Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kentucky Whoopies are taking pulling by storm!!!

For travelers of Interstate 65, there is a perfect destination to the North of Nashville, Tennessee, that provides a wonderful backdrop for a break from traveling.   For years Franklin, Kentucky has been known as the home of Kentucky Downs (a first class race track and gambling facility), PGA Tour favorite Kenny Perry and his golf course and a great variety of local shops and restaurants to lure the interest of passersby on the Interstate!  However, over the past few years Franklin, Kentucky has become known for one more thing, Kentucky Whoopie Pies.  

Kentucky Whoopie Pies were dreamed up by Mary and Trey Pitt, who were looking for a way to generate some additional revenue and value for the family farming operation. For those who have not had the opportunity to taste these delightful treats at an NTPA Grand National event, you may wonder what a Whoopie Pie is.  Trey Pitt explained:  “A Whoopie Pie is really an East Coast thing! The product has its origins in the states of Maine and Pennsylvania.”  “The biggest difference in the regions is the filling. Some use marshmallow crème while others use butter crème filling, and all use a standard cake textured cookie.  The fun part is that while its name is pie it really is not" added Trey Pitt.  

After breaking ground on the idea and concept of Kentucky Whoopie Pies, Mary and Trey began to brainstorm a way to promote the new product.  Their basic idea was to develop an online business, but further consideration lead them down another path.  They chose to look to what they knew and that of course was the sport of Truck and Tractor Pulling.  Trey and Mary can trace their involvement in the sport straight back to (Trey's father and Mary's husband) John.  John, a Super Farm competitor was gaining a strong reputation as a threat for the victory at each event he rolled into with his Internationals known as the Ragin' Bull and Ragin’ Bull II.  

Kentucky Whoopies were introduced at a few events on the Mid South Pullers circuit and select events in Ocala, Florida and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  While Mary focused on refining the process of baking, Trey began to dream up new concepts for promoting their tasty treats.  Those concepts lead him to contact events who may be interested in bringing these unique products to their fan base.  With a lot of hard work and some great connections, the interest in Kentucky Whoopies grew!  In March of 2011, Kentucky Whoopie Pies took a big step in their marketing efforts when they teamed up as a sponsor of the National Tractor Pulling Association.  The impressions that the Pitts were able to create through this sponsorship were unreal and lead to a large increase in those who were craving their favorite flavor!

As the popularity of their brand grew, the demand of baking these fan favorite desserts required more time in the bakery.  A new stand-alone certified kitchen was constructed on the family farm before the first Whoopie Pie was released and the Pitt’s were becoming quite familiar with it.  A typical work week requires the Pitts to fire up the ovens from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. three days a week.  In that time frame they can make approximately 4500 individual cakes featuring their signature filling, packaged with their logo, just waiting to reach the hands of Kentucky Whoopie's adoring fans.  

The love pullers and fans possess for their favorite flavor serves as a true testament to Mary Pitt's baking prowess.  Mary, an avid baker already, turned her focus to learning the process of commercial production.    In just a few short years, the variety of flavors that have enriched the ever growing Kentucky Whoopie name have been: Classic Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Vanilla,  Lemon Pie, Maple Pancake, Red Velvet,  and Apple Pie.  Omitted from this list are specific flavors that were custom made for two of the NTPA's nationally recognized events. Chapel Hill, Tennessee’s Super National pull featured a mouth watering orange creamsicle flavored Whoopie, while the Enderle Pull-Off bolstered their own Chocolate Covered Cherry flavoring!  

After one full season on the NTPA Grand National circuit the Pitts are excited to hook up the trailer and make their way across the country following the 2012 season! "While our original thought was to create an on-line product, we knew after our first pull that we wanted to develop a relationship with the Tractor Pulling Family and direct our product towards them.  Long hours in production, traveling to events and selling at the events is our routine, and we love it!   We have made so many new friends and met great people who are involved in this sport! 

Another exciting addition for 2012 is the introduction of the Kentucky Whoopie Maker!  The former Ragin’ Bull II International is now carrying the distinct Kentucky Whoopie logo right on the side of 1466 sheet metal.  After a successful weekend to kick off 2012 at the Midwest Winter Nationals, the Kentucky Whoopie Maker is well on its way to developing the impressions the Pitts hope for! 

