Bethany Nelson

Where does the time go?

IMG_0069Hi all!  First off I want to apologize for my lack of blogging.  Its amazing how you can get caught up in life and suddenly a month has gone by.  Last I updated we were getting ready to start our super busy stretch in July.  Since we have hooked so many times since then, I will brief you on the state hooks, and talk more about the Champions Tour events.  We have hooked around a dozen Illinois state hooks, and the Wild One truck was pretty consistent.  The high points came at Waterloo, IL, which was also a PPL Midwest hook.  I was last hook of the class and Jared was sitting in the number one spot, with the first run of the class.  When one of us is leading a class and the other comes up, we both become pretty  big cheerleaders!  It’s a pretty good feeling to go 1-2 so if that truck can make a run for the win, that’s always great.  And at Waterloo, that became the case.  I made a really good run and when the dust settled had just snuck by the Revenger truck.  I also had a good night at The Illinois State Fair at Springfield, IL.  This is one of the more prestigious events on our state circuit, so when I was able to make an awesome pass that ended up holding on for the win, we couldn’t have been happier.  The truck did experience some mechanical issues after a state hook at Arthur, IL; and it wasn’t until the next morning when we checked the filter that we realized something had gone wrong. We had an event that day at Jerseyville, so with the help of my father in law; him, Jared, and I thrashed away at putting our spare motor in to make the event.  We went to Jerseyville and Jared was first, and me second so it made our busy day worth it.  Fairfield, IL was the next Champions Tour pull and the Wild One drew a late hook so we had time to watch several trucks go down the track.  When I was up we had an idea that the track was there but nobody was able to get to the mark Grayson Shelton had set.  I made a solid pass, and as luck would have it went the exact same distance as the Sawmill Express.  We then quickly found out there is no tie breaker rule so after the last few trucks ran, it became clear we had tied for the win.  It was a W, but a little disappointing all at the same time.  We then went to Oak Harbor, OH for our next PPL event, and I found myself being really early in the class.  I made an okay run, but honestly didn’t think it was anything to brag about.  And I was wrong!  As the class went on a few got close, but no one could get by the mark set by the Wild One truck, so this win felt more like a win!  We then had a short turn around, and was heading to Goshen, IN for a day session of pulling on Thursday.  This track has always kindof intimidated me, so for some reason I was extra nervous.  One thing for sure, is the grandstands are packed and the people of Elkhart County like there pulling.  This was also a television event for us, so there is a lot of buzz going on at  Goshen.  I made an okay pass, the truck was set up great but this is one of the first times my driving possibly hurt my distance.  And the funny thing is I was actually a little slow to come with the throttle, not too fast; which has been the norm for my style most of the year.  But after a sub par run I still came away with a 7th place finish, and a brighter note Jared made a really good run as the last truck in the class and was the runner up!  We were then on to Evansville, IN, and unfortunately we felt like we left something on the table here.  Jared was on an excellent pass early in the class when it drifted to the left and came to a stop on the chalk line, therefore was disqualified.  I came back later in the class and the track was consistent so we thought we had a shot to fight for the top positions, the truck made a good pass and just didn’t go far enough.  It did put me in the 5th position, which is pretty good looking at the quality of competition we are running against.  Up next was a Champions Tour hook at our hometown of Altamont, IL.  Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 2.11.45 PMThis event has been plagued with rainy weather the last several years, and this year was no different.  It set in with a light rain a little before pull time and rained just enough to make things a mess.  Kudos to the track crew once again to get everything back in pulling condition within a reasonable time period.  After the weather delay it was time to get our game face on and back to pulling.  The Sullivan truck Big Ed Red made a fabulous pass about midway through the class to set the mark to beat and no one could find the combination to get past it.  The Wild One truck was first hook and the sled was too heavy, so after the reset Jared made the call to drop to last in the class.  This proved to be the right decision as I came up last and made a good pass to clinch second place.  You always want to win, that is just everyone’s mind set; but if you can finish at the top it is always a good night.  We then made the trek over to the Indiana State Fair to hook on a Sunday afternoon.  This track proved to be pretty tricky and once again I didn’t feel real confident in my abilities.  I hooked late in the class, and Illinois trucks were sitting 1-4 position at the time.  Jeremy was sitting in the lead, and he jokingly told me right before I hooked that I didn’t need to win just a top 5 would be good.  And that’s what came of it, I made a pretty solid run and finished 5th.  Illinois trucks finished an impressive 1-6, and we all left with  smile on our faces.  We had a few weeks off from the tour before it was time to head east to Hamburg, NY.  This is a two day event at a really nice facility/fairgrounds.  The only bummer of it is it falls on the same weekend of Bowling Green, OH.  We had thoughts that we needed a really good Hamburg weekend to stay in the points chase.  I was an early hook on Friday night, and at the time I ran made an okay run.  Quickly it became evident that everyone was figuring out a better combination to get hooked to the track as the class went on, several we’re putting up better distances.  Our other three Midnight Motorsports trucks hit the sweet spot and finished 1, 3 and 4.  I finished a disappointing 12th, but decided not to get to down about it and look forward to Saturday night.  As Saturday evening approached we kept a close eye on the radar and the rain they forecasted sure enough showed up.  We were all staged and the first two trucks ran, and then the light sprinkle became a rain and the event was called at that point.  So we didn’t get our chance to take to the New York track again and had a long drive back to Illinois to top it off.  We got home early Sunday morning, and it is now time to focus a little on getting back into a school routine.  We have a couple weeks off before our next event at the Lucas Oil Speedway, so we will play catch up on everything that has been neglected the last month as we have done very little of anything, and a lot of pulling!  I am giving my work that after the event at Wheatland, I will blog and give details on how this fun event shakes out….Thanks for your continued support of Midnight Motorsports….BN


