Regarding the 1999 NTPA Rule Changes (originally posted on 11-22-98)

Published October 28, 2008 04:57AM, by Jake MorganViewed: 2491 times

(originally posted on 11-22-98)

I am going to go through the new rule changes for the 1999 season and give my opinion. If you have a different opinion than I do feel free to email me, and I will post your mail on my feedback page. Now for my opinion on the 1999 rules.

Roll Cages- If you scroll down the page you will see that my opinion on this issue is pretty obvious, I am in complete agreement with the NTPA, I think the ATPA should follow suit and also make roll cages mandatory, I hope the ETPC in Europe does the same.

I also am glad to see that the NTPA has adopted five point harnesses for the tractors with roll cages. I know of one puller who had a wild ride going on an alcohol Superstock, and the tractor bucked him off. He landed in front of the rear tire, and luckily the sled operator was alert, and got to the kill switch in time, and shut the tractor down. The puller only injured his arm. None of this would have happened if he was wearing his seat belt.

I am also in agreement for the new weight classes. It is about time that the NTPA rounded the numbers off for the tractors. They were smart for not changing any of the weights for the 2 and 4 Wheel drive trucks; there was no need to change a good thing. I also like the 500 lbs. of moveable weight for the 6000 lb. Superstocks. This will keep the bigger tractors out of the class, and keep the class competitive. I would like to see this class pick up a little steam, and see it at a few more events. My father feels they should pull the 6000 lb. Super at Bowling Green next summer. He feels they should eliminate one class of 8000 lb. Superstocks and one class of Prostocks, and pull two classes of 6000 lbs. Supers, two classes of 8000 lb. Supers, and two classes of Prostocks. I have to admit it is a great idea. It will bring more tractors to the pull, and more variety to the classes. If you have an opinion on this I would love to hear it. I am sure the people at Bowling Green would Love to hear your opinion also, so if you get a chance drop them an email, the link to their page is on my main page.

As far as the rest of the Superstocks go, I like the rule about no Hemi heads, and no overhead cams, but the problem is that it doesn’t apply to all levels of pulling. From now on, a Grand National Superstock can no longer pull at any pulls other than Grand National events. But there is also another part to that equation, This means that the top State and Regional pullers will no longer be competitive at the Grand National level because the top Grand National guys can run Hemi heads and overhead cams, which will make them a ton more horsepower. So why would any body want to follow the Grand National circuit and not be competitive because they don’t have a Hemi head, and why would any body build a tractor that they can only hook to the sled at twenty Grand National events. The rule should either be for all levels of competition or it should be for none.

As far as the proposed air intake restrictions, the NTPA is trying to dig themselves out of a hole that they dug regarding the ALCOHOL vs. DIESEL controversy. The restrictions will definitely hurt the tractors with the larger cubic inches, but as I have said regarding the Hemi heads, why not make the rule change for all the classes, not just the State and Regional levels.

The answer for why the NTPA has not put these restrictions on the Grand National pullers is pretty simple. The NTPA wants an all Alcohol show. They no longer want the diesel pullers to win the events; they only want the alcohol tractors. Unfortunately for the NTPA there are only about 6 Alcohol Superstock tractors that follow the Grand National Circuit. The NTPA has to learn to view pulling more like a Professional Sport. Take baseball for example they have the Majors, A, AA, AAA, Hockey has the NHL, then the AHL, and IHL. Pulling should be the same, the State and Regional tractors are the farm teams, and Grand National is like the majors. If the NTPA doesn’t learn to use the farm teams correctly the well of good tractors will dry up. People want to go to a pull and root for local guy, but the way the rules are setup now; the local guy no longer has a chance. It appears that a few of the pullers with the top Superstocks seem to be running the NTPA. It seems as if the NTPA has cut off its nose to spite its face.

The rule changes for the Grand National Mods are not that different than they were for 1998, and I am not aware of any major effect they will have on any specific pullers. The rule changes for the State, and Regional Mods are a different story. The tractors that appear to be impacted the most are the Allison powered tractors. There are quite a few twin Allison tractors which pull on the state and Regional Circuit, and I am not sure if they are going to be legal in 1999. The apparent problem is the new rule regarding the compression ratio for the twin Allison engine tractors on alcohol, the ratio must be lower than 8.8:1. I would not be surprised to hear that some of the twin Allison tractors are running a slightly higher ratio. With the success of tractors such as Diekman- Rat Poison, Lawrences- Randy Canadian, and Bollingers- Top Gun, and Another Money Pit, I was hoping to see resurgence in the Allison Tractors. These tractors have a very unique sound, and I love to watch them pull. Besides it’s nice to see a little variety in the class, I get sick of watching every tractor with the same engine combos, four blown Chevy engines, or three Arias. I hope to some day get to Europe to see a few Rolls Royce Griffon V-12’s. If these tractors are illegal in the NTPA, I won’t be too surprised to see them on the ATPA circuit.

There was only one change in the TWD Truck class, and unfortunately it ruined my dream of building the ultimate TWD. The new rule states that only single stage turbo chargers will be allowed. I had always thought someone would get the money together, and have Brent Long or the Conner Bros. build them a two stage two-turbo truck. I was sure it would dominate, but so much for that idea.

The Prostocks also didn’t see any big changes for 1999, but in 2000 things will be a little different, they will only be allowed 620 cubic inches. I think it is a good idea to put limits on a class before it gets out of control and this is a good start but still too high. I really feel for the guys that went out and spent tons of money on these huge blocks, and in a year they are not even going to be legal. If the ATPA was smart they would start pulling the Prostocks at all of their pulls. If the ATPA allowed bigger cubic inches it might make a few of these Prostock pullers happy and they may pull with that club for a while. It will be fun to see if there would be a difference between the ATPA and NTPA in two years. I feel that the NTPA should have made some sort of grandfather clause that let the tractors that were over the cubic inch limit stay for a limited time like a year or two, but not allow any new tractors over the limit. Also when the grandfathered tractors that are over the cubic inch limit need a new block, or throw a rod and put a window in their block, they should then be forced to buy/build a new block which is 620 cubes or smaller. The NTPA could record the serial number of the block to monitor the guys over the limit.

The last rule changes are for Super Farm Stock, only OEM heads, it’s a good rule it will keep cost down, and keep tractors competitive.

Jake Morgan
Independent Pulling News

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