From A High School Project to NHRDA Sled Pulling National Champion
A Pennsylvania High School requires every student to do a senior project prior to graduation. For Brad Deeter, that assignment resulted in two of the nicest and toughest trucks in the NHRDA Sled Pulling Series, and the 2013 NHRDA Super Stock Diesel National Championship.
"Our high school had a senior project. Basically during your junior year you had to write a paper about a topic. My paper was about motorsports. Then the summer between your Junior and senior year of high school you were required to complete some sort of project." Brad commented.
"My project was we transformed one of the farm trucks, a 1997 Dodge 3500 into a sled puller. We did injectors, did a bunch of top end work, did a turbo, all the little stuff to get running. The following year the diesel world was just starting to explode. It was always a personal passion for me. The diesel guys are great." he continued.
This is Brad's 7th season in Sled Pulling, and after building his senior project truck he spent the summer making the first hooks of his career.
"We started in 2005-2006. We had a couple of years really local around the house. We pulled it that summer, and then the following two summers around the house."
Brad then took some time off to go to college, work summers at Deeter Farms Construction and get a degree from Penn State.
"We started coming back in 2012. I bought the Pulling To Please truck from Faith Miller. That is when we started back into the sport. In 2013 I followed PPL and a few NHRDA events. I knew we had the new truck in the works. So we focused on getting things to work, getting some seat time and really trying to learn more than anything."
Brad's biggest sponsors and supporters are his family, Deeter Farms Construction, and a lot of help from Scheid Diesel.
"Without them we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are now. Especially the timeframe. The guys at Scheid Diesel received the tube chassis around the world finals last year and having it out to debut for the Texas event this year for the turnaround is amazing. I can't thank them enough."
"The guys, my brother Josh - my wife Allison, my sister Jennesa, and sister-in-law Kelly, are key. They are with us every week, without them it would be impossible to run one truck, let alone two."
The new truck, named "Oversize Load" is a 2013 Dodge Ram with a tube chassis, and Joshua Deeter is the crew chief.
At his 2014 debut at the Texas Diesel Nationals in April, Brad and the new truck finished 3rd, then followed that up with a win at the Midwest Truckin Nationals at Gateway Raceway in St. Louis in May. Brad had this to say about the new truck so far:
"It's definitely a new experience, especially with the tube frame and quite a bit more horsepower. I think we're starting to get a grasp on it. We're learning what it likes and what I need to do to get it down the track clean. Josh as crew chief takes a lot of stress off me knowing he is on the radio."
We asked Brad about his thoughts on NHRDA's efforts in Sled Pulling to make it more consistent, and a way to follow from coast to coast and run a consistent set of rules and events.
"I think it's awesome! In our class, the super stock class, the rules have always been really general. For us it isn't as important as it is for the 2.6 guys. People want to travel from home, and want to compete on a national level, but when they come back home, the local rules, like a weight box up front for example make it really hard for a guy that is trying to break into the sport, and would like to hook on a national level. He can't do it every weekend. For him to have an opportunity to use the same truck all year round and get a few national hooks and be able to compete is a huge deal."
"And I think it closes the door to those guys that don't have a bunch of different setups to hook. I think for sled pulling to grow everybody needs to embrace a set of rules. Above and beyond that, consistent rules from year to year - so they don't have to change so much every season really helps. And I think the truck numbers are really starting to show that."
Brad and his family will be competing with both trucks at the Indiana Diesel Shootout June 13th at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis Indiana.