Veteran puller Terry Hagedorn has had his fair share of ups and downs in the sport of pulling but the emotions he felt in the 2011 Lucas Oil Champions Tour season had not been equaled by a lifetime spent in pulling. What began as a nightmare for Terry, ended in jubilation when he not only claimed his second Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Championship but did so by pulling off a convincing win at the “Diamond of Dirt tracks” Lucas Oil Speedway in his home state of Missouri. “We had a rough start to the season as we had motor trouble with the Untamed Spirit truck before we left for Saluda. I was ready to not run the Champions Tour but Sheila convinced me that we needed to run. By mid season, I felt like I had my head in the game and we worked to find more horsepower for both trucks” added Terry.

The season kicked off with two time defending champion Jim Bosch dominating the weekend in Saluda, South Carolina. The next event in Kilgore, Texas gave the fans of the Speedco Truck Lube and Tire Pro Modified Four Wheel Drive Truck Class the preview they were looking for when Gary and Darrell Varner, Jim Bosch and both of the Hagedorn’s trucks put on a whale of a show on Saturday Night at the Lonestar Speedway in a pulloff. Of the twelve events contested over the season, eleven were won by one of the previously mentioned competitors with the “Gun Powder and Lead” Chevy claiming top honors at two of the final four events. In total Terry claimed three wins on the year with his old faithful “Untamed Spirit” winning on Friday night at the Show Me Show Down.

Like so many of our champions from the season, Terry Hagedorn rode a wave of consistency that saw him finish no worse than sixth in the final seven events of the season. “We really started to turn things around at Goshen; we figured out our setup there and only had to make subtle tweaks at the other events. Winning Indy a few weeks later gave us a big boost of confidence and we felt like we had a shot,” stated Hagedorn.

There is a saying: “With knowledge there is power.” Terry Hagedorn’s knowledge makes him as powerful as the engines he builds and tunes himself. In fact a tremendous amount of the construction of the truck occurs right in his shop in Thompson, Missouri. Working so closely with these trucks allows him to understand the intricacies of each finite detail and how a subtle tweak may make the truck react on the pulling surface. “Our competitors inspired us to work harder and focus on every detail. I had to be on my game with driving as we were trying to chase Jim Bosch and the Varners. We added GoPro Cameras this year to the truck so that we could watch different ways the truck was reacting to the setup” commented Terry.

The season brought a bit of change for Terry Hagedorn as his truck, the old reliable “Untamed Spirit” was not in the points battle and thus became the gauge for the team instead of the primary focus. “Typically my truck has always run better, but this year having missed the first hook, we had to change our approach with it. It is my hope that we can get both trucks running strong this summer and truly show the fans what we have.” If the last half of the season is any indication of the future outcomes the Hagedorn’s have to be excited to kick off the season next month in South Carolina.

With the pulling season on the horizon, Terry has been trying to find a free minute when he can turn from his customer’s pulling machines and focus on his own, but that has been quite hard as he is very busy in his shop. When he does have a minute he has been working to secure his power plants are ready for battle over the course of the grueling pulling season. “I am trying to get both motors up to speed and have given a lot of focus to our frames. Every track is different and we have to be able to adapt our trucks to the surface we pull on” added Terry. All of his effort and hard work is invested with a hope of defending his title and bringing another hard fought championship back home with him to the Show Me state.

Another goal is to work to get the actual driver of “Gun Powder and Lead”, Terry’s wife Sheila some seat time in her truck. Having been a puller for years with her “Diamonds N Dirt” this truck was originally built with the intent to put her in the seat but over the last few years Terry has been working to dial the truck in. In the time that Terry has spent driving, Sheila has become a very big asset for the team in her ability to read and judge a track.

Bringing another championship home to Missouri was a big achievement for Terry and one he knows he did not do alone. “I can’t thank Sheila enough for her support and her desire to keep our trucks fighting to be competitive. She keeps me focused and driven. I also really want to thank our sponsor Cen-pe-co for being very supportive of our team over the years. Finally, I want to thank the fans for their support and interest in the sport. One of the most enjoyable parts of the sport is being able to interact with the fans. I love meeting the little kids and putting them in the seat of our trucks. They are the future of our sport and it is always my goal to show them up close what it can be like.”

In just over a month the rigs will be shined and pulling vehicles unloaded as the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour will get underway at the Saluda Young Farmer Spring Pull. Two of those trucks that are unloaded will be from Thompson, Missouri and “High Gear Hag” will be behind the wheel on a mission to jumpstart his pursuit at defending his title.

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