 If you haven't already had an opportunity to enjoy one of these amazing dessert treats, make a point to stop by the Kentucky Whoopie tent and grab your favorite flavor on the 2012 NTPA Pulling Circuit!   As many have said in the past, reach on in there and get you one!  

For further information about Kentucky Whoopie Pies please visit their official website at Kentucky Whoopie or  keep up with them this summer on their newly started blog at Pie .

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What if we bring the past, to the future?

On Wednesday night, February 15th, when the magic begins on the Hallowed Freedom Hall dirt, I will turn 36. In my 36 years, I have seen thousands of trips down the 300 ft all across the country, at county fairs, speedways, you name it. I've seen it.

I have been going to pulls all of my 36 years, and tracing the sport from those beginnings to where it is today, has sure been one of the greatest things I've had the pleasure in my life to do, but in talking about all this, I have to admit a couple of things: For Starters, The two wheel drive class was, is, and forever will be the closest one to my heart.  I love smoke and the raw horsepower of the modified's, and the intense wheel speed and unpredictability of the Alky supers and lights, but they just don't get me like the twos do.

I remember where I was, I remember when it happened, the day I realized that the two's would be it for me. I remember my first trip to"Pull Town" USA, Bowling Green Ohio, In the late 80s, what I saw in the pits that year, made me realize that these two wheeled machines would have profound effects on me. I remember thinking, "Yep, I want one of those".

Photo Credit to Mike Walker 
I think the thing that struck me, as a fan of NHRA funny cars, was how similar these were to the floppers that I loved during that era, the flip tops, the headers, the similar starting techniques, but most of all, the variety, that was the kicker, There were pickups, vans, Panel Wagons, Station Wagons, Thunderbirds, C-cabs, Corvettes, Jeeps, Willy's, and even a purple Porsche.

In that sea of beautiful paint and various body combinations there were some that I had to see closer. The aforementioned "Floyds Toy" Porsche driven by Indiana's Floyd Hilton struck me as interesting because not only was it purple, but it was also a Porsche, and I have long been a fan of the ones you don't see too many of. Another was the classic Ford Taurus station wagon "Florida Cracker" campaigned by Winter Park Florida's Chris Holdorf. The woman in the bikini on the side of the that wagon was an instant winner for this 13 year old boy. Holdorf also campaigned an Aerostar van body that as I write this is still thriving on the state level in the badger state
Photo Credit to Jeff Luckey
Another scan of the pits gave you other thrills, The Spike, and Jack Daniels S-10s, The Irish Trucks out of Wisconsin, Iowan Ray Carpenters fine "Sundance Kid", Kenny Lamont's El Camino "Midnight Express" out of Illinois. , the tough running black GMC "Stitches" with Jim Lyons driving, and that red one from Georgia called the Bad Dawg, the list went on and on, and the dreamlike state that I was in has remained. I was a fan for life!  I still get that feeling today, when I arrive at a venue, and see these machines roll out of their trailers....talk about kid in a candy store!

So what is my point to all of this? I love where we are, but I miss where we were. I miss the days when you were never suprised at the latest creation to come out of a trailer, and that got me to thinking about something. How about a class. A class for the old ones, a class where the trucks of those days can live again. NHRA has successfully breathed life into many Nostalgia Classes, as have NASCAR, and other circle track series. I say, why not pulling?

I am sure that 25 years later, many of the trucks I mentioned have long been forgotten, and parted out, never to grace the track again?   But what of the ones in barns, and behind shops all across the country that served their purpose, and were then parked due to the rising costs associated with out sport. I say, lets find them, fix them up, and bring them back to life?

So as the wheels for a nostalgia class got to turning, I tried to do my homework, and with the help of both pulling legends, and current stars, I have come up with a framework that I feel would be the basis for this class.

Engines-In my early teens, the Rodeck, and the Arias motor were the cats meow in our class, but 20 years later, the KB Hemi has solidified itself as the champion. Given this, and the fact that I would hope this class could be less cut throat and more economical for folks who just want to have fun, I propose a cubic inch limit of 500. We don't want it to be too costly and we want an even playing field.

