Pro Pulling League
Pro Pulling Elite Shine at National Farm Machinery Show Championship Tractor Pull
Sellersburg, Indiana (February 21, 2023) - The 54th Annual Championship Tractor Pull at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, held recently on February 15-18, is the premier showcase of pulling talent from across the the United States and Canada, featuring the best pullers from state, regional and national sanctioning bodies. Pullers from the Pro Pulling League and its member-states were well represented on the revered clay track in Freedom Hall and claimed several Grand Champion titles over the four days and five sessions of competition.
The Wednesday session saw Pro Pulling League stars dominate the Pro Stock Tractor class, with defending PPL Points Champion Brandon Simon taking the Loud and Heavy John Deere to a slim victory over Darryl Folz piloting the legendary Tinker Toy John Deere, 246.75 to 246.74. Third went to Badger State star Randy Barreau on the Tool Times 2 John Deere, fourth to Champions Tour regular John Link wheeling the Revvelation Pro IH, and OSTPA puller Russell Hildenbrand scoring the fifth place finish. Adam Vaughn, representing the Mid-South Pullers Association, finished third in Super Farm in Wednesday action on the Farm Fed Deere and qualified for Saturday night's finals.
Thursday night's session offered more success for PPL pullers, starting in the Super Farm Tractor class. Multi-time points champion Josh Miley and the High Maintenan$e CaseIH tied for the class win with Russ Freeze on the Deere Traxx John Deere and Champions Tour/Mid-South Pullers Association standout Eddie Roe and the Redweiser 66-Series IH placed third in this potent group of tractors. The Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Truck class had two Champions Tour regulars punch their ticket into the Saturday night finals, with Tim Beatty getting a second place finish in the Sawmill Express Chevy and Russ Nichols guiding the On the Edge Ford into fourth. The Limited Pro Stock class featured Silver Series competitor Darin Ratermann and the Full Boar IH taking the win and Champion Seed Western Series points runner-up Brennan Begeman in second on the Change of Pace IH. The Pro Stock class saw Greg Elsing and his T-8 Tomcat New Holland representing the Badger State Tractor Pullers (BSTP) in third with Jack Wischmeier and the Barely Gettin' By John Deere in fourth (Champions Tour) and BSTP puller Travis Wileman and the Die Hard Deere in fifth.
Friday night was a sold-out show with fans filling Freedom Hall from top to bottom. Limited Pro Stocks opened the evening and PPL stars swept the top three spots. Chris Aschliman and the Diggin' for a Livin' CaseIH (Silver Series points runner-up) took the win for the evening, while Silver Series champ Andrew Hartmann and the International Addiction notched a second. BSTP puller Mike Gerlach and the G-Force IH finished third. The Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Truck class had two notable PPL stars in the top five, with 2022 points champ Michael White and the Addiction Chevy in first and 2021 points champ Chad Mayhill and the P5 Ford Ranger in fourth.
The Super Stock Tractor class - better known as the "Duel of the Fuels" - had three familiar names in the top five. Defending Unlimited Super Stock Champion Josh Blackbourn and the Considered Armed and Dangerous-HD CaseIH roared into first with Terry Blackbourn and the Extremely Armed and Dangerous CaseIH in second. Former class champion Jeff Hirt and the Runnin' Bare CaseIH finished fourth in this exciting class. Finishing the night was the Pro Stock Tractor division where BSTP puller Jason Rauen piloted his Instigator John Deere into first place, edging out Kevin Masterson and the River Rat John Deere 239.38 to 239.22. Brent Meyer and his Injected Funds John Deere, representing the BSTP, finished third.
The Saturday afternoon session kicked off with Super Stock Diesel Trucks and PPL pullers swept the top three spots: Brady Ingram in his Scheid Diesel Dodge, jumping up from his Silver Series Pro Stock-trim setup, took the win, followed by Van Haisley and the Rock Hard Ram in second, and Kent Crowder and his Scheid Diesel Dodge in third. Light Pro Stock featured two PPL pullers in the top five; Justin Grimes and the Just Another Buck John Deere (Western Series) placed third in the class while Silver Series Champion Mark Wiederhold and the Bare Necessities John Deere finished fourth.
Lightweight Super Stocks had three notables from PPL in the top five. Martin Daniel, a Champions Tour and Mid-South Pullers Association standout, took the win on his On the Edge CaseIH. Larry Phillips, also touring with the Champions Tour and Mid-South Pullers Association, drove the Extremely Insane CaseIH into fourth place. Terry Blackbourn, the defending Champions Tour points winner, guided the Armed and Dangerous-Excessive Force CaseIH out of the Chizek stable into fifth. Pro Stocks wrapped up the session and had two Champions Tour notables in the top five with Justin Wagler and the Real Deere in first place and Steve Wischmeier and the Whiskey Wild John Deere in third.
The event wrapped up with a sold-ut fifth session on Saturday night, crowning champions in six classes. PPL pullers would again make outstanding efforts in the battle of the sport's elite competitors.
In the Modified Tractor class former PPL champ and class legend Wayne Sullivan and the Optima Batteries Kentuckian took the win while Brandon Simon and the Simon Sez machine finished in the third spot. Super Farm Tractor action saw Josh Miley and the High Mainenan$e CaseIH finishing fourth and Adam Vaughn and the Farm Fed Deere claiming fifth. Russ Nichols and the On the Edge Ford roared to the Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Truck title and Chad Mayhill and the P5 Ford Ranger finished fifth in that class.
Darin Ratermann swept the Limited Pro Stock class, winning again on the Full Boar IH with Mike Gerlach and the G-Force IH in second, Chris Aschliman and the Diggin' for a Livin' CaseIH in fourth and Andrew Hartman and the International Addiction in fifth. Josh Blackbourn and the Considered Armed and Dangerous-HD CaseIH also completed a sweep in the Super Stock Tractor division, with Terry Blackbourn and the Extremely Armed and Dangerous CaseIH in fourth and Jeff Hirt and the Runnin' Bare CaseIH in fifth. Rounding out the night were the Pro Stock Tractors. Kevin Masterson had first hook in the class and held off 10 tough tractors for the win on the River Rat John Deere. Justin Wagler and the Real Deere finished third, Brent Meyers and his Injected Funds Deere in fourth and Steve Wischmeier and the Whiskey Wild Deere claiming fifth.
Congratulations to all of the Pro Pulling League competitors who shone above the rest at the Championship Tractor Pull!
Submitted By: Bryan Lively