Sunday, October 30, 2011

NFMS Modified Tractor

The Modified Tractor class was one of the most exciting classes at the 2011 NFMS and alot of that had to do with the battle between the Illinois Boys Steve Bunnage and Bill Leischner. Missing from the finals for the first time in a long time was the most feared Modified/Unlimited in history the American Thunder of Bill Voreis.

At the 2011 NFMS, I had the great honor of meeting Jeff Gueningsman. Jeff had made a name for himself on the Grand National circuit in 2010 and qualified for Saturday Night's Finals. In speaking with Jeff it was evident just how much he loved the sport of pulling and the people he competed against. Sadly, in the early portion of the pulling season Jeff was diagnosed with cancer and was taken from the ranks of pulling way to quickly. I am not certain if Jeff's wife and family have submitted an application for the 2012 NFMS but if they have, the tractor should be in as a Finalist from 2011. I chose to not have the Aftermath tractor on my list as I am was truly not certain if they applied.

The major question for me in doing this is will Kathy Archer Schalitz and Brian Shramek apply, these two Unlimited competitors along with Bill Voreis staged the most exciting points battle of the 2011 NTPA pulling season with all three of them having a shot to win at the final hook of the season. If they did apply, I am certain they will be accepted in the show. I based my choices off of the past and truly not remembering the Archer's coming to Louisville, thus I left Kathy as a did not apply. Shramek campaigns the DSS and PS so I banked on him applying as he will already be there with his other tractors.

In 2011 five new tractors were debuted on the Pro Pulling League Champions Tour. All five tractors took their turn on the top of the pulling order with each collecting a win. One of the five was the turbine of the Barga Family, these guys have been working their rears off to prove that a turbine combination can cut with the reciprocating engines and this summer a big step was taken by The Apache and Shannon Leischner's Dirt Challenger. The other four all boasting hemis were run by Scott Tedder, pulling legends Joe Eder and Ken Veney, and Pro Pulling League Champion Stan Shelton. The idea that brand new configurations and chassis' can come out to the national circuit and immediately win baffled me but I can tell you I loved every minute of pulling I was able to take in with these competitors.

Adding to my joy was a rookie I watched at Tomah, Wisconsin in the form of the Bank Robber Doug Lively. Doug truly captured my attention in the afternoon session on Friday afternoon when he made not one but two fantastic passes to capture the win! Doug not only sent a signal that afternoon but punctuated over the course of the weekend.

There are so many what if's or did they apply questions within this class that I am truly uncertain about a good portion of the field. I learned last year that a finalist isnt guaranteed to be back the next year when Shawn Swearingen did not get accepted after taking a season off. In 2011, Wayne Purser did not make his typical trip to the Super National events on the NTPA schedule. With that I am kind of puzzled as to if he gets in again to create the potential dual between Uncle Sam and American Thunder or if he is left out! I chose to reward other competitors that were out in 2011 and left my first finalist off my predictions.

Criteria One
2011 Finalist
1 Steve Bunnage Takes a Lickin
2 Bill Leischner Dirtslinger
3 Bob Jostock Wild Child
Jeff Gueningsman Aftermath (If the Gueningsman Family and Friends applied, I believe the tractor is accepted)
4 Adam Bauer Cross Threaded
-Wayne Purser Uncle Sam Did not compete enough

Criteria Two
NTPA Top Five
5 Bret Berg MoneyMaker
Bob Jostock Already In
6 Terry Jostock Wild Won
7 Doug Lively Bank Robber
8 The Bollinger's Top Gun

Criteria Two
Pro Pulling Top Five
9 Stan Shelton Shel-Shocked
Bill Leischner Already In
10 Scott Tedder Twist of Fate
11 Michael Stewart Down and Dirty
Darrick Barga The Apache- Turbine powered tractor which traditionally has not been accepted.

