My Weekend of Pulling

August 14 2006 at 12:20 AM

Up and Down weekend.

Well my weekend started on Thursday this week, with a trip down to Belvidere IL. For the Truck pull there at the Boone County Fair. It’s a 300 Mile trip there but they where pulling both Super Stock and Modified 4x4 Classes there. As we pull in the pit area I see the guy that I bought my Profab from.. First words out of his mouth where put the biggest gear you have in for this track, it’s a really loose sandy clay track. Well I took a walk down the track and it look pretty hard, but they’d been running the wobble wheel up and down it for about and hour before the pull started. So I went and tried to get some info about the track from some of the guys standing buy the eliminators. But that didn’t pan out the way I thought it would. Seem them boys down there don’t like to give up that kind of info to strangers.

So Back to the trucks to make a gear selection for the nights run, First class of the night was Super Stock Trucks then Hot Farm Tractors and then Modified 4x4. So I took a look at my logbook for my gear choice, It said on Sandy clay tracks I’ve had good results with a 1200 gear so I went conservative and put a 1100 gear in it and I headed off to the staging lane. I was the 9th truck to pull and from what I saw the trucks weren’t really getting to run with the sled like we where use too. But when it was my turn to go I hooked to the sled, Did my little pre pull ritual with cleaning out the motor then making sure all the gauges looked good then started the tach to record the run, slipped it into 3rd and eased it off the line… The tach read 3,4,5,6,65,68,blipped 69 then back down to 68,67,66 and ShaZam stopped at the 265.5’ mark. With the first place truck sitting at 306.2’ coming off the track one of the guys signaled me I was in 9th at this time. Last place at that time. What the hell ShaZam pulls better then this…I let ShaZam down a 5 hours drive to pull like this. It’s just not right. Well I finished in 12th out of 15 trucks so maybe we can get a reprieve in Mod 4x4

So I went and change to the bars tires and to select a better gear for Mod. Most of the time I just drop one gear when I put on the Mod tires, but this track and sled just don’t want to work for ShaZam, The sled pulls like a ton right off the line and never gets any better, so I dropped to a 600 gear and thought I’d try to back peddle it with the gas peddle to the end of the track.
Well I was the 4th puller in Mod and I only got to watch 2 other trucks run before I headed to ShaZam to get in my Zone before pulling onto the track. First Mod truck pulled the sled to 289.3 so that’s where I had to put my sights on. Hooked up did every thing like I always do and off the line we came only this time it was faster 3,4,5,6,7,74, blipped 75 once and held there ………… and ShaZam stopped at 255.2 … I don’t think I ever hooked to the track. I had a huge 4’ pile of dirt in front of the pan. That’s what I think was causing me all the grief, ShaZam was just spinning all the dirt in front of the pan and it was like dragging a brick wall down the track…So pulled ShaZam back to the trailer and headed back to watch the last 10 trucks run. Hoping that maybe I could squeak a 10th out of this and bring some type of a paycheck home. But it wasn’t meant to be I finished 12th in Mod also. So a big old goose egg for this Trip. Bummer.

So we headed off to the Motel for the nights rest and the trip home in the morning we have to get up at 5 am to make it home by 10 am. Well we got hooked up with one of the other pullers and ended up Drinking beer in their room and telling Truck pulling stories until 3:30 a.m. So when we finally made it too bed needless to say we didn’t hear the alarm when it went off at 5, Bruce you did set the alarm right … well before you knew it the sun was up and the clock read 10 am. Holy $hit where suppose to be home already. Oh well road trips happen this way sometimes. Made it home by 3 pm and had a few things I had to get done for the Clubs pull that was happening on Saturday.

Saturday’s WUMPA’S Club Pull
Class orders for this pull where pulled from the hat at the Depere WI pull. And the listing went 5000 Stock, Modified, 4800 Stock, Super Stock, 6200 Street, 5500 WUMPA, Open Stock and 6000 Stock…….

So as Luck would have it I was the last puller in Modified class and the First puller in Super Stock.. So I had the two best placements you could get for a pull. Being last gives me the chance to see how everyone else runs the track and I get time to make my gear selection by seeing the wheel speed of the other truck as they go down the track. And being first if I goof on the gearing or drive the track wrong, I have the option to turn the pull down and come back as the last puller… It don’t get any better then this.

OK here the set up of this track. There has been Truck and Tractor pulls at Equity Bar and Baseball Park since 1970. The track is 400 feet long with good clay if it’s kept wet enough and a Sweet Corn field at 401 feet. It’s been a tradition to always pull for the corn to see who could get too it first. With the first truck to get there receiving the corn stalk as the trophy.

Well the tractors where having a hell of a time pulling the sled down the track today. But when the truck came up the sled operators where more forgiving and let them run a little before putting the hurt to them. The First class of truck where pulling the sled too the 330 + mark with the 1st place truck going to 348.7’.

