CHARLESTOWN, Indiana (February 21, 2020) - The 52nd Annual Championship Tractor Pull at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky is the premier gathering of competitors in a variety of classes from different organizations in the sport of truck and tractor pulling. A host of Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League regulars took to the fabled stage of Freedom Hall for their shot at a coveted CTP championship over the course of four days and five sessions of pulling, from February 12th to the 15th.
The first session of action on the 12th featured reigning PPL Pro Modified Four Wheel Drive Truck Champion David Mills and the War Wagon Dodge taking his third straight title at the CTP. In the Super Farm Tractor division, the top three competitors represented their PPL Member-states where Brad Woods (Thunderstruck Deere - Mid-South Pullers), Randy Thomas (Bad Bodacious IH - Mid-South Pullers), and Casey Fritz (Twisted Deere - Badger State Tractor Pullers) all advanced to the Saturday Super Farm Finals. Modified Tractor competition saw Keith Long (Lucas Oil Bullseye), Bill Leischner (Dirtslinger) and Steve Bunnage (Takes-A-Lickin) advance to Saturday competition. Pro Stock Tractors rounded out the evening with defending class champion Don Masterson scoring a second place finish and a spot in Saturday's final competition on the Tinker Toy Deere.
Session Two on Thursday the 13th offered Lightweight Super Stock pullers Bobby Jones (Field Sobriety CaseIH) and Terry Blackbourn (Considered Armed and Dangerous CaseIH) advancing into the Saturday LSS finals. One of the feel-good stories of the week was Dale Nelson piloting the Midnight Gambler Dodge of Jeremy Nelson to the Two Wheel Drive Truck qualifier win, after Dale lost his own Last Chance truck in a catastrophic shop fire. 2019 PPL Pro Stock regulars Peter Norton and Mike Boyd went 1-2 on Thursday on their potent John Deere machines.
Friday's Session Three action offered four more classes of pulling. Limited Pro Stocks kicked off the evening and PPL regulars swept the top three with former Silver Series Champion Tony MacDonald and the Well Spent CaseIH taking the win and reigning Sliver Series champ Justin Wagler's Real Deere in second. Mid-South competitor Colby Counce and the Dixie Deere finished third. Bethany Nelson drove her Sweet Revenge Chevy into the second spot in Two Wheel Drive Truck while Josh Blackbourn (Armed and Dangerous - International Threat CaseIH) and Jordan Lustik (Silver Bullet AGCO-White) roared to qualifying spots for the Super Stock Tractor finals. Rob Russell and the Work Horse-Pro CaseIH gained a qualifying nod in Pro Stock with a third place finish on Friday.
Saturday's afternoon session of pulling gave additional PPL pullers an opportunity to advance to Saturday night's finals. The Super Stock Diesel Truck session had a sweep of the top three by PPL regulars where Kent Crowder (Scheid Diesel Dodge), Van Haisley (Rock Hard Ram), and Chase Eller (Caretaker Dodge) finished 1-2-3 respectively. Ag Protect 1 Light Pro Stock Champion Mark Wiederhold and the Bare Necessities finished second in Light Pro Stock action, while Josh Blackbourn and the Armed and Dangerous - Excessive Force CaseIH advanced to the Lightweight Super Stock finals with a class win. Steve Wischmeier and the Whiskey Wild Deere represented the PPL into the Pro Stock Finals with a third place finish.
The Saturday night finals was a memorable event with outstanding competition. Modified tractors opened the evening where Bret Berg and the Moneymaker machine (replacing the Steve Bunnage who was unable to compete in the finals) roared to a third place finish. Josh Blackbourn backed up his Saturday afternoon win in LSS with a second place in the finals, while Bethany Nelson and the Sweet Revenge Chevy notched a second in Two Wheel Drive. Jordan Lustik and the Silver Bullet sailed a second place finish in Super Stock Tractor, and Mike Boyd finished second in the massive Pro Stock Tractor final.
Congratulations to all of the Pro Pulling League competitors at the Championship Tractor Pull for your outstanding efforts!