Pictures: Phil Grande
The tradition continues! The 21st annual NR/CTPA World Championships were held at the Ramada Inn in Holiday City, OH on October 9-11. The event started off on Friday night with the Friday Night Drags featuring 4×4 modified monster trucks. Some of these were specially designed for this event. They used the yellow green timing tree and ran on a 55-foot track. The contestants cannot hit anything (they must stop in the shutdown area or risk a DQ). These trucks were lightning fast and if the track was any longer, some of these would’ve been uncontrollable. Dan Dufore was the champion. The tracks were cleared and another course was set up for true side-by-side elimination racing (loser goes on the trailer)—again Dan Dufore bested the field.
Saturday morning brought the Concours competition and there were a lot of new entries in this event this year. One in particular was a totally scratch-built Mack big rig puller; everything—including the mirrors—was built from scratch. The mirrors had bulldogs engraved on them and were an identical model of the JR Collins’ “Buckeye Bulldog” Mack puller. Everything was perfect on this balsa body made by Darren Mealy; it was the President’s Award winner and placed second in the People’s Choice Concours. Jake Haulman’s John Deere had two nitro motors shaved on one side until they were joined side-by-side and was the Concours winner and Best Engineered. In the racing category, Cierra Maimone won Concours with her Scooby Doo race truck followed by Scott Taylor with a tube chassis “Bounty Hunter.” Scott also won the President’s Award for that truck. Scott’s tube chassis trucks also raced really well and finished second and third on the race track. The Retro trucks were replicas of those early 1990s monsters that used to race, mud race and pull. Morris Achkenas’ monster truck won top prize in the category.
Competition started with a twisty Monster truck course on Saturday and a figure-8-style track on Sunday. Each race was a side-by-side timed lap; you made your runs and then got a total time over the weekend. The 4×4 modified class was the largest class of the weekend and Ben Prenevost took first, third and fourth place—he has been away for a few years but has returned with a vengeance! The 2WD Modified Tuff truck had Jim Grahl as champion. Mike Eckenrode took first and second in the 4WD Driveshaft class. In the Open 4×4 class, where almost anything goes, Mike Eckenrode also won. A new class this year was the short course trucks and had quite a few entries. Jim Grahl was the short course champion. By this time next year, this should be a huge class as these trucks are fun to drive and not expensive. The champion in the Stock 4WD independent suspension class was Paul Ovares. 2WD stock Tuff truck had Mike Eckenrode in first and second. Mike Eckenrode also won the Tube Chassis Class—he tore it up this weekend for sure! The winner for Modified 4×4 independent suspension was Morris Aschkenas. Sport Modified was covered by Matt Stoltz. Retro saw the class originator, Dan Waytt, winning. The finishing order in Novice was Ashley Bruns, Cierra Maimone second and third and Caden Mealy forth. Those kids had the time of their lives on the big track. Racing this year was very close, the trucks really looked sharp and most of all, everyone had a really great time.
This year the NR/CTPA was fortunate enough to have the alcohol-powered “Ride the Lightning” Super Stock tractor owned by DeLynn Kale from Richwood OH. Members from the NR/CTPA were to present DeLynn with a 1/10 scale Super Stock replica of his tractor at the event. Unfortunately, DeLynn passed away two weeks before the event. However, his family still made sure his tractor was there to make an appearance and it really is a fantastic piece. The scale tractor will be presented at a later date. Another appearance really shook up the event was the RC Tractor Werks from Covington TN. They proudly showed off their seven function, radio-controlled “Ironman” pulling sled complete with sounds and lights. This sled does all of the things a real sled does, including returning to the starting line by itself! Totally awesome. They also were showing off their abs plastic tractor bodies which caused a stir. Another head-turning piece was Richard Triftshouser’s five-motor nitro tractor. I had seen this one run in Ashland, OH this summer and it is really loud. Unfortunately, he had to put hoses on all of the exhaust pipes on this tractor and was unable to tune it to pull. The Pulling classes have three tries to make a full pull. Whoever makes it the longest distance is the winner and if there a more than one full pull, there is a pulloff. Distances are measured with a laser measurement tool and the computerized scoring system and monitors everywhere keep everyone informed. For fuel classes, a smoke evacuation system keeps the air nice and clean in the atrium.
