Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Chase format for Pulling?

Over the last twenty years of my life, I have grown to call myself a motorhead.  If it is a motorsport of some sort, I enjoy kicking back and watching it.  NASCAR has always been a sport that I would kick back and watch with my father, but everything changed in February of 2001, when Dale Earnhardt was tragically killed at the Daytona 500.  Since that moment, the sport that I loved to watch and spent hours on Sundays watching with my father, was different.  In 2004, the executives of NASCAR made a bold decision to change the point system, when they developed the Chase for the Cup.  The Chase gave the sport a new approach by dividing the season into two sections for those in the top 10 and gave each competitor a fresh start at title.  A few years later they extended the chase field to twelve lucky individuals. Additionally they also provided an incentive for the person outside the chase that finished in the 13th spot.  Since NASCAR saw great success with their Chase format, the NHRA has followed suit by dividing their season in to two sections as well.  The 6 race format for the NHRA Chase has provided great parody in seeing the 10th qualifier come from the back of the pack to win the points.

In 2011, NASCAR made another big announcement to try and spice up their quickly becoming stale chase.  The executives this time decided to revamp the system, by providing 2 Wild Cards into the Chase for the Cup.  These 12 competitors would have their points reset to 2000, with points for wins being given to each chase competitor in the 26 prior races.

Tonight, November 20th, the 2011 Chase came to a gigantic conclusion in a two competitor Battle Royal for the history books.  Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards took their sponsors, teams, and fans on a journey that only could have been settled with the competitors finishing first and second in the race and sharing the exact same points total for the season.  The tie breaker went to the Office Depot team of "Smoke" Tony Stewart as he had the most wins on the season between the two.  The NASCAR executives must have felt like a bunch of geniuses as their vision came to fruition in the form of a classic battle.  This truly captivated my attention, such to the point that I sat in my living room and watched the ESPN Coverage from start to finish including rain delays.

All this change and excitement in NASCAR got me wondering if the sport of pulling could use a facelift in their points systems?  Could a simple change in the points format give fans of each sanctioning body a more enticing reason to arrive at the final events of the season?  Or is our current format of points the perfect approach for insuring exciting points championships?

The 2011 season featured some of the tightest points battles that I can think of in my time in the sport,with the NTPA having nine of their twelve classes being settled in the final event and the Pro Pulling League seeing six of their classes with tight battles at the conclusion of the season. After looking at the seasons final point totals, one could ask the question how could the sanctioning body change the format for the better?  I can't truthfully say that a change could be made to make the battles closer but a chase format for pulling would give pullers a fighting chance at a come back after having a rough event.  Most of the points battles with the current format are so tight that if a vehicle suffers some breakage or a competitor misses a setup they have unfortunately witnessed their season falling from their grasps.  A new Chase format gives pullers an incentive to continue to attend as they have to qualify for the points race but it also doesn't take away the hope of winning in the early season. 

I have also would love to see the sport offering more incentive for sweeps.  The Outlaws has in previous years awarded competitors an additional prize bonus for winning their Western and State Fair Sweeps within their season.  The NTPA introduced the Pennzoil/Shell Cups for their Big Daddy pulls in Tomah, Chapel Hill and Bowling Green.  The sweeps provide a competitor that cannot commit to run a full circuit or that suffers breakage, a chance to invest themselves into small points race. Maybe these sweeps are the answer to adding an additional incentive in place of a Chase at the final portion of the schedule.

Example ideas for new SweepsI am 100% certain that there are several other scenarios such as the one I have suggested that could create new exciting opportunities for the sanctioning bodies.  I also believe that these sweeps give a sanctioning body a new opportunity to solicit additional sponsorships from a variety of corporations that cannot commit to the demands of a full seasons support. 

Pro Pulling League's Illinois Sweep (Henry, Freeport, Fairfield) 
America's Pull in Henry, Illinois is a great show on an annual basis!  Competitors flock to the Marshall Putnam County Fairgrounds to compete for a chance at the World Cup.  The Pro Stock Tractor's/Modified Tractors run four events in an 8 day period in Illinois, in leaving Henry to compete in the middle of the week at Freeport before traveling to Fairfield.  In developing a new sweep non Champions Tour competitors may be encouraged to come run all four events in two of the premier classes for the Champions Tour!  