July 8th

And yet again, its been a couple weeks since I last updated! We are getting ready to hit the heart of our summer pulling schedule; so the next four weeks will be nothing short of crazy. We left Cerro Gordo with the first win in the books for the Wild One truck, and then had a week off before we headed to Corydon, IN for a Lucas Oil Mid West Region pull. This is an event promoted by our organization because Lucas Oil has a headquarters in Corydon. It was a two day event which gives us a little time to sit back and relax. Friday night I was the first hook and the truck went right, I let it drift a little too much and by the time I hit a break I was already almost on the sidelines. Once I could see I was at that point I just backed out of it knowing I had the option. It was poor driving on my part, but the good news was I got a second chance. Jared was right behind me with the Revenger and was a little light on the nose so we made some changes and I came back sixth and this time I was way more prepared for when it tried to take me right, feathered the brake and made a really nice pass to tune of 320.53 which was good enough to take the win. We were pretty excited for two wins in a row for the truck. Saturday the guys did maintenance on the trucks and everything checked out great, so we were ready for another round. For the second night I was the last hook of the class, so I had plenty of time to watch, but also get more nervous. I came to the conclusion I really didn’t like being that late in the lineup but better get used to hooking in all kinds of positions. Craig Corzine was in the lead when I came up to run. Jared did last minute weight moves and then his only advise different from the previous night was we had more track to work with so I didn’t have to purposely stay off the left. The truck left the line great and when I got the red flag I felt I had made a good pass, but it was too close to call if I had went around the Burn Notice truck or not. When the distance was read I had won by less than an inch. It was a picture perfect weekend for the Wild One truck. The Revenger had some mechanical issues Saturday night, so although we had one truck in the winner’s circle it was still frustrating the second truck didn’t get to make a full pass. After getting the Revenger fixed back up, Jared took the trucks to Rushville, IL on July 3rd for an ITPA hook. Our oldest daughter had a baseball game, so I stayed back to coach our team. Jared took some good friends and Ella along so he had a crew to help him out. After the dust had settled there he brought home the win with the Revenger and finished 4th with Wild Won. He said he sure doesn’t fit in that truck as well as me and it was a challenge to turn around to back up to the sled. He was an early hook with my truck and it drifted down the track a little which he thought cost him some distance, but turned around and made a solid pass with his for a win for our team. It was reassuring that his truck ran good, after a few minor gremlins the weekend before. We now are getting everything checked out and loaded back up for a busy week. We take the ground running Wednesday and pull every night through Saturday, where we finish out the weekend at Fairfield, IL for a Lucas Oil Champions Tour hook. Stay tuned to our Midnight Motorsports Pulling Team Facebook page, we try to update results on that page often! Here is some footage of our runs from Friday Night at Corydon, captured by Jesse Post of JP Pulling Productions.