Criteria Three
At Large 

12 Bill Voreis American Thunder (Though the tractor is up for sale, I am hopeful he will be in the field for the NFMS)
13 Joe Eder 75TH Edition
14 Ken Veney Funny Farmall
15 Brian Shramek Youngblood Unleashed (Take two Chevy's off and bring the second trailer with you as I feel all three are in)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Diesel Super Stock Tractors

There really isn't a whole lot of change from one year to the next with this class!  Brian Shramek has continued his dominance in the category with his Young Blood Agco DT225, but in 2011 a new face moved up in the ranks in the form of Jody Ross and the Resurrected Redneck.  The Resurrected Redneck is a unique piece as well as it is a McCormick competing in the Diesel Super Stock class.  I look forward to the 2012 NFMS to see if Brandon Hunt can continue living his dream as he debuted his Case Mx340 in Freedom Hall last year!  Brandon will also be debuting a new Case in 2012, that in the form of his son that was born just a few weeks ago.  I am also very hopeful that the King of Smoke will choose to apply to Louisville again in 2012, after a one year hiatus.  The class needs Esdon and so too does the NFMS in my opinion! 

Based on Criteria One, I gave seven tractors spots from the 2011 Finalists position.  Jeff Demers was a qualifier but did some catastrophic damage to the John Deere in the pulloff and was unable to compete on Saturday Nights Finals Session.  Because he earned the spot in qualifying, I gave him the nod for Criteria One.  

Criteria One
2011 Finalists
1 Brandon Hunt Livin A Dream
2 Brian Shramek Young Blood
3 Matt Goodwin Intimidator
4 Steve Burge Lock N Load
5 The Blagrave's Red Horse
6 Mark Ulmer Lost
7 Jeff Demers Smokin' Hot Deere

Criteria Two 
NTPA Points Top Five 
Brian Shramek Already In
8 Jody Ross Resurrected Redneck
Steve Burge Already In
The Blagraves Already In
9 Esdon Lehn Redline Fever

Criteria Three 
Outlaws Champion 
Matt Goodwin Already In

Criteria Four 
NTPA Points Top Ten 
10 Hans Boxler Jr. The Special
11 Mike Beck High Tech Redneck
12 Adam Harris Southern Express
13 John Raymond Smoke & Mirrors
14 Jim Schaendorf Radical Red

Criteria Five 
15 Henry Everman Final Decision

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unlimited Super Stock

The Unlimited Super Stock Class seems to truly have been on a down slide over the last few years, with numbers seeming to be much lower on both National circuits.  In 2011, Terry Blackbourn and Chizek Team revolutionized the class with a de-cubed 903 Cummins V-8. As a person who got to witness this unbelievable pulling combination firsthand at America's Pull in Henry, Illinois and Tomah, Wisconsin, I am confident that the Unlimited Super Stock class just bought a few more years with this invention.  It is rumored that several very prominent competitors in this class have made the call to Wisconsin to have Mr. Blackbourn work their magic for their engine configuration.

I did my best to work through the class for my 2012 predictions and it looks very similar to last years with the exception of two new competitors.  With that said, I am truly excited about the option of inviting two European Competitors to the Bluegrass State to showcase their potent pulling combinations!

Criteria One 
Finalist from 2011

1Frank Keener XXX 
2Jordan Lustik Silver Bullet 
3John Evans Big Toy II 
4Terry Blackbourn Extremely Armed and Dangerous 
5Tim Howell Ryan's Toy 
6Terry Blackbourn International Threat

Criteria Two 
NTPA Top Five 
Jordan Lustik Silver Bullet Already In 
Terry Blackbourn International Threat Already In 
7 Earl Wells Galot 
Josh Blackbourn Extremely Armed and Dangerous 
8 Sid Broughton Desperado 

Criteria Two 
PPL Top Five 
9 Jeff Hirt Runin Bare 
Frank Keener XXX Already In 
10 Larry Roberts Big Toy
John Evans Big Toy II 
Tim Howell Ryans Toy

Criteria Three 
Outlaws Points Winner
Robert Polson was the Points Champion, I have him in the Light Super Stock Field but it may be vice versa.  

