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.