The ITPA continually impresses me with their events and the efficiency at which they are conducted.  I would love to see the ITPA develop a sweep for their classes such as the Two Wheel Drives that run five times in six days in these cities; Jacksonville, Peoria, Brownstown, Arthur, and Taylorville.  With it being through the week many competitors from out of state may be enticed to come to the Land of Lincoln to run for an additional purse for the sweep.  I view this as a great way of increasing numbers and potentially membership!

Do you have thoughts on whether or not a Chase format could truly enhance our sport?  I would love to hear your feedback on the Miles Beyond 300 Facebook Page or the message boards.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What makes a good tractor pull?

Over the course of the summer pulling season, I have continually been pondering the question of What makes a good tractor pull?  Have you truly reflected on the things you put the most value in at a pull? I understand that the answer to this question most truly will vary depending upon who is asked, as there is no real criteria for which to judge this.  I think that there are few perspectives to try to view this topic from and I have highlighted them below. 

Perspective 1
From a puller's perspective, a good pull could easily be classified as one that pays well, but I feel there is a lot more to the story than just money.  I have been very fortunate to travel the circuit for years with my father and friends to witness some of pulling's hollowed grounds.  The venues at Owensboro, Chapel Hill, Bowling Green, Tomah, Indianapolis, Goshen, and Wisner to name a few, provide a puller with a great backdrop for which to compete.  They are generally filed to capacity and I don't know a puller that isn't excited to perform for a capacity crowd.  The pulling surface is often one of the most talked about facets in the sport, as a good track that stays consistent and fair can provide each competitor with a chance to win, while a poor track can make the class simply a numbers game for anyone involved. Hospitality, does the event make the puller feel welcome and appreciate their attendance?  The pit area and parking is the final topic a puller may consider, what is the proximity from the pit to the track and is there ample room to maneuver around outside the trailer.   I feel that a puller will value these things (Purse/Crowd-Fans/Venue/Track/Hospitality/Pit) when deciding their favorite pull of the year!

Perspective 2
A fan wants to sit in the stands and see the best of the world of pulling in their hometown or selected destination.  All to often the fan experience may be forgotten and I view that as a major error by some events.  Fan's come to watch a pull and meet the drivers, so I can imagine how frustrating it must be when the pit area is not in proximity to the fans.  I love when I am standing in Broadbent Arena at Louisville and I get to see puller's interact with fans, isn't that what it is really about?  I have often taken for granted that I get an armband at every hook that I attend. What would it be like to not have this luxury? To enhance the fan experience, I would raise that an announcer is a very key ingredient to the show.  I am biased, I grew up with an announcer and I have become one myself but each time I pick up the microphone it is my goal to inform the crowd to the best of my ability and hopefully improve their perception of the event.  Before an announcer must be considered the competitors must be the driving force.  Without competitors a pull will not function!  When a pull has the best competitors, the fans will spread the word about the quality of show they saw and thus it will grow each year.  From a fan's perspective, I believe they value (Competitors/Proximity to the Pits/Announcer/Venue) as the priority they place when voting their favorite pull!

Perspective 3
The Promoters side of things~  When a promoter decides to invest their time and dollars to bring an event to their community, it is a big step! Thought 1, Where can I host my event?  Thought 2, How do I decide which sanctioning body to contact for their services?  Is that decision based on geography?  Is it based on the calendar? These thoughts must rush through a promoter's mind like rapids.  After a promoter has decided on the product they want to offer, their next decision must revolve around promotion and fundraising.  Developing a platform to take out to the local vendors to ask for their support and push the upcoming event forward is a high priority.  Finally, a promoter needs help and must find willing and able folks who can be a portion of the events success.

Once the planning is done and the event has finished, how does a promoter grade whether not their pull was a success?  The initial thought must be that it is based on gate receipts but I feel their is so much more to the story.  How was the event received from the community and did the promoter provide a return on the vendors investment?  Did puller's embrace the new event and leave with a lasting impression? Was the sanctioning body the proper choice for your event?  Finally, I would ask the bottom line question of how did the gates do?