Pulling Season is heating up!

June 23, 2014

10457934_10204179063262754_6538436850035634592_nHappy Monday evening!  I’ve been missing for a couple weeks, not  really meaning to, life just happens.  I am hoping to do a better job in the coming weeks as we are almost to July and the heart of the pulling season.  Last I updated we had hurt a motor in our second run of the year.  We went home after Franklin not knowing if we wanted to put our spare motor in, or just wait for the other one to get fixed.  We ultimately decided to switch out motors because we really wanted to pull the Wild One truck at the Hammer Down pull in Urbana, IL.  As luck would have it we ended up getting rained out that Saturday night, we were pretty disappointed we had worked really hard that week to make sure the truck was track ready and then it was all for nothing.  The next event for us was Wilmington, OH, which was a Champions Tour PPL hook.  Since the spare motor was in and ready to run we just left it in for this event, even though we had planned on putting the original motor back in.  The event in Ohio just happens to be close to Kings Island theme park, and we were more than ready for a day of fun; so Jared, our girls and I took off a day early and took too the rides and slides.  We tend to try and make our pulling adventures as much fun as possible for everyone, and keeping our kids excited and involved in pulling is really important to us.  It was back to business on Saturday, and the weather was perfect for a pull.  It was a stacked class of two-wheelers, and I was next to last hook of the class.  Our first team truck to run was the Speedco Midnight Gambler and he made a really solid pass.  After watching more and more trucks run it seemed like everything that was being tried just wasn’t enough to get the lead, which was held by Keith Long driving the Culp Lumber truck with the first hook of the class.  Jared was up about mid class and made a nice pass and still just didn’t go far enough.  When I was up the one thing we did know was that I wanted to keep it on the right side of the track, I managed to do that but my distance was only 299 and some change.  The After Midnight truck was up after me and seemed to be on a good pass when he had transmission gremlins cut his run a little short.  I believe I ended up 11th overall.  10441407_10152577449625439_2912864542919079274_nOne thing to note about this class was how close the competition was.  The winner was 309, but there were around eight different trucks in the 300-303 mark, it was pretty spectaculiar.  So after a mediocre showing we headed back to Illinois with the job of switching back motors again.  Our next hook was an ITPA event at Cerro Gordo, IL.  This is pretty close to home and a great time to put the original motor back in and get a test pass on it before we go back points pulling with the Lucas organization.  After a tragic week for our team and pulling family, we moved forward with the plan to take the trucks to the state hook on Friday.  There were only 6 trucks at the pull.  Jeremy was the test puller with the Speedco truck and made a great looking run and stopped at 335 plus.  After he ran we knew that the track was pretty awesome and I was excited to have a chance at a fun ride.  I was not disappointed as I started to get in the throttle it hooked really quick and so I just went with it.  My front end picked up and about mid track I felt like I was shot out of a cannon.  I came to a stop at 349 plus and was in awe of how fast the pass was.  The first three passes in the truck had been solid, but not near as fast as this.  Jared was up last and of course had to try a few things different, just to see how it worked.  He made a pass to 333 plus and ended up third.  It was a clean 1-2-3 sweep for Midnight Motorsports, and lightened the mood a little after a pretty dreary week.  We love pulling and the competition, but more than anything we love the people and friends that we spend so much of our time with!  We our due up next to be in Corydon, IN  for a Midwest PPL Series event.  If you are in this area come check us out, we enjoy meeting our fans!

1513727_787825281258483_2712127692699667488_nThe Highs and the Lows!

