Sunday, February 20, 2011

NFMS 2011: My Thoughts

By Contributing Writer Jeremy Krieger

The 2011 farm machinery show has come to another close, and this year had more than it’s fair share of wonderful stories, drama, and nailbiting competition that this show has become famous for.  Here are some stories from this year that I feel deserve a mention.

Congratulations have to go to Brandon Hunt and the Livin a Dream rig out of oak grove, KY.  The home state favorite took a brand new tractor and won the prelims on Wednesday night in the diesel super class and then backed it up with the win in the finals.  I agree with  Brian Shramek in that this win is proof that Brandon can hang with the best supers in the country.  Perhaps we’ll see him out there on the Grand National circuit this summer.

The State of Illinois was front and center this year at the NFMS.
There are several Illini pullers that deserve a mention in this column.
First off, the Bunnages out of golden gate Illinois have taken the momentum of a second place ppl run last summer and par layed it into a victory at the biggest indoor pull in our sport.  These guys have proven their worthiness and I am excited to say that they are finally enjoying the fruits of their labor.   Congrats to the Takes A Lickin team.  Your time has come.

Illinois tractors are no stranger to the Pro Stock class, but this year, Illinois was
Solidly rooted with 5 out of the top 12 tractors advancing to Saturday Night.
Lance and Chris Little and the Tantrum Enterprises crew have proven that the tractors that they build deserve a spot among the best of the best.
Tantrum Tractors finished 1,3, and 4 in Saturday Nights Finals competition.

Lastly, the land of Lincoln had a stellar showing in the two wheel drive class this year.
John Mumma of Philo Illinois takes the rookie of the year honors for me. A win on Thursday night in his first ever attempt at this pull and a 5th place on Saturday night will advise the naysayers that this guy is for real.

The Brothers Nelson, Jeremy and Jared of Sidney and Altomont respectively also punched their tickets to Saturday night this year, and finished 6th and 8th in a hard fought Final. Honorable Mention honors this year to Mark Austin and the “Gamblin After Dark” machine. In his very first try at Louisville, Mark made the pull off in his Thursday night Prelim, and in a heartbreaker, finished just outside in Fifth and missed the finals.
With a new Hemi in this rig, competitors took notice of the Ashmore, Illinois based entry.

The Always Tough Lisa Tatum Hardin nursed a damaged Full Throttle machine into the finals this year, but that’s only half the story, The special message from her husband Patrick fighting for our freedom in Iraq was one of the most heartwarming things I have ever experienced.  This story really tied together what the NFMS is all about.

I was very impressed with the young Cole Zajiecek out of Texas.  He started Thursday nights 2wd session with a trip to the beach,  I spoke to him during the week, and the young man is determined to have a bright future in the sport.  I wish him the best.

This was the first year for the Diesel Truck Class on Saturday afternoon.
Too much downtime, and carnage made this class a bit of a struggle for me.
If they bring this class back next year, I think they need to let the trucks stay out side of freedom hall so that they can keep them warm, and not need so much time to get heat in the motor before they launch.  I will say there is a lot of potential with this class, but it needs to be worked on a little bit.

All in all this show was one of the best for me,  All of the organizations were well represented and we as fans can carry the momentum built here and reflect on it until our seasons start. Kudos to the Tractor Pull committee for putting on a show that we’ll be talking about for many years to come.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Farm Machinery Show

The "Big Go" in pulling kicks off this evening at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.  The National Farm Machinery Show is the largest invitation only pull in the United States.  Competitors from around the world submit resumes to be selected in to the prestigious event.  I will have recaps and updates from the competition each night on the blog and will hopefully post some pit photos and pull photos over the weekend as well.  It is always an exciting time for me to travel home for the show and my devotion to trying to announcer their one day continues to grow as well.  I am really excited about the next few weeks of the blog, as I have been working on a few feature stories that will be posted soon on the blog.  Later this week I hope to post my first feature interview, the interview was with NTPA Rookie of the Year Renee Theobald.  Also coming up is a feature on the man behind the sled, Hooker Bob and hopefully some stories from Farm Show.  Check back for updates from Louisville!