The Purse
In order for our sport to grow from a competitor side, I would like to address purses.  I have had numerous conversations with promoters and pullers about how a purse is determined.  I have often found it hard to believe that a competitor can justify staying home at a local state hook as opposed to traveling to big national circuit event based on the purse.   The biggest events in the sport today are not the highest paying events and for that, I do see a bit of a problem.  If you as a competitor put your vehicle in the pool with 50 plus and you win, you deserve to be paid for that.  I have seen the purse payouts and I believe it is truly unfortunate that the pullers aren't getting their credit when it is due.  Without the pullers, the thousands of fans in the stands would have nothing to watch but the shenanigans they create themselves!  When you look at ticket prices versus the purse and compare them to fifteen years ago, something doesn't add up!  With that said, I understand our economy has been down significantly but that seems like an excuse when the stands are packed to capacity.  Every motorsport has their premier events, the Daytona 500, US Nationals, Indy 500, Kings Royal to name a few.  These events have a rich heritage and continue to be the most renowned win of a drivers career, but in pulling a driver can win one of our majors and the check shows it was nothing more then a regional level event!  I want to see this sport grow and I want our competitors to have the shot to achieve their dreams and be rewarded for them!

New Events- I had the opportunity to travel to a few new events 2011, that based on my view point showed amazing potential.  These events made the grade in my opinion as they had a good pulling venue, very fair tracks, an tremendous turnout of vehicles and they were run smooth from the administration down to the person checking hitches. I also have heard rave reviews of a few more that I chose to highlight my calendar for potential attendance in the future. 
The spring pull in Saluda, South Carolina was a tremendous success when viewing the amazing competition that was staged and the throngs of vehicles that made the voyage south.  Don't get me wrong, I understand they already host a highly regarded event in August and thus have a vast knowledge of what goes into making a pull successful. The spring show has great potential to live up to the summer event as the weather was spectacular and provided a great setting for pulling action on the clay.  For 2012, I hope the word of mouth travels through the state and the crowd comes to pack the stands!

From a pullers perspective, I would say this event received rave reviews and I don't see how a fan could have left disappointed.  The committee has great experience hosting events for the ITPA each year and they left no stone unturned for this.  From a consistent track, awesome pit area and amazing meal for the competitors; to the thrilling competition that took place at the Grandstands, this was a great show!  I hope I am asked back for this event and that the committee brings the mods in 2012!

The Farm Progress Show
Wow Folks, the pits were packed with some of the sports greatest competitors.   The end totals saw more then 25 Limited Pro Stocks, 25 Pro Stocks, and 13 Two Wheel Drive Trucks but a scare with mother nature prevented the fans from coming out to the event.  I am so very excited for the 2012 Farm Progress Show, as I hope that the competitors will show up to run for a solid purse and the fans will pack the bleachers.

New Hampton, Iowa
I have never made it to New Hampton, Iowa for their Grand National event but everything I have heard from the competitors and fans was a resoundingly positive vibe.  When a puller promotes a show or sits on a committee it allows for insight and thought from Perspective 1, which I believe gives an event a major heads up!

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Again, I was unable to attend Eddie Carey's Pull in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky but I have heard nothing but positive feedback about it over the last two months.  I have marked my calendar as one I would like to attend in 2012. 

Follow Miles Beyond 300 on Facebook and join in on some conversation!
I have created a Facebook Page for Miles Beyond 300 and I would love for you to move over to the page for further discussion on this topic.  Your feedback as a fan or competitor is the whole reason that I am maintaining this blog and is a means for me to grow my knowledge of everyone's perspective.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Farm Show Predicitions Recap

The National Farm Machinery Show Committee released the selected competitors who have received an invitation to compete at the largest indoor pull in the world in February.  For the second year in a row, I posted my predictions of who would be selected when all was said and done.  I am pleased to say that even without knowing who applied, I achieved a 79% on who I chose versus who got in.  Now 79% could easily be improved upon in knowing for certain that eight of the competitors I selected did not even apply.  Those competitors who I have heard did not apply are: Adam Bauer, Bill Voreis, Ken Veney, Brian Shramek in the Modified Class, Al Wright and Tom Gallitz in the Super Farm Class and Mark Lawyer and Stuart Maize in Pro Stock.  If I would have known these competitors did not apply, I would have placed eight new competitors in their slots.  If the law of averages were to hold true, I would have gotten six or seven of those spot correct. 
Super Modified Two Wheel Drive- 26 of 30 or 86% (8 finalists)
Pro Stock Tractors- 35 of 45 or 77% (11 of 12 finalists-Tractor was sold)
Super Stock Open-14 of 15 or  93% (6 finalists)
Super Stock Diesel-12 of 15 or 80% (5 of 6 finalists- Note the tractor that did not make it, qualified last year after Jeff Demers could not come back)
Super Farm Tractors- 21 of 30 or70% (6 of 8 finalists) Not certain that they applied
Modified Tractors- 10 of 15 or 66% (Note this is the worst average that I had, but it also the class that I predicted many that did not apply.) [5 of 6 finalists- The late Jeff Gueningsman is the sixth]
Super Stock Diesel Trucks- 11 of 12 or 92%
Light Super Stock Tractors- 11 of 15 or 73% 
Total 140 of 177 or 79%

