak that has seen them climb to within six points of the title.  It is certain that crafty veterans the Boyds(Greg and Steve) and the Rockstar Bill Leischner will be doing everything they can to ensure their repeat championships.  In other Champions Tour divisions the points races are not so close with the margin for error favoring the current points leaders.  Al Wright's Running Red Hot Super Farm has been the most dominant vehicle of the summer with the Pro Pulling League and that is illustrated by the insurmountable lead the International holds.  Wright has all but secured that the Super Farm streak of PPL Champions from Wisconsin is in tact.  In the Speedco Pro Modified Four Wheel Drives, the Bosch's enter the weekend with their Midnight Raider holding a strong lead over Jake Zaring's Dixie Chopper.  It seems to be definite that the title will go back to Michigan from Wheatland.  The always exciting Runin Bare All American and the Wild Man Jeff Hirt have utilized a new tractor and incredible consistency to their advantage in firmly grasping the Championship.  While the title will stay in the Buckeye state for 2010, this year it appears to be heading to Port Clinton and not Wilmington.  The Rockstar Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks have seen total domination by the Long Brother's throughout the summer, but as the season has drawn to a close Donnie Sullivan has brought Big Ed Red back into the mix.  The Rockstar sponsored class has two events left and the new driver of Big Ed Red will look to continue his climb to the top, while the Long's look to find their stride and claim their title back from 07 and 08. 

The Grand National Circuit has seen their fair share of close races with the Modifieds, Light Supers and Pro Stocks truly coming down to the final event of the season in Sandwich.  Currently, the Cross Threaded entry of Adam Bauer holds a slight advantage in the Mod's, over Jeff Gueningsman's Aftermath.  However, dont count out Bret Berg and Terry Jostock as each have their tractors in striking distance of the coveted title.  Brian Korth looks to have derailed the blue team out of Wisconsin this summer as he enters the final event of the season with a nine point lead over class new comer Esdon Lehn's Redline Lite.  Korth has the Mx210 right where it has been all season with the Grand National points, however now that Lehn can focus solely on the Light Super don't count this guy out.  2009 Champion Tim Cain, has found his way back to the top of the Pro Stock class much to the delight of Red Fans nationwide. His Red Gambler holds a one point advantage over former champion Brian Shramek's Git-er-Dun.  

The NTPA has already crowned champions Bill Voreis (Unlimited), Phil Fairbanks(Mini), Larry Douthit(SMFWD), Russell Counce(SF), Rob Foster(4WD), Brian Shramek(SSD), and Jordan Lustik(SSO) over the last few weeks, while Randy Petro (2WD) and JR Collins(SEMI) stuck claim to the title last night in Sandwich. 

As the 2010 season winds down it is clear that the state of sport continues to grow in the hearts and minds of the pullers, fans, and promoters nationwide.  The weekend is certain to be action packed with great competition at the Dekalb County Fair in Sandwich and Canidae Pet Foods Pro Pulling Nationals in Wheatland.