Criteria Four 
NTPA/PPL Top Ten + (At Large) 
11 Aaron Hull Prison City Pulloff 
12 Neil Gettinger Lessons Learned 
13 Kevin Campbell Controlled Chaos 
14 Mike Novinger Dominator Deere 
15 D'n Aerdvruter from The Netherlands 
16 Zeinstra New Born Deere

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Light Super Stock NFMS

Last year the Light Super Stock class put on a solid show at the NFMS, but in my opinion not having Mark Peissig, Kevin Lynn and Esdon Lehn truly hurt the class!  I am guessing that they will opt to follow last years trend and not apply for the 2012 NFMS Show, with that said my guesses are almost a reflection of the 2011 show.  I have also wondered if the committee would let diesel tractors and alcohol tractors compete in the same class, my belief is they will leave the diesels out and thus David Esteb is not accepted.  I am not sure that all of these competitors will apply for the show but this is my best guess!

Criteria Two
NTPA Top Five
1 Brian Korth Excessive Force
2 Marcus Wettleson Gunpowder and Lead
3 Larry Phillips Extremely Insane
4 Brian Korth Considered Armed and Dangerous
Esdon Lehn (No Application)

Criteria Two
PPL Top Five
5 Todd Maedge Monkey Mayhem
6 Mike Wilhite Blue Blazes
7 Brent Payne Color of Money
David Esteb (Diesel Tractor, not accepted)
8 Mike Sandefur Farmboys Fantasy

At Large Selections
9 Mike Happe Red Menace
10 Rex Kuhn Git R Done
11 Bob Barbee Stormy
12 Jay Fuqua Tennessee Tracks
13 Monica Shaw Beauty and the Beast
14 John Hoffman International 5488
15 Robert Paulson Blue Can Fever

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

National Farm Machinery Show Super Farm

Wow!  This class is hands down the most difficult for me to choose for the the Farm Show.  In total I had around 45 tractors that I hoped to fit in 31 spots.  To break ties or make a final decision, I looked at the entire body of work for the season.  Everyone tractor could make a case to be accepted and for that, I am expecting that my list is far from perfect.  I also chose to not put NTPA Grand National Champion Ryan Salenbien in.  Ryan was incredibly dominant over the summer on his debut season with the Grand National circuit, however he was Disqualified last year and thus I feel he will not be added to the list of competitors.  

Criteria One NFMS Finalist
2011 Finalists
1 Shawn Wildermuth Replacement Deere
2 Rodney Davidson Red Iron
3 John Kutz Diggin Deere
4 Norm Kavan Magnum Force
5 Blain Fraker Agitator
6 Larry Sheets Jr. Red Rider
7 James Slama Fast and Furious
8 Rodney Deck Dream on 

Criteria Two 
2011 NTPA Top Five

Shawn Wildermuth Already In
9 David Pedley Pulling Wide Loose Deere
10 Darrin Hunt Dreamin Too
11 Ted Liechty Rush Hour

Criteria Two 
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League
John Kutz Already In
12 Bradley/Quinton Hartman International Addiction
13 Al Wright Runnin Red Hot
Blain Fraker Already In
14 Justin Wagler Real Deere

 Criteria Three
 Outlaw Points/OSTPA/ITPA/Badger State-Champions
15 Chad Weitzenkamp Someday Outlaws
16 Jim/Brian Barman Badger State
17Jared Bradley Tennessee Red  Mid South Pullers 

Criteria Four
NTPA Top Ten Points
18 Larry Dean Never Enough
19 Russ Freeze Deere Traxx
20 Russel Counce Dixie Deere
21 Travis Wisel Irrational Behavior
22 Wayne Lamoureux Fear the Deere 

Criteria Four 
Pro Pulling League Top Ten
23 Chad Darlage Showtime
24 Tom Gallitz Runnin in the Red
25 Nick Skaar Screamin Norwegian 