June 02, 2014

We had our first event this past weekend in Franklin, KY.  This is an event promoted by TS Performance, so it is a huge crowd of diesel enthusiasts; but they  also get pretty excited for the blown alcohol engines as well.  Friday night a rain cloud set in about an hour before pull time and really threw a wrench into the schedule.  The pull officially began around the 9 o’clock hour and ended sometime around 4 am.  Hats off to the track crew and officials for making the best out of the conditions presented.  The track was pretty wet and greasy, and therefore made setting up and driving the trucks a challenge.  I was already pretty nervous debuting a new truck and being out of the seat for an extended time, then you add in the track conditions and my stomach was in a knot!  I tried my best to keep cool and take in everyone’s passes before me to see what was working and what wasn’t.  On top of me being a little nervous, my crew chief/setup man/husband was more unsettled than normal too!  I think he just wanted to give me the best chance possible and kudos to him because he did a great job.  I was right in the middle of the lineup, and Jared was only two trucks behind me, my run was a little rough through the first 100 feet or so, but I stayed patient and the truck hooked about mid track and ended up making a really nice run.  I took the lead at the time at a distance of 303’ and some change.  Two other trucks ended up laying down some nice passes that surpassed our run but I ended up in the winner’s circle with a third place finish for the night.

We we’re beyond excited with how the new truck performed, obviously everyone wants to win but when you are running against 24 tough trucks a top 5 finish is pretty good.  Saturday was spent doing routine maintenance on the trucks and making sure everything is ready for the track again.  As luck has it Jared and I were back to back hooks again at mid pack in lineup for the second night of action. Show time was 6pm and with favorable weather everything was on time.  The track was in better conditions but still seemed to be rough in spots.  Jared made a pretty good pass and went 287’, the leader was at 305’; I strapped back in for my second pass in the new truck  I felt more comfortable in the truck after having one run under my belt, but the butterflies were still there.  I made an average pass and went 285’, the take off seemed much smoother this time but unlike my first pass it had a few bounces at the end that definitely hurt my distance.  After the dust settled we also realized we had some internal damage to the motor of the Wild One so it looks like we have some work ahead of us to get it ready for the next event.7611_788662027841475_5473032894660974389_n

This weekend was full of highs and lows, but with motor sports this is too be expected.  Going from a one truck team to two is a change, so we will learn as we go and hopefully rise to the challenge.  Our hope is to run this weekend in Urbana, IL at the Hammer Down Pull.  Our next Champions Tour event is Wilmington, Oh on June 14th.  Stay tuned for more from my journey through this season….Bethany

Introducing the Wild One!

May 30, 2014

photo4 (2)Good evening pulling fans!  We are one day away from kicking off the 2014 season at Franklin, KY with the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League.  I am going to do my best to keep you all in the groove as I make my way through my first full season at the wheel of a super modified twd truck.  I am not a  “rookie” in the sense that I have drove my husbands truck some on our local state series.  But I am a rookie on running a national points series this year, and believe me the pressure already has a different feeling.  My previous experience was all just for fun, so to speak.photo3 (2)

As I write this, it is Thursday night around 10:30pm, and we just got in from the shop finishing up last minute details with the truck and hauler.  I am going to be driving a truck owned by Terry Jostock, and it will carry the “Wild One” name.  This idea didn’t come to life until sometime around the middle of March, so to say that we have pushed things to the wire is an understatement.   The truck took its shape at NCP, with Jeremy Nelson at the reigns.  I owe him, my husband Jared, Mark Austin, and anyone else that put a hand in making this a reality in a short amount of time a huge Thank You.  They have all went above and beyond to make sure this truck was track ready for this weekend.  I really am just the lucky one that gets to be the hired gun.  The truck is a Chevy Colorado body on a Wild One Motorsports chassis.  Nick Zuk with Motor City Wraps stopped in on Tuesday and threw a pretty cool design on it, so with that it looks ready to roll.  The power plant is fresh from Brian Knox at Sassy Racing Engines; so we would like to think we have a pretty good combination.

photo2 (3)This season is going to be a learning experience for sure, and I hope to rise the challenge.  On paper everything looks great, but putting this awesome machine on the track and having positive results will not be an easy chore.  I am not familiar with the truck at all yet, I was in the seat with the motor running only one time and that was just a few hours ago.  Tomorrow we will head south and hope to make it in the pits by noon.  Once there we will double check everything over, run valves, and then take to the Kentucky track.  My goal for the weekend is to make solid, straight runs and hopefully with that comes consistent finishes!  If your looking for a fun weekend head to Franklin to see some great pulling action and a really neat event hosted by TS Performance, and stay tuned after the weekend for an update on how things go for our first weekend on the road!

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