Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's no secret anymore, Brad Moss can drive!

As a child Brad Moss was a big fan of tractor pulling and shared a strong bond with his father of heading to pulls throughout their region in Kentucky.  As the evening hours got longer at the pull, Brad would often dose off on the bleachers with his jacket rolled under his head as a pillow.  The nap was contingent upon a deal he made, as he would only allow himself to dose off with the promise that his father would wake him up when the Pro Stock class began.  While other children would drift off to dreams of being a basketball player or a famous movie star, Brad Moss was envisioning himself on top of a Pro Stock tractor.   The memories he developed watching his mentors; The Masterson's and Lance Little, gave Brad a distinct idea and vision of how he wanted to approach life as a puller.

In 2010, Brad and his partner Miles Stratton took their B&M Motorsports Youngbuck John Deere into the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour looking to make a run at the point’s championship.  As the dust settled on the 2010 season, the Youngbuck had finished a very close second to the eventual winner Steve Boyd.  However, it may have been a 2009 pulling dual between these partners that gave Brad a taste of a new and powerful pulling class.  With the support of Andy and Jenni Teasley, Miles and Brad each jumped into one of the Teasley Motorsports trucks at a Mid South Pullers hook in Kentucky.  The rush Brad felt was unique and different when compared to the Pro Stock tractor he was so comfortable on.  The pass Brad made tweaked his interest toward a new class and he often found himself paying close attention to the competitors and the unique changes they were making to their trucks.

Over the summers spent pulling with the Pro Pulling League and Mid South Pullers, the Youngbuck team members often found themselves hanging out with the two wheel drive competitors.  Brad developed a friendship with the Long Brothers; Keith and Ricky of Glasgow, Kentucky.  The Longs have spent their lifetime behind the wheel of pulling vehicles and campaign three strong running pulling trucks (MavTV, Willy Makit, and Ridin Dirty).  At the 2011 National Farm Machinery Show, Brad was offered the opportunity of a lifetime when the Long's offered him the seat of Ridin Dirty for the summer.

The decision Brad made was to trust his gut and follow the rush he felt underneath him when that blown Hemi came to life. "With the two wheel drive, you are strapped to the frame rails and can feel the flex as the truck stands up. The combination of the vibration and the sound makes for one wicked ride" stated Moss. When the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League season kicked off in Saluda, South Carolina, the Ridin Dirty Chevy S-10 was all set to have a substitute driver.

The philosophies applied to driving a pro stocker and a two wheel drive truck are totally different but provided a short learning curve for Brad.  Short is the word that best describes the amount of time it took the savvy competitor to pick it up, as it was baffling the ease in which he made the transition.  "With the tractor it is my goal to be easy on the line and stay patient to let the motor do it's work.  The tractor has the clutch pedal and you can bend the throttle over but it takes a while for RPM level to truly rise.  With the truck it is a belt driven supercharger that gives you instant horsepower.  The larger tires and higher weight of the tractor allow it to be a bit more accommodating than the truck" commented Moss.  There are several other differences between the two classes but the common goal remains the same and that is to set the vehicle up according to the track and the sled.

On Friday night April 29th in Saluda, South Carolina, Moss had barely parked the Chevy S-10 before he started to critically breakdown his run.  With a quick word he described his mistake as “slow”, he knew that he was behind the Miner Brothers Racing engine and because of that he did not find the results he was looking for in his debut.  It must be stated that the Long Brother's gave Brad one of the most consistent pulling machines in the league to go out and compete with, but there was still one task and that of course was driving, which Ricky and Keith make look easy.  Less than twenty four hours after his debut Brad Moss collected the win in the class of eighteen trucks and removed the thought of him being a substitute from everyone's mind.  "Ricky and Keith gave me such a great opportunity that I would have been a fool to pass it up.  After Saluda, I was ready to learn and gain every ounce of knowledge they could share with me" added Moss.

The summer flew by for Brad as not only was he introduced to a new class but he also became a father for the first time, when his wife Rebecca gave birth to a lovely baby girl named Brexley.  With relative ease Brad took to being a father just like he has driving pulling vehicles.  Though he will cast off his achievements in his first year in the two wheel drive class to a good truck, the Long Brothers and luck, I firmly believe there is another element that Brad doesn't consider and that is the fact that he is a damn good driver!

Over the course of the summer the Ridin Dirty Chevy S-10 finished with top honors at four hooks on the Champions Tour.  The wins he collected in Saluda, Wilmington, Altamont and Waynesburg, provided a great platform for which Moss was able to finish second in the points.  The facts are quite clear.  In two consecutive years Brad Moss has had his name etched in the second place position of the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Leagues premier series but each finish was in a different class with an entirely different approach to driving!

Odds are if you know Brad Moss, you understand the deep passion he carries for Pro Stock tractors and the mechanics of what makes them function.  That understanding came from years of silently observing and watching tractors run down the track and making mental notes on the noticeable differences of each individual pass.  His ability to pay attention to the details may very well be his best attribute as a driver, as he can closely monitor his competitors and the track, while honing in on the tune up for the vehicle he will be driving.

If the last two years have provided any insight into the future we know one thing as a certainty and that is without a doubt that Brad Moss can drive a pulling vehicle.   The question remains: "What will he be driving in 2012, will he follow his passion and co-pilot the Youngbuck John Deere as part of B&M Motorsports or will he follow the rush and strap himself to the frame rails of a blown two wheel drive truck for another summer?"  I guess only time will tell!

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