The Bad Dawg Mike Stowe and Jeremy Krieger 2011
Body-To promote the images of my youth, I would encourage, ANY type of vehicle, both all steel, or fiberglass, who knows, maybe that Porsche is still out there. I would say the year of the make would need to be previous to 1999.

Supercharger-given the fact that the 14:71 high helix has been the gold standard, I see no reason to change it.

Drawbar Height
-28 inches, as that is what it was then.

Wheelbase-I would keep that pretty much the same as it is today.

Fuel System and Ignition- would need to be standardized. Again, to keep the playing field level.

Rear-End- Planetary Combos could be a mixture of the the eras, much like they are now.

Safety-Of course all vehicles would need to comply with all modern day safety conveniences, but most of them are close to what they were then, with the killswitch, and on board fire suppresion systems.

So there it is, my basic idea. And who knows, I might never get the opportunity to revisit those golden era days again, but I have to wonder. How many of you reading this would not jump at the chance to see some of the old legends come out to play? I know I would, and if any promoter or sanctioning body ever picks up on this idea, I promise, I will buy the first admission ticket, as long as it's attached to a hot pit band.

Special thanks to those who let me pick their brains on this, including Mike Stowe, Jeremy Nelson, Mark Austin, John Mumma, Jared Nelson, Jordan Nelson, and Dale Nelson. This article has really given me a feel for how far we've come, but you never know, you might see a throwback at a county fair near you one day soon. Who knows, I may be driving it.

Thanks for reading this
-Jeremy Krieger

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brice Terry is turning heads with Hy-Strung !

For as long as I can remember my favorite color has always been orange.  While most children may like blue, red, green or yellow, I always yelled orange when someone would ask me.  As a child traveling to tractor pulls around the country with my father, I always had an eye out for what I referred to as the orange ones.  As time went by and the sport of pulling advanced, the number of orange tractors has continually declined in competition.  Though the tractors are few and far between in comparison to other brands, the Allis Chalmers or Agco on the circuit are making orange fans proud throughout the country!  

On the national circuit Brian Shramek has continued to prove that he can win with his DT225 Youngblood in the Super Stock Diesel class.  In the Pro Stock class, the Domann Family has been quite competitive with their DT220 Hurricane Allis on the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour.  The Haney's from the south have always fought hard on the National and Regional circuit when they arrive with their tractors from Alabama. For years, Jeff and Bill Hirt of Ohio campaigned an Allis  that was one of my favorites as the Runin Bare was competitive on the national circuit and Orange.  The Galot Team (Wells and Strickland) of North Carolina campaigns an Unlimited Super Stock and a SF both of which are high powered tractors emblazoned in Orange on the Grand National Pulling Circuit.

Photo courtesy of Jake Morgan of Pulloff.com
In my opinion the most popular Agco-Allis in the last decade is campaigned out of 84 Pennsylvania, by the Lustik Family.  Rich and Jordan have worked hard to make their 3208 Caterpillar power work under the hood of the 6195 Agco.  In the popular Unlimited Super Stock class the Silver Bullet has developed a tremendous following of fans that love the unique sound and incredible performances that it provides on the NTPA Grand National Circuit.  Though the Agco brand of tractors is not as prevalent on the circuit as John Deere or International, the previously mentioned folks have provided hope to fans that tend to favor a different color.

At Gordyville USA a few weeks ago my head turned when I saw Brice Terry's Hy-Strung D-21.  This tractor was absolutely flawless from the sheet metal to the vinyl wrapping that covered the side shields.  As I previously wrote in my recap of the event, I would have voted this tractor as one of the best appearing on the weekend of competition.  I wanted to learn more about the tractor and appreciated Brice Terry taking time to share the story of the D-21 and how it found it's way to Missouri.

In July of 2010 Brice Terry purchased the tractor from the Wellert's from Ohio.  The Wellert's campaigned the D-21 with the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association 8000 lb SS class, under the name of Pieces Parts.  The tractor actually housed a 504 Light Super Stock Motor but ran competitively for the Wellert's throughout the state of Ohio.   After purchasing the tractor Brice and the Hy-Strung team campaigned the D-21 late in the pulling season of 2010 and had a lot of fun just learning about the setup and competing.  After the season Brice and company put the tractor through Extreme Makeover Tractor Edition with the goal to dress the tractor up and make it their own.

