A Lawn Chair, a Cooler, and Bold Predictions. The Season is Here.

A Lawn Chair, a Cooler, and Bold Predictions. The Season is Here.

A Lawn Chair, a Cooler, and Bold Predictions. The Season is Here.  

Tomorrow I will be taking my oldest son to a local truck and tractor pull. This is a scenario as old as time in the tractor pulling world. It’s not a Super National pull. No grand indoor stadiums where I will be concerned with interviewing drivers. Forget about $10,000.00 payouts and points bonuses. It’s a simple and pure scenario. A father, and his boy, clamoring up a hillside with lawn chairs and a cooler full of Pepsi to watch some locals battle it out in a state level competition. Good clean fun.. But more than just a pair of midwesterners enjoying family time, it signifies something. (Though, if truth be told, is there anything more significant than a father son duo taking in a pull together?) It signifies a beginning. We are still roughly a month away from the national level associations beginning their points races. We are a freckle over a week away from The Pullers Championship. But we are pulling. Outdoor pulling is back. The season, after a long, desolate, smokeless winter, is back! Tomorrow we will smell diesel fuel, and hear backspooled turbos chirping their last breath at the end of a run. We will see the flames from the alcohol burners, and experience the rpm’s of the four wheel drive trucks. The pulling season is back. And since it is back, here are some early observations, bold predictions, and general assessments I want to make. Here is my unofficial watchers guide to the 2024 season. 

Bold prediction number one: This is the year of the Simon Sez modified. The four engine mod campaigned by Brandon and RJ Simon is already a well established dominant force. Winning the NTPA 7,500 pound modified division in 2023, it’s not exactly a surprise or sleeper pick by any stretch of the imagination. However, this year, I think it will be the face of the pulling world. The Simon Sez modified will be the most talked about vehicle and have had the most successful season by the Enderle Pulloff this fall. In 2023, it seemed the only thing people could talk about was Masterson’s River Rat, and with good reason. Simon Sez is undefeated on the year- winning twice at the National Farm Machinery Show and then again at the Mid-America Truck Show, I predict it has at least 4 (or more) wins left in it this season, and may not finish out of the top 5 a single time. 

Bold prediction number two: whichever Super Stock Diesel 4x4 truck wins the Pullers Championship, will win their respective national level association points race. I will admit, I am not inherently a die-hard diesel truck fan. They have grown on me a lot, but typically I really like anything that runs on methanol. What I love even more, though, is great competition. The lineup of diesel pickups at TPC is absolutely loaded. This class features the team combo of Keith Witt and Brady Ingram who finished first and second at the National Farm Machinery Show. Also pulling in this class are Kent Crowder and Erik Stacey who were PPL and NTPA 2023 champions, respectively. You also have names like Van Haisley (enough said), and Craig Dickey who seems to have the Cummins Killer living up to its name, after a sweep at Diesels in Dark Corners. Young gun driver Nathan Vegh and the ever-looming force of Chase Eller in the Caretaker (possibly my personal pick to win) and you have a loaded lineup. Whoever wins this class, will win their points race. 

Bold prediction number three (and four): Julia Ray will win at least five grand national hooks this year. When it comes to driving styles and vehicle setups, the MAC Daddy is one of my absolute favorite ones to watch across the board. I love the competition aspect of pulling, and Julia on this tractor is like a home run hitter at the plate. You need to be watching every time she hooks. Am I predicting she will win a points championship? To that I cannot say. But she knows how to win pulls. She had four regular season wins last year. Plus a win at the all star event in Enderle, followed by a session win at the National Farm Machinery Show! Heck, I’ve changed my mind. Updated prediction, Julia Ray will win at least six grand national hooks this year. Random bonus pro stock prediction (number four): One of the national level pro stock point champions, be it NTPA or PPL, will not be a green tractor. A red or orange draped big pro will win a points championship this year. 

Bold prediction number five: a legendary veteran puller will have a renaissance season. I haven’t fully honed in on who it is going to be, or what they are going to do. But, by the end of the year, we as fans will be saying “So-and-so still has it! Never lost it! We can never sleep on that fella!” This might come in the form of Wayne Longnecker winning the modified championship for the Outlaws. This might look like Steve and Stan Blagrave sweeping the Super Nationals by winning at Tomah, Chapel Hill, and Bowling Green. Maybe it will be that a Walsh Bro’s turbine wins 4 hooks, or Wayne Sullivan pulls over 360 feet five times. Something will happen from a legend that makes our jaws drop, and reminds us why they are legends. Who knows, maybe the King of Smoke himself will win a points championship for NTPA while simultaneously taking home the rock from Thunder in the Valley and the bolt from Thunder by the River. 

Pulling is back folks. Grab your kids, your pals, your favorite folks. Fill the cooler full of Pepsis, or stronger flavors if that’s your jam. Load up the Winnebago, download a schedule and get out there. The only way to know if these predictions will come true, is to view it for yourself. 

Green flags and tight chains. 

Pullin’ is fun. 

Mike Eitel 

Beer Money Pulling Team

Engagement Specialist



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