Next up where the Mod trucks
First couple of trucks pulled it to the 320 + mark so the sled operators reset the sled and started the class over. With Ed McClain being the first puller, Ed took up the slack in the cable and left the line and got hooked to the track at the 150’ mark and didn’t stop till he hit the corn at 403.1’ I asked if they where going to leave the sled set that way and they gave me the thumbs up. So now the question was who could get there truck into the cornfield the deepest. The next truck pulled it to 236.5’ but was having over heating issues with his ride, next up was Travis Emmes he has a Ford F150 that only has a 514 in it but it was able to bend to the track and yanked the sled for a ride of 408.5’ Putting Travis into 1st place.
All while this was going on I’m making gear changes. When the tractors where having troubles getting it out the end of the track I slipped an 850 gear into ShaZam, but now seeing the trucks going all the way to the corn I pulled it out and put a 1100 gear in and Went back to watch Jack Peters pull it to 396.3’ next up was Neil Tuma with the only real 600 + Cid Mod truck that pulls in our club he eased it out of the hole and it hooked up at the 180’ mark and he hit the corn pulling it too 408.0’putting him in 2nd place then with 2 truck left to pull I changed it too a 1000 gear and put the cover on for the last time and head for the scale. There on the scale my Truck weighs 80 pounds light so off in a mad dash to my trailer for some extra weights Grabbed 60 # and ran back to the scale in time to pull on to the track. Mean while as I was running around Dean Wagner pulled the sled too 390.4’ and Bruce Wagner followed him with 393.9’. Now have you ever tried doing a 200-yard dash carrying 3- 20# weights? Well my Doctors will be glad to know at 49 years old I can still do it. So breathing really hard I pull ShaZam on too the track and get hooked up to the sled. Now it just routine take up the slack, Clear Motor, check gauges, set tach to record and Ease it out of the hole.
Well ShaZam hooked to the track at the same time the weight box hit the top of the sled and I felt ShaZam bend down and start digging with those big old bar tires, I seen the corn coming and veered off too the left so I have some hard ground under my tires to try to get that extra inch. All the other trucks that went into the corn seem to be all in the same place so the ground was worked up pretty good on that side of track. But for all my effort I only managed to pull it too the 406.2’ mark …. But good enough for 3rd place..

So switched over to the DOT tires and fueled up the tanks Added 100# of weight for the differents in tires and did some bull $hitting with the boys until Super Stock class came up. Now remember I’m first puller. Up on the scale I’m 20# heavy. It’s a lot easier to pull out 20 pound then to run and get it. So out onto the track we go and back up to the sled but I see the sled guys seem to not be ready for me so I back up close too the sled and shut ShaZam off and waited. When they where ready they hooked me up and I fired up ShaZam and took up the slack. When I left the line it was a repeat of my mod run, ShaZam hooked at the 180’ or 200’ mark and the weight box hit the top of the sled and ShaZam was picking up speed and we hit the corn turning 8000 Rpm’s and then with the looser ground there the R’s went to 8800 Rpm’s but we planted it at 420.3’ and they told me they where going to rest the sled, come around as last puller. Well they added more weight to the pan and the next truck up was Jack and he yanked it 411.9’ so they said no where resetting it again and they added more weight to the pan and then Jack would be the last puller. Well now they had 2000 on the pan on top of the 25000 the boxes weighs already. Bruce made the comment that that’s the most weight he ever seen them put on the pan ever and it showed with Travis Emmes was the next truck and he only pulled it 276.4’. Hmmm and he finished 1st in Mod 408.5’. You think it was a little heavy Ya me too.
Oh well as they say it’s set the same for everyone now.

Well I’ll tell you this. That track was hard to read now. It seem the trucks with lots of power weren’t going anywhere and the trucks with less power where going the furthest, And I didn’t see it until it was too late. I should have jumped up to a 1400 gear and made ShaZam grunt really hard to get the tires to hook to the track. Instead I left the 1000 gear in and the tires just roasted as I left the line and they never hooked to anything. I finished 8th with 223.9’. Oh well Lessons learned the hard way, have to put that in the logbook for next year.
And just for the record here’s how the class ended.
1st Ed McClain 373.3’
2nd Dave Smith 356.10’
3rd Donny Skinkis 286.0’
4th Leroy LeClair 281.3’
5th Bruce Wagner 279.2’
6th Travis Emmes 276.4’
7th Dean Wagner 224.5’
8th Me 223.9’
9th Bob Ernst 212.6’
10th Jamie Britz 192.8’
11th Jack Peters 185.5’
12th Joe Woods 120.11’

Hope you all enjoyed the episode of Dan’s Pulling life, Stay tuned for next weeks Two days pulls at Iron River MI Friday night and Gillett WI Saturday Night.

Dan Homa and ShaZam