The Hy-strung Team came up with the basic idea and concept of how they wanted the tractor to look and began executing the plan.  They took the tractor to Dennis at Haslag Steel in Washington, MO. The crew at Haslag put the transformation in full effect when they made a new front end and weight bracket, remounted the hood, made new side shields, mounted a new fuel tank, put on a set of Binderlite AC fenders, made a faux D21 rear fuel tank, wrapped the frame in mirrored stainless steel, and made several other shiny stainless parts.

Photo courtesy Dick Morgan of Pulloff.com
The makeover also called for the team to add a set of shiny aluminum wheels and pull the tractor in the open class locally, however the plans changed when the decision was made to get the tractor light and pull in the light super stock class when the opportunity arose. The team took the tractor to Pobar and Arlo, where they mounted a set of magnesium Franklin planetaries to Hy-Strung.  Next on the agenda was an aluminum center section, a lightweight ProFab 3 speed transmission, a ProFab rear motor plate, aluminum clutch can and all new ProFab's clutch release and input shaft products were added to the Allis.

The team then turned its focus to making the tractor light weight, they did this when they cut, drilled, and ground off anything they could to get the chassis as light as possible before it was powder coated. After the makeover was completed and the weight loss efforts had run their course, the Hy-strung Allis D-21 now boasted a rolling chassis 1500 lbs lighter than it was when it arrived in the Show Me State!  

The 2011 season was scheduled to be a learning experience in dialing in the new light weight tractor with the alcohol engine combination the team was used too. The learning experience the team expected was not what they received, instead they found all sorts of engine troubles and got a lesson in how to spend all sorts of time working on a tractor! A major strength for the team was their meeting Bryan Conner at a pull.  Bryan was the original mastermind of the fuel system and turbos on the motor of Hy-Strung, he took an immediate liking to the tractor and has been a true lifesaver for team in its pursuit of gaining ground on it's competitors. Brice and the Hy-Strung team were totally defeated before they met Bryan Conner, such to the point they felt they may have reached their breaking point.  Presently, the team is so energized to go pulling now and that is in huge part to Bryan's efforts and enthusiasm!

The team took another step in the makeover when they upgraded the turbos last fall, unfortunately that lead to some major breakage in the engine block. The breakage in the block encouraged Brice to make a phone call to Phil at Riverside Engines Inc, who built Hy-Strung a complete new short block.  Scott Crow and Phil of REI worked together to develop the cylinder head as well. While the cylinder head and short block were being reworked, Bryan Conner upgraded all of the fuel system for Hy-Strung.  When these tasks were all completely it was time to put the tractor to the test and thus it was loaded heading to Gordyville, USA for the Midwest Winternationals!

For the first run with a completely new combination Brice and his team were very pleased. The Missouri based team has now set its focus in preparation for the NFMS where their goal is for a respectable showing, to prove the D-21's spot in the prestigious invitational only field.

For those of you die hard AC/ Orange fans Hy-Strung carries an AC 426 block and crank under the hood!

Photo by Adam Draudt
The Hy-Strung tractor is sponsored by the Terry families company, Terry Implement Co. Inc.   Terry Implement has been a proud dealer of  AC, Deutz-Allis, Agco Allis, and Agco since 1959  For more information about the Terry family business Terry Implement Co. Inc or to follow Hy-Strung Motorsports please click the links provided links below.

Special thanks to Brice Terry for his help in providing Miles Beyond 300 with the information about this awesome D-21 pulling tractor.


If you would like for Miles Beyond 300 to cover a respective tractor, competitor or organization, please send us an email at milesbeyond300@gmail.com.  Thanks for following the blog!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Theobald's truly are Pretty Wicked!