I am also very excited to see Jeremy Corria come to Louisville with his Lucas Oil sponsored Modified.  I have seen several videos of this tractor running on the west coast and look forward to watching it live in Louisville!  It is my plan to further study these classes and later post my thoughts and observations of the fields. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Miles Beyond 300 2011 Awards

In the future it is my hope that a Miles Beyond 300 Award might mean something but at the present time it will just be me giving a shout out to the things I noticed on the 2011 season!  I was lucky to attend more pulls in 2011 then I ever have, those pulls gave me plenty of ammunition to fill in the blanks for these awards!  Thinking about these categories, I tried not to be biased and truly evaluate the entire season.  I am certain their are so many other deserving folks but these are the particular events, competitors and moments that stuck out the most for me.  

It is hard to have an awards section without honoring lost competitors, so I want to again mention the loss of Jeff Gueningsman.  Jeff was a great competitor and is certainly missed in the pulling world.  

Pull of the Year- Scheid Diesel Extravaganza- I was lucky to be the announcer at this event in Terre Haute!  For years I have traveled to BG with my father and I have witnessed die hard pulling fans but Diesel fans tend to raise the bar even more than usual.  Not only did the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League do a phenomenal job with this show but it was one of the largest, most responsive crowds that I have ever stood in front of.  Overall this event was truly my pick for the Pull of the Year.  

Favorite Event- Wisconsin Dairy Land National- This was my first trip to the Badger state for this acclaimed pull.  Let me say without hesitation that this pull did not disappoint!  I loved every facet of this event and have marked my calendar with the plan to be back the final weekend in June.  

Puller of the Year- Kathy Archer Schalitz- this lady claimed an NTPA Grand National Championship in what was the most exciting class on the circuit in 2011.  The final pull of the year had three competitors vying for the title; Bill Voreis the champ, Brian Shramek one of the most decorated Diesel competitors in NTPA History and Kathy.  With a potent combination Kathy claimed the title and punctuated what was a fantastic season for her entire team.  

Pass of the Year-Kathy Archer Schalitz-  The final run of the Unlimited Season not only cemented the championship but was the third run of the night.  With ice in her veins she nailed it!  I also considered Doug Lively's Pulloff pass at Tomah, Kevin Masterson's run at Altamont, Jeremy Nelson's winning run at the Indy Super Pull and Bill Leishner's Decatur, Illinois pull to the 400 foot barrier. 

Rookie of the Year- The NTPA Rookie of the Year race was ridiculous with guys like Ryan Salenbien, Darrin Hunt, Doug Lively, The Schmucker's just to name a few.  On the state circuit Bethany Nelson had an awesome year in her debut with 3 wins in six attempts in Illinois.  I chose to give the nod to the Schmucker's after a very dominant year with the NTPA Grand National Pro Stock circuit.  It truly will be a tough choice for the powers at be, come banquet time for the NTPA! 

Surprise of the Year-
Gold- When the Boyd's decided not to run a full circuit with the Pro Pulling League Champions Tour, the strangle hold they held gave big shoes to fill in the Pro Stock class.  In Northwest Missouri a new star arose in the form Stuart Maize.  When the season began in Wilmington, Ohio, it looked as if The Boerson's would take the former Boyd tractors back to the top.  Red fans must be proud of the Billet Binder International and the four Champions Tour wins it collected on the circuit.  It wasn't that I didn't think Stuart Maize could win the title but I didn't expect the dominant season he had. 

Silver- Brian Shramek Youngblood Unleashed- Give him time and he will figure it out!  He absolutely did that and then some with his six engine pulling configuration.  This tractor and driver will be a huge threat in 2012, as it seems it will only get better with another year of running!  

Bronze- Brad Moss, I have known this gentleman was quite the Pro Stock driver but I never expected he would jump right into two wheel drive truck and win in his first weekend on the Champions Tour! He jumped into a highly competitive truck and was exactly that, highly competitive! 