Now here’s how the larger classes in the pulling shook out. In carpet pulling, 4WD modified had Jack Koogler as this year’s champion. The 2WD truck class had Jerry Rosengren Sr as the winner. Big Rig was the next class up. These are like the over-the-road semis you see every day. The champ here was Jarred Jones. Another big class was the Pro Stock tractor, which are scale versions of their namesake. With 130 pounds in the sled, these seven-pound tractors finished with grandmother Bobbie McGuire on top. The weights went up for Bar Tire Sportsman with 145 in the sled as a grandfather; Joe Kilian pulled it 31.87 feet for the win. Like the racing division, Kyle “the professor” Haynes came back after nine years away and smoked the Open 1 field with 275 in the sled. In the final Carpet class of the day, Open 2 with 520 pounds in the sled made a tire-smoking run and Glen Singleton beat Jack Koogler and Jerry Rosengren.
The Dirt track action was hot all weekend. The Garden tractor class was the first big class up and it was Mark Damewood stomping the field. Pro Stock tractor on dirt was the lar
gest pulling class of the weekend. Newcomer Brian Davin with a brand-new tractor (still in primer) was the champion here in a 25 tractor class. A little over two feet separated the six pro stock tractor pulloff. Another big class in the dirt was 4WD scratch-built. This class is a scratch-built 4×4 with bruiser dimensions. In that class, David Smith topped the 13 truck field. In the exhibition 4×4 scratch-built brushless class, it was youngster Jason Smith (who was five years old!) sweeping the top three positions. The 2WD Pro Modified class has a brushless option and weighs seven pounds in the electric class and last year’s champion Derrick Pero winning again for back-to-back world championships. In the 2WD promod nitro class it was Mark Hartings followed by two Jake Haulman entries. The 2WD Nitro is almost the same truck; however, it has 15 total weight and can have a .30 nitro motor in it. Joe Kilian won that class.
Insane is an unusual class that has almost no rules. You can use whatever you want to power it as long as it is safe. Joe Kilian was first with a 28-cell brushless setup and Jake Haulman was second with that Concours-winning, side-by-side nitro setup. So the NR/CTPA not only builds strong vehicles, it also builds really nice-looking stuff. .
In the 2cycle gas class with a 39cc limit, it was Kevin McPherson repeating as champion with Joe Kilian and Ed Finchum rounding out the top three. The final event of the weekend is always the Freestyle and this turned out to be the teardown of teardowns, the throwdown of throwdowns and the mother of all freestyles. When the smoke cleared, literally, it was Bart Maimone standing tall with his truck in need of extensive repairs. Pretty much normal for Freestyle events!
The NR/CTPA is a family fun organization where oftentimes, a kid will beat out his family and everyone else. Moms, dads and grandparents have an equal shot at winning even though the youngsters come on hard. Most of the tractors and trucks in competition are handmade. There is an emphasis on performance, but there is an almost equal emphasis on appearance as well. One thing for sure, everyone had a great time at this event. The Association would like to thank their sponsors: Bartos Chassis, Berry Pulling Team, Castle Creations, County Line R/C Pullers, DownRiver R/C Club Dynamite Diner, Extreme R/C Cars Hooter Chassis and Hobby Shop, HPI Racing, J&J Motorsports, the joeshow, Mealy Motorsports, Morhre Electronics, Monsters and Sled Dragons Pulling Team, Monster Jam, No Limit R/C, Performance Motion, Phil’s Hobby Shop, Race-rewards.com, RC4WD, RCMT, Rebel Street Pullers Association, ricrush.com S&S Motorsports, Smittys Custom Auto, STPA, Tamiya, the Weedwacker Pulling Association, Tear It Up Racing, Tower Hobbies, Traxxas and Tweaked Racing.