JUNE 2012 – Decatur, IL We were headed to our first ITPA (Illinois Tractor Pulling Association) at the Decatur Macon County Fair Grounds on June 8th and June 9th. Mike Miller, President had agreed to let us have the opportunity to spread the world of Kentucky Whoopies to a new group of Truck and Tractor Pulling Fans. So, many thanks to Mike and Dee Ann Miller for letting us be a part of a very fun weekend. We were on the pit side of the track and we knew that there were some serious FANS of this sport on that side……First row seats should be defined as those that can back their truck up to closest side of the track and then you elect just what “your seat” is going to set on. Much of the basic fold out chairs, but there is more! ! When you have your own set of recliners designed to fit exactly in the back-end of your pick’em’up----you mean business. Then when your neighboring truck constructs an on-site tent that will be lifted, fitted, nut and bolted to their truck bed, you then have competition beyond the track… LOVED IT !! Truly the nicest and most fun lovin’ group we have met. How could we be so lucky, even with these protected real estate lots in front of the Whoopie Wagon, we had the best seats in the house. We love to pan-handle our cakes, but to get to sale and have front row viewing of all the hooks, it was better than good. There was some Illinois dirt a flying, but when the Modifieds took the stage, there was more than some Illinois dirt-----We have learned, just to cover up the product, keep your hat on and everything just falls into place.
As we continue on in our little venture, Trey and I have the opportunity to meet so many of the pullers and their teams. This league put on a Great Show in Decatur. The fans are looking for excitement and when the “Madness” bunch hit the track, they entertain. I took a few minutes to go to the fence to video Jordan Nelson’s dad make his run of Midnight Madness, and it took a little “hang in there to my brain” to stay put ....There really are few words that can describe the sound, speed, vibration, & heat these machines generate all at the same time.
Our travels took us from Kentucky to Decatur then to Hutchinson, MN and our final stop on this part of our 2012 tour at Tomah, WI. This was one of those tours that started one way and just was hard to get back on track…if you know what I mean. We use the term in our marketing of “Are You Hooked Yet” (In the Pulling Circuit, it simply means that machine of yours has elected to stay snagged at the perfect sweet spot and just stay that way until it can go no further down the track)…..For us, it really means is that trailer of yours hooked to your truck and “if’in” it is…then you fit into the category of a DOT vehicle!! Before we left Kentucky, we had what we thought was all the proper checks done…NO, got stopped within 2 miles from the home place and had to go back to make proper DOT adjustments. Ok, now we finally head to IL (Only Three Hours Later) to then find that we need an IL inspection (Ok, now that’s done), then just one more stop in MN (One hour inspection) and we passed the test again and allowed to proceed. Not complaining,,,,,,but when you elect to drive a rolling billboard, you are asking for it? Oh, I forgot to factor into this little mix of trying to get this little road show moving that our Freezer Unit had to have a new fuel pump in Springfield, IL. Now that service center elected to not change a cellionoid and then by the time we got to Madison, WI, we had to have that changed. So at the end of this tour, DOT good – Thermo King unit good --- Hours waiting for inspections and service centers --- NOT good!
HUTCHINSON, MN On June 15th and June 16th, The Power Pull Nationals took place. Julia and Ricky Rose and their teams have made this a Number One Grand National Pull for NTPA. The facility is just one of those that is super Fan Friendly and just grows bigger and better each year. The crowds were in Hutchinson for this weekend and the weather stayed perfect. While we had a great time at the Illinois pull, we knew that something just was off……..We found it in MN. Cuz Dion and Uncle Larry, plus the addition of Josh and Matt. Now we were back in our game! Larry on the track, Josh and Matt in “their rolling tower” and Dion set up next to us to meet and greet the puller fans and sale them “STUFF”. Late hours and long lines for the “Port-A-Potty” just made it feel right. I still say that if you think you don’t want to buy anything, then DON’T walk by Dion’s set up….that guy will SELL (Must not forget his able assistant – Seth Heldabrand; he can dish out that merchandise, too-----Plus he is soooo cute and the girls just luv-em)
This Grand National had so many of the best from the Classes: Super Stocks, Modifieds, Two Wheel Drives and Semi (The last hook of the last night, poured out fire and the most excitement --- the stands were still full and all left knowing their money was well spent) Thanks again to the volunteers and to all that created such a successful event.
A few days in between the next pull and back to work in our mobile office:
Phone/Computer/Printer/Fed-X/UPS)---all it takes. Not all work and no play….. I don’t think that I mentioned that Trey and I have an alias (Whoop and LouBee) --- simply check out the local Texas Hold’em Standings at any Buffalo Wild Wings ----- We have to do something between – Travels, Whoopie Sales – Office Work and this is so much fun….The only down side is that it is for points only – no money exchanged “dang” we are pretty good at it—so if it were for real cash, hummmmmmmm ?
TOMAH, WI This was our last stop for this month. We were at the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals last year and it gave us the opportunity to start last year’s season off good. So, we were excited to be back to Tomah. Surprise—No Thermo King, No DOT, just unhooked the Whoopie Trailer and we were off to business…Does not read for much of an exciting story, but we were ready for all to Go GOOD!