Most Improved- Mark Austin- At the end of the season of 2009, Mark took a step forward when he upgraded his chassis in purchasing the Pair of Jacks from Steve Jacks.  The 2010 season Mark ran this truck with a Fowler Hemi and did his best to learn the truck while running the Champions Tour, Midwest Region and ITPA circuits.  At the end of 2010, Mark took another big step when he bought the motor that was originally in the truck from Steve.  In doing so the Gamblin After Dark had Sassy power again and became a combination that was quite dominant in previous years.  Mark upgraded the program even further with one of the best paint jobs these eyes have ever seen.  2011 saw Mark putting together one of the most consistent seasons that I can remember on the Champions Tour.  In previous years he very well might have won the points title but with two pullers on the circuit sharing over 80 % of the wins amongst themselves it was a tough year! 

Dominator Award-Jeremy Nelson- In all of my years I can't think of someone who put together a season like this guy did in 2011.  Jeremy could actually be classified under many of these categories with the wonderful season he had.  Not only did he win his first Champions Tour Title, he grabbed another State championship with the ITPA.  He won seven Champions Tour Hooks but one he is most proud of is the Illinois State Fair Pull which has evaded him in previous years.  The truck appeared to be on cruise control in 2011!

Comeback Puller of the Year- Doug Theobald- Wow, what a year for this Indiana native.  Doug didn't just build a new truck; he won Tomah, swept Chapel Hill and put his name in the hunt for the Championship with the NTPA.  I am not sure how the NTPA determines their Puller of the Year but this gentlemen deserves a serious look and consideration.
Never Give Up Award- Adam Bauer- After watching the results for the better part of the summer it was my opinion that Jason Hathaway would all but run away with the Mini Rod Championship but despite all of his wins the former champion Bauer claimed another title.  It certainly is unfortunate for Hathaway as his sophomore season and debut of the second tractor was nothing short of remarkable but this should only motivate the Donkey's to work even harder in 2012!

Team of the Year- The Varner's-  Wow, I grew up watching the Varner Brother's pulling their Midway, Kentucky based trucks.  Darrell always had his Rare Breed Two Wheel Drive, while brother Gary ran the Fast Break Four Wheeler.  In recent years Darrell has gotten rid of the Rare Breed to build a second Four Wheel Drive known as the Stray Dog.  These brothers went on a big streak this season on the Champions Tour and had it not been for Gary being unable to hook at Saluda, SC, the second night they may be celebrating a championship.  Darrell won a Regional Championship, while Gary finished Runner Up on the Champions Tour.  Between them the brother's collected five Champions Tour events, thus cementing them in my mind as the Team of the Year! 

Wind er Tight- Tim Fitzsimmons- I had been following the Outlaw Points online all summer long but hadn't had the opportunity to see the Country Heat in action.  Tim had a great year on the Outlaw circuit claiming a points championship in a competitive two wheel drive class.  I can honestly say that when I did get to see Tim run at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, that I was baffled at the RPM's this truck was turning.  I am not sure that I have ever heard a motor screaming as loudly and running as hard as I did when the Country Heat made its pass. 

Debuts of the Year- I have already highlighted Doug Theobald's great success with his new truck but I wanted to highlight several other competitors that debuted new vehicles and had incredible successes with it! 
Stan Shelton- What a great year which ended with a Championship! 
Jason Hathaway- Winning on the NTPA Circuit isn't easy but this tractor made it look that way. 
Tim Stone- Finishing in the top three of the Champions Tour was a remarkable feat for this new John Deere.  
Darrick Barga- Not only did the Barga's collect their first win but they were in the hunt numerous times throughout the season. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Diesel Super Stock Trucks

After debuting last year at the NFMS, the Super Stock Diesel Trucks are back for a sophomore season at the hollowed grounds of Freedom Hall.  The first year proved to be a bit of a trying show for several of the competitors as they simply did not make the passes they hoped for.  Following the show many fans made their comments known of the length of time the class took and how the show truly suffered when the SSDT ran. 

I am glad that the committee gave these guys a second attempt as I have witnessed some highly competitive and exciting shows within the class this summer.  The one true downfall to the class is a simple lack of numbers, the committee truly cannot fill a 15 competitor class with true SSDT.  In 2011 the committee allowed a few competitors to jump up from the 3.0 ranks to run with the big guys, it wasn't a poor showing as the 3.0 guys got the wick lit and made a good showing!  Knowing the lack of numbers this class was a challenge but I did the best I could to decipher the guys I believe will make it the cut. 

I capped my field at 12 to follow suit with last year! 