In the summer of 2010, Doug and Renee Theobald arrived at the first NTPA Grand National event of the season to kick off the 6200 lb. Two-Wheel Drive point’s race and debut the Pretty Wicked Super Modified Two Wheel Drive.  At the end of the 2009 season, Renee got a taste of what these remarkably powerful machines can do, when she drove the Wicked Willy of her husband, Doug!
Renee was hooked, the rush she felt only made her want to do it again thus they purchased a proven winner of a truck for her to drive.  To trace the heredity of the truck goes back to Bryan McDonald from the state of Maryland, who campaigned the truck as the Midnight Mistress and found great success in the form of a ring in Bowling Green, Ohio.  Bryan sold the truck to pulling legend Roland Barr of Ohio.  Roland and his wife Fonda had the truck for a decade before eventually selling it to Gary Kempton.  Kempton made a name change and a paint change in naming the truck the Renegade, when he began competing with it from his hometown in Georgia.  At the end of the 2009 pulling season the truck was purchased and found a new home in the Hoosier State.  The perennial powerhouse truck may have received its most fitting name when Renee and Doug decided to call it Pretty Wicked.  The truck a proven winner truly was pretty wicked and the fact that a pretty lady was saddled up in the driver’s seat only added to it.
Renee and Pretty Wicked in action!
Growing up in the sport, it was almost like Renee and Doug were both destined to have amazing pulling careers.  Renee is part of a third generation of Gettinger’s active in the sport.  Renee’s dad, Neil Gettinger; has been a staple in the Super Stock tractor class for more than three decades, while Doug’s life spent learning from his father Keith only furthered the lineage.  If a person could have been destined to pull, it became evident when Renee found her groove with her truck.  Right off the bat Renee started out at the highest level of pulling, and in June went to the NTPA Super National event in Tomah, Wisconsin, where she made her presence known.  The remainder of 2010 was more of the same with class of competitors taking notice that she was for real.   In her Rookie season she won a Grand National hook, finished fifth in the Grand National points and was selected to compete in the prestigious Enderle Pull-Off.  Closing the chapter on her rookie season was delayed a little while after Renee and Pretty Wicked were selected to run in February 2011 at the National Farm Machinery Show Championship Truck and Tractor Pull held in Freedom Hall Louisville, Kentucky.  Renee made a solid showing in the Thursday Night qualifier when she finished sixth and just missed a pull-off.  She concluded her rookie season by grabbing first place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the Keystone Nationals in March 2011.  For all of these impressive achievements Renee was named 2010 NTPA Rookie of the Year.  Many amazing competitors have stood on the stage to accept this prestigious award and Renee had now etched her name in the history books.  

Reflecting on her achievements did not really occur for Renee as the plan for 2011 called for a new truck for Doug.  Construction was underway very quickly after harvest season and the new Wicked Chevy S-10 was evolving.  

Rushing like crazy to get in the field for planting season while building a new truck was a real challenge for the Theobald’s.   The rush was on so much to the point that when the Grand National opener kicked off at Hazel Green, Alabama in early June, the truck had not been tested.  Doug may have thought he was in for a rough season after looking at the first weekend’s results, but it didn’t take long for him and the Wicked Motorsports team to find a formula that worked remarkably well.  

Above:The newly wrapped Wicked Chevy of Doug Theobald
At Tomah, Wisconsin, just a day after watching his wife finish in the top 2, Doug did what he had envisioned while working so hard to complete his truck.  He captured the Wisconsin Dairyland Summer Nationals victory in a field of nearly 50 competitors.  A tearful Doug shared an amazing embrace with his dad, his wife and children as the Wicked Chevy had just announced its arrival on the circuit.  

Three weeks later, Renee dominated the track with her second Grand National event win in New Hampton, Iowa.  Then it was off to the second NTPA Super National event of the year, Doug found his winning ways again as he claimed Friday night of the Super Pull of the South.  Sitting in the winner’s chair on the red clay track felt amazing to Doug, so much to the point that he made himself comfortable there on Saturday Night when he swept the event in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.   What a remarkable year for Doug, but it wasn’t over yet as he claimed the Shell-Rotella Cup as well as taking top honors at the highly acclaimed Enderle Pull-Off.  

To think about the year as a whole the Theobald’s took a tremendous step forward in their pursuit of claiming a Grand National title.  Had Renee not suffered catastrophic damage to her power plant at Tomah, we may be further discussing a one, two, Wicked Motorsports finish from Saturday Night. 

A lot was proven without words in 2011, as Renee and Doug made their presence known.  Maybe they knew something long before we did and that is that The Theobald’s are Pretty Wicked!  

