Four different classes will be well represented at the Clinton County Fairgrounds this weekend as the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League heads into town for the Spring Nationals Truck and Tractor Pullsponsored by Clinton County Ag Society & The Equipment Superstore.  Premier Crop Insurance Pro Stock Tractors will make their season opening passes down the track to embark on their fierce points battle as the E3 Super Modified Tractors, Mac Trailer Unlimited Super Stock Tractors and Optima Batteries Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks forge on in the fight as well.

After Stuart Maize and his “Billet Binder” walked away with the championship at the Lucas Oil Speedway, many competitors in the Premier Crop Insurance  Pro-Stock class decided to step it up over the winter in order to chase down the fierce international.  Twenty-two competitors signed up for the points race knowing that the schedule would be harsh with eighteen hooks in just a little over three months.  Expect to see “Linder Brothers” (Mike and John Linder), “Rollin Stone” (Tim Stone) and “Meltdown” (Rodney Schnitker) in action as they all vied for podium last year.  Also anticipate perennial favorites such as “Tinker Toy” and “River Rat” from the Masterson family, “Barely Getting Bye” and “Nasty Stuff” to battle it out as the “Lucas Oil Green Streak” and “TS Performance Young Buck” return to the circuit.

The battle continues in the E3 Spark Plugs Super Modified Tractor class with three events in the books.  “75th Edition” (Joe Eder) and “Mr. Twister” (Scott Tedder) have picked up two podiums each and “Takes A Lickin” (Bunnage Brothers) pulled out two huge wins in Lincolnton, NC at the Pumpkin Center Super Pull.  However, the consistency of the “Speedco Firestone Dirtslinger” and Bill Leischner has him sitting third in points with Tedder second and the Bunnage Brothers with an early lead.  But fans should be on the lookout for  the “Lucas Oil MAVTV” machine of the Long brothers after opening the season with a tenth place finish, bettering themselves with a seventh and then finished just off the podium in fourth at their last event.  The team seems to be figuring out the brand new piece and is on the rise. 

Jeremy Nelson continues to pilot “Speedco Midnight Gambler” in championship style as he defends his title in the Optima Batteries SM2WD category by finishing in the top five at every event so far this season.  But the veteran from Illinois has some competition from right outside his back door with his father-in-law John Mumma in “After Midnight” knocking on the door right behind him in second place.  His brothers, Jordan (Midnight Madness) and Jared (Midnight Revenger) hold third and fourth respectively with the Long Brothers “MAVTV” truck in fifth place just 23 points behind.  Fans should keep focus on the track though as Tony Tatum’s “Parts City Auto Parts” truck and the Long’s “Ridin Dirty” both fared well last year on the Wilmington soil.

The most interesting class of the night though could be the MAC Trailer Unlimited Super Stockers.  The leader in the category is a newcomer to the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League’s Champion Tour circuit. That would be the police officer from Delroy, Ohio, Jeff Hothem in “Fully Loaded.”  Hothem tested the waters on the big boy circuit last year and decided to jump right in this season and has had tremendous success picking up a win at the first event.  He stands third currently in points just behind veteran and Ohio native Duane Keener who drives the ferocious Deere named “Bambi”.  The current point’s leader is Aaron Hull who is no stranger to the circuit and makes his appearance to the field again after a several year hiatus.  Hull, who pilots “Taking Care of Business,” may be better known on the circuit from his time piloting the Waupun Minnie-Mo  but with his new ride, he showed very well at the first event picking up a first and second.  Fans may be asking themselves, what about Port Clinton native Jeff Hirt and his “Ferris Mowers Runnin Bare?”  Well Hirt came out at the first event to a slow start, but that’s nothing unusual for the team, especially since the birth of his first child just occurred and a new tractor as been in the works since the end of last season.  Even though these are new events to the team, this is almost history repeating itself as he has been off to the same slow start for the last two years and then came on strong to win the championship.  In fact, this pull was the beginning of a three hook win streak last year for “Runin Bare” that helped the machine earn a second championship.  Look for Hirt to be in rare form and perform well in his native state.

For more information check out ClintonCountyFair.org or the Spring Nationals sponsor Equipment Superstore. Results, winner, and highlight videos will be posted after the event at facebook.com/LucasOilPullingLeague

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All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Sunday, January 27
4:00 PM
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