Criteria One
NFMS Finalist- In this case I went with Top 6
1 Van Haisley Rock Hard Ram
2 Shane Kellogg Gotta Have It
3 Curt Haisley Off Constantly
4 Ben Miller Double Over Time
5 Wayne Greier Resurrected Ram
6 Carl Atley Lethal Weapon

Criteria Two
NTPA (No Grand National Points for SSDT)
Top Five  Region II
Van Haisley Already In
7 Kent Crowder  Scheid Diesel Dodge
8 Erik Stacey SmoknYa HD
Ben MillerAlready In
9 Cory Atley Agstremely Hooked

Criteria Two 
PPL (Midwest Region Points no Champions Tour)
Shane Kellogg Already In
Van Haisley Already In
Carl Atley Already In
Erik Stacey Already In
Kent Crowder Already In

Criteria Three 
Badger State/OSTPA/ITPA
10 Rod Tarr Super Ram
Shane Kellogg Already In

Criteria Four 
At Large 
11 Calvin Miller Runnin In the Red
12 Todd Gettelfinger Ripped Up Ram

Pro Stock Tractors

The Pro Stock show last year at the NFMS couldn't have been much better with two of the sports legends battling one another in the pull-off.  I can't wait to see the 2012 event as I am certain that all three nights of competition will be packed to the gills with potent tractors.  Will David Justison last year's surprise winner of Wednesday Night find his winning ways again after a fantastic season in the state of Illinois?  Can the entire Tantrum Team recreate their storybook 2011?  Will Stuart Maize carry the momentum he had on the Champions Tour with him to Freedom Hall?  These are some of the story lines that I will be looking for in February.  With this list there are no real surprises or risks that I have taken but I am confident that the field will be fairly close to this!  

Criteria One 
NFMS Finalist 
1 Lance Little True Grit
2 Don Masterson Tinker Toy
3 David Justison Living the Legacy
4 Jeff Sapp Big Country
5 Brian Shramek Git Er Dun Deere
6 Troy Bader Forever Green
7 Randy Bader No Fear Deere
8 Tim Brinkmeier Fuelish Pleasure
9 Mark Lawyer Rapped Up
10 Chris Cain Ace's Wild
11 Dustin Hook T-Bone
12 Miles Stratton Young Buck

Criteria Two 
NTPA Top Five 
13 Danny/Kevin Schmucker Rampage
14 The Lemke's New Generation Plus
15 Carlton Cope Warpath
16 Ryan Walters Chasin Tail
17 Randy Campbell Soupline Express

Criteria Two 
PPL Top Five 
18 Stuart Maize Billet Binder
19 Mike Linder Linder Brothers
20 Tim Stone Rollin Stone
Rodney Schnitker Melt Down (Does not typically apply)
21 The Boersens Greenline Express II

Criteria Three 
Outlaws/ Badger State/ ITPA/ Mid South
22 Rick Behrendt Wampuscat 
Dustin Hook T-Bone
David Justison Already In with a tractor
23 Ken Couch Cotton Pickin Deere
24 Jeremy Smith 310 Express

Criteria Four 
NTPA 6-10 
25 Tim Cain Red Gambler
Brian Shramek Git Er Dun Deere
Chris Cain Aces Wild
26 Henry Smith Sneaky Snake
27  Rob Russell Workhorse

Criteria Four
PPL 6-10 
Dennis Schaubert The Hunted (Expecting him not to apply)
28 Kevin Masterson River Rat
Don Masterson Tinker Toy
29 The Boersen's Greenline Express
30 Bryce VanGenderen Geared Green

Criteria Five 
Regional Winners from NTPA/PPL 
31 Tim Overmyer Sandhill Binder Region II
32 Ed Orrell Hardcore Harvester

Criteria Six
NFMS Previous years finish 
33 Chance McGrath Last Chance 5th Friday Night
34  Dannie Kuhns Trailblazer 5th Wednesday Night

Criteria Seven
NFMS Champions Provisiona
35 Steve Wischmeier Barely Gettin By
36 Phillip Parish El Nino
37 Larry Shope Iron Dragon
38 Bill Miller Crusin Mule

Criterira Eight 
Regional Runner-Ups/Outlaws/Badger State/ ITPA/ Other Organizations Top Finishers 
39 Cody Yarick Gone
40 Blaine Stamm Stampede
41  Troy Schroedl Contents Under Pressure
42 Ray Link Gon Mokin
43 The Martins Think Green

Criteria Nine 
At Large 
44 The Martins John Deere Green
45 Nick McCormick Nasty Stuff