We were back into the Swing of Doing Business as Usual (Cuz Dion----INCLUDING MGB & RB !! next to us) (Uncle Larry on Tract, Josh & Matt busy as always). Seeing pulling friends and laughing just made for a good week. This was the first pull in along time, that we were able to meet up with the Tractors (Whoopie Maker and Raging Bull /SF) & the Hauler……I mention this for two reasons, I do like to watch them travel down the track , BUT I love being able to have a Bath Room vs. Port-A-Pot. On this tractor trip, Jess was at guard duty and it was left to the two – John & “Chicken” -- One of em' was tired, and the other one was sick and therefore not ANY fun to be around…then, The Whoopie Maker got sick and it was downhill…..They were so out of it, on Sunday just as soon as they finished their pulls, they packed those babies and headed out. (Quickly---I made one smart move, or I thought. My last stop to the Bathroom in the Hauler – and while I was finishing up! – the rig was shake'in – I rushed out and it was sooooooo very close to heading down the road, Now picture this, me in the hauler with doors locked, no phone, etc…. I could just hear Whoopie Boy asking RB in about an hour, have you seen MOM!)
Bottom line, I got out of the hauler! Finished Sales—Closed Up –Hooked Up and had a nice dinner with Trey and our friend, Tim Gibbens (Those two are fun to be around – they laugh, talk sports & pulling and I just sit back enjoy dinner & spirits --- I had already claimed to be the non-driving person)
BTW: This was the first time, that we noticed that our DOT Required / Attached Fire Extinguisher went missing.
JULY 2012, GEORGETOWN, OH /NEW HAMPTON, IA / CHAPEL HILL, TN / FORT RECOVERY, OH:
A quick review --- Georgetown, Ohio on July 6th and 7th was memorable in several ways---We love to be in Georgetown and to see our friends (Bob, Julie, Charles, Robbie, Bill, Bryan, Gigi – All Neals and of course Amber (Neal) and hubby- Brian Wallace – Brian just back from 5 tours of protecting and serving our Country…Thank you Brian)
Georgetown, gets my vote for being the “Hottest” Tractor Pull this season / Hot in as a good Pull, but also the weather----(We only sold Whoopie’s directly from the freezer, it was that HOT) We still had a GREAT Time and we thank everyone for their help and for being such great fans of our product.
BTW: This was the second time that we lost a DOT Required / Attached Fire Extinguisher--hmmmmm!
New Hampton, IA was a few miles away from Kentucky, but we made it and big thanks to Dee & Chuck Knapp and Julie and Jim Eckenrod for hosting, in my opinion, the Future Next Super National. Great Classes and Crowds……We were set up by Dion's Booth (Did I mention that we always like to be next to Dion?) and it was busy. This was one of those times, that Larry was one NTPA tech shy and Cuz Dion stepping in as usual to fill the spot---for both nights !….Now, this was great for Uncle Larry, but it was a busy two nights for demand of the NTPA Merchandise. Seth took CHARGE and did a great job for Dion, but it also took the assistance of Whoopie Boy. (I should have taken a video of the action at that booth, it was non-stop and somehow in all this mix, we still had great laughs)
Fun for Me: Second to playing Texas Hold'em with WHOOP at BWW, was that Whoopie Boy stopped @ I 80 Truck Stop (World’s Largest Truckstop) for me on the way back home. He did not stop on the way up and I kinda' expressed by disappointment to a “few” people….and it got back to Trey. This sounds like he was being sweet to Mom…but truth, he was on the phone with his friend, Miles Krieger and imagine this, we were both only 10 minutes away from I 80 exit—we were headed South and Miles headed North and I think he wanted to have someone else to talk to beside yours truly !!
BTW: This was the third time that we lost a DOT Required / Attached Fire Extinguisher. (Pattern Developing ????)
CHAPEL HILL, TN (SUPER PULL OF THE SOUTH) our next stop. We are back in the SOUTH. What a crowd and an event… Somehow, we feel like family when we are around the ORANGE SHIRTS…Chris Gilbert and his Super Team, promote, prepare and execute ---the BEST PULL EVER.
We were busy from the time we opened shop until we closed. Both nights not out of there until after 2:00 a.m. But know this, the Fans of Chapel Hill stay put not matter what the weather does. A rain delay does not make anyone leave. At one point, we were so busy, we had the fastest quick study of a Whoopie Sales team put together that you can imagine (Thank you Kim Richwine, and Bill Rowzee and Rachel and thanks to Tim and Bob for helping us close shop) If you have never been to the Chapel Hill Pull, put it on your calendar----Triple Fun Place.
BTW: Fire Extinguisher Gone Again….This time, we had it tie strapped down (There was a pattern, but someone mentioned the Tie Strap ‘Thang’ and the mystery came together)
FORT RECOVERY, OH – Headed to our favorite State, OHIO and thank you to all our new fans in the area…a Great Weekend of Sales and Fun. Thank you Nick Dues and the Ambassador Club for your assistance. Great Classes, Large Crowds, Good Friends were in the mix for this successful weekend. Down side, no BWW in the area and no Uncle Larry (Earl Wiseman, Jr. was a great replacement and always good to see Alan Washburn (#1 Announcer) -- & Butch Krieger (#1 Announcer)—cannot say one is #1 and the other is #2 … but to have them both at the same event –WOW. Thank you PULLERS for GREAT ENTERTAINMENT !!!!!!!
Back to Kentucky for a few weekends off / NOT, baking, baking, baking on the schedule !
BTW: We DID NOT have to replace the DOT Required / Attached Fire Extinguisher this time (We realized it was just easier to remove and place back when we hit the road---It worked) Ok, so we were a little slow on this, but……..
See you on our NEXT STOP --- NATIONAL TRACTOR PULLING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN BOWLING GREEN OHIO (August 17-19)
Be sure to Visit:
www.milesbeyond300.com for great articles about the sport
www.ntpa.com for the next NTPA Scheduled Pulls