The Pro Truck Nationals (PTN) group decided to scale back and focus on one big race for the 2012 season. This race ended up being called PTN Championship Weekend 2012 and held at Little Sandy Raceway in Grayson, KY over the first weekend of October. This event crowned a new Pro Truck champion over the two nights of racing action. Let’s take a look at the high points of the weekend.

Pro Truck / Pro Shootout

Pro Truck Championship Weekend 2012 ran a unique format to crown a Pro Truck class champion. Points were accrued between Friday night’s Pro Shootout class and Saturday’s Pro Truck class with the highest point earner taking home the 2012 PTN Pro Truck championship. This put a bit of a unique twist on things as any car was eligible to enter the Friday Pro Shootout, so the other cars were looking to be a spoiler in a Pro Trucks vs. The World battle.

The Pro Shootout would be settled under the lights on Friday night. Qualifying was ultra competitive with the top spot going to the best Reaction Time. Michigan’s Dale Flaugher led the field with a .011 RT in his “Addiction” Jeep. With 26 entries making the round one call, this was going to be quite a battle. The action was unbelievable with a huge string of upsets right off the bat as top qualifier Flaugher, 2009 PTN Pro Truck champion Ben Dozeman, Buddy Hammett, and last year’s PTN Pro Truck series runner-up Kip Martin all went out in round one. All four were considered favorites to challenge for the title, so things would be up for grabs. When the semi-finals came around, three of the four were Pro Trucks with all four being IOK area racers. In the first pair, it would be Ryan Wilson in the Wilson-Steele Connection Racing Chevy Truck against Curtis Combs in his alcohol injected SBC-powered Altered. Unfortunately for Combs, he rolled through the beams to a stage foul while Wilson took it easy for the win. Up next would be Rodney Upchurch’s Chevy Truck against Kyle Harney in the “Hayshaker” Jeep. Rodney would hold the advantage off the line .106 to .153 and hold on for a slim margin of victory (.016) with a 4.294 (4.20). This would set up a final would with the SBC-powered Chevy Trucks that typically have the front ends hung high in the air past 60’. Ryan would have the edge on the tree .043 to .095, but he would take too much stripe as he would be on the losing end (by .001) of a double breakout decision 3.982 (4.00) to a 4.183 (4.20). This would give Upchurch the points lead heading into Day 2 of action with Wilson and Harney right behind him.

Qualifying on Saturday for Pro Truck was highly entertaining with Ben Dozeman setting the pace in Q1 with a .010 RT. This set the bar for Q2. In that second session, there were a couple of close red lights, but nobody was able to top Dozeman, so he earned Best RT as well as Low ET (3.563) bonus points. The first round of eliminations was wild with both championship point leaders having an early exit. Upchurch would fall to Jeff Banks, who had a great .012 light and 4.164 (4.10). Later in the round, Friday night’s Runner-Up Wilson would take a big starting line advantage against Flaugher, but would fade to the center and ultimately take out the 200’ sensors in the center of the track DQ’ing himself.

After the wild first round, it set up a great round two. The first pair would see Ben Dozeman in the Bad Company Blown SBC-powered Jeep against Ross Abraham’s Procharged SBC-powered full-size Chevy Truck. Dozeman had the bonus points on his side in the championship battle, but he had to win this round to keep moving along. When the tree dropped it was all Dozeman .043 to .117, but at the stripe it would be Abraham getting there first for the win with a 4.437 (4.40) to Dozeman’s 3.631 (3.50). Up next would be Indiana’s Jeff Banks in the “Speed Buggy” Ford Bronco against Scott Papenhagen’s “Nail It” Injected BBC-powered Jeep. Banks had a very nice .028 RT and would run close enough to his dial with a 4.217 (4.10) for the win. Another pair of MI racers lined up next as Buddy Hammett’s SBC-powered Chevy S-10 took the win over Dale Flaugher’s SBC-powered Jeep with a 4.312 (4.20). Finishing off the round would be Kyle Harney, who drew the round two bye run and went 4.247 (4.00). The bye run put him into a tie for the point lead with Rodney Upchurch. A win in the next round would clinch the championship for Harney.

The first pair in the semis would see a classic Ford vs. Chevy battle as Banks and Abraham faced off. This would be a great door to door match as both had a .105 RT, but at the finish line Banks would reach the stripe first with a 4.209 (4.20) to Abraham’s 4.437 (4.40). This set up quite a championship scenario. If Harney was to defeat Hammett in the next pair, he would be the champ, but if he lost, Banks could force a three way tie for the championship with a final round win. The tension was high as the two SBC-powered entries rolled up to the line. When the dust settled, the win light came on in Hammett’s lane as his .055 and 4.313 (4.30) was enough to advance to the final round.

After a dramatic wait for grading equipment to be repaired, the Pro Truck final round was ready to go, Banks in his Bronco against Hammett in his S-10, Indiana versus Michigan. Either racer would be a first time PTN Pro Truck class winner.  When the tree dropped, Hammett left first .052 to .069