Follow Wicked Motorsports on Facebook and Twitter for event updates and recaps of the action in 2012.  

Catch Pretty Wicked in Action: 
Murray Kentucky Friday and Saturday 1/20-1/21 
National Farm  Machinery Show- Doug Wicked 2/16
National Farm Machinery Show- Renee Pretty Wicked 2/17 
Keystone Nationals, Harrisburg, PA 3/23 & 3/24 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vendor Spotlight

CP Pistons Carrillo

The sport of truck and tractor continues to see the introduction of new and unique companies that are raising the bar for competition.  In 2011, CP Pistons found great success in the their first full year of working to develop a presence in the sport of pulling.  CP Pistons were used by Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Jeremy Nelson( Super Modified Two Wheel Drive ) and Terry Hagedorn (Pro Modified Four Wheel Drive).  Additionally CP also had pistons on the Champions Tour in the form of Jared Nelson and John Mumma's Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks and has been working closely with former multiple time champion Jim Bosch.

In their first season the California based company which was started in 1998, was pleased to see such great results by competitors using their equipment and looks forward to even more growth with 2012. 

To contact CP-Carrillo please click on the Vendors section of the blog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gordyville Recap

The Bulldog (Art Downs), Krystal Clifton, Butch Krieger and myself!
The winter months are among us and that only means one thing, pulling season is getting closer.  This past weekend The Midwest Winternationals were held at Gordyville USA in Gifford, Illinois.  Five years ago, I made my debut as one of the announcers of this event.  The growth the event has seen over the last few years is quite remarkable and is a true testament to the hard work and passion of Whats Smokin Promotions.

In my perception this event began as a stepping stone for those in classes that had qualified for the National Farm Machinery Show.  For those competing in classes that were not contested at the NFMS, this was a great chance to break up the monotony of the cold winter and get excited to go pulling.  In the past few years my perception of the event has changed as National Champions are arriving in large amounts to fight to win the Midwest Winternationals.  

Whats Smokin Promotions continues to bring innovation to the sport  in way of the track and the methodology they use to bring the tractors in and out of the arena.  From the minute the tractor leaves it's pit spot to the minute it arrives at the sled, it has been handled by several different tractor operators. Observing the pit area and watching the tractors fly through it with such precision is truly remarkable.  The track is one of the most consistent that I have ever seen as the last hook and the first hook are both given a fair opportunity to win.  

I love going to Gordyville as it gives me a chance to see pulling machines that I have never seen compete before.  Several vehicles truly caught my eye this year and I wanted to highlight a few. 

Hy-Strung of Brice Terry- Photo by Adam Draudt
Brice Terry's Hy-Strung D-21- Wow folks this tractor is a thing of beauty.  If I could have given a best appearing tractor for the weekend, my vote would have gone for this Missouri based Light Super.  Brice is a competitor with the Outlaws and will be in the Light Super Stock class at the National Farm Machinery Show.

Dustin Hart's Beyond Limits- Photo by Adam Draudt
Dustin Hart Beyond Limits-  Dustin made his debut of this tractor on Wednesday nights test night at Gordyville.  Wednesday night was only the beginning as the first night of competition this Case MX series International won it's qualifier to the finals.  What a beautiful tractor and the Hart's of course how made it one potent piece of machinery. 

I met Adam Draudt, a great photographer from New York for the first time this weekend.  Adam was shooting photos with Dick Morgan of Pulloff.com and travels to quite a few pulls in the summer to shoot photos as well.  Adam's photo galleries are posted on Facebook if you would like to look at them further.  The three photos in this blog post were posted by Adam from this weekends action..

As an added treat this year, I got to introduce my father Butch Krieger to Gordyville.  Dad came up as the third announcer with me and the Bulldog Art Downs.  I feel so lucky to be able to share the microphone not only with my father but also Art.  While my dad has been traveling on the National circuit, Art Downs has been capturing the hearts of the people of Illinois for years.  Art took a chance in working with me in 2006 and has taught me so very much about the sport, not just about announcing but also how these machines work.  What a weekend in Gordyville and congrats to the winners, Whats Smokin Crew and Klint Tucker for taking a dream and making it a reality!