Criteria Five 
At Large/Regional Champions
26 Scott Holtgrew Deerestroyer
27 Clay Darnell Maximum Overdrive
28 Josh Miley High Maintenance
29 Julia Conny Mac Daddy
30 John Pitt Ragin Bull
31 Harley Siestma Wolverine Deere III 

Notables that just missed
Barrett Flowe Pay Dirt
Roger Liermann Running on Red
Leon Hellebusch No Mercy
Taylor Van Beek Extreme Pleasure
Mike Conny Mr. Mac Daddy
David Batliner Superhick
John Pitt Raging Bull
Mowrey's Deal N Deere
Mowrey's Auction Express 
Dean Hollicky Big Green Tractor 
Brown/Wells Green Reaper 
Bob Siestma Wolverine Deere II 

Monday, October 24, 2011

National Farm Machinery Show Two Wheel Drive guesses!

It is hard for me to believe that it is that time of year again!  In the next few weeks the National Farm Machinery Show selections will be sent out from the committee and planning for the shows will be finalized!   As a side project over the last few years, I have done the best I can to research the fields to get some form of an idea as to who may be accepted.  I developed who I refer to as my Rubric for the process in which the committee may follow to make the tough decisions of who to keep and who to possibly decline.  This year from the beginning I have found a bunch of hard decisions that have made me realize that there is no real finite methodology to make these decisions.  I have added the option of an At Large Selection, that is for someone I simply can't see not being selected by the committee do to their pulling reputation, although the seasons results may not be indicative of a selection! I also did not select three trucks for the Petro's as they only have two drivers, but I did add all three trucks from the Long's stables as they have added Brad Moss to their driving force!   

Criteria 1
NFMS Finalist
2011 Finalists
1 Ricky Long Willy Makit
2 Randy Petro Kathy's Complaint
3 Jeff Writsel At it Again
4 Jared Nelson Midnight Revenger
5 Bill Oberste Missouri Gambler
6 John Mumma After Midnight
7 Lisa Tatum Hardin Full Throttle
8 Jeremy Nelson  Midnight Gambler

Criteria 2
2011 NTPA Top Five
Randy Petro Already In
9 Jessie Petro 2 Timin
Jessie Petro (Not in the multiple truck one driver block)
10 Doug Theobald Wicked
11 Chuck Knapp Back Forty

Criteria 2
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League
Jeremy Nelson Already In
12 Brad Moss Ridin Dirty
13 Jordan Nelson Midnight Madness
14 Mark Austin Gamblin After Dark
15 Don Nelson  Lil Whip

Criteria 3
 Outlaw Points Champion/OSTPA/ITPA/Badger State/BOB/
16 Tim Fitzsimmons Country Heat Outlaws
17 Ryan Writsel Lucky Styke OSTPA
 Jeremy Nelson ITPA Already In

Criteria 4 

NTPA Top Ten Points
18 Jeff Bartley Lumberjack
19 Kyloe Knapp Eighty Acres
20 Renee Theobald Pretty Wicked
21 Will Beeler Just Forgiven
22 Oz Hay Nitroholic

Criteria 4
Pro Pulling League
Jared Nelson Already In
23 Keith Long MavTV
John Mumma Already In
Ricky Long Already In 
24 Tony Tatum  Parts City

Criteria 5
NTPA Region Winners/ PPL Region/ At Large Selections 
25 John Gott Region IV Winner, successful at BG!
26 Adrian Hunter (Unable to attend last year after weather issues)  
27 Donnie Sullivan Hansel Sullivan Memorial- At Large Selection                
28 Wayne Sullivan Big Ed Red- At Large Selection
29 Stan Shelton General Tire- At Large Selection 
30 Will Teasley Bad Boy- At Large Selection

Robert and Cole Zajicek- Cole made a strong impression last year in his debut as the option puller putting his truck in the sand, only to have a sled reset! 
Marty Clock- Regional Champ
AJ Reidl- Regional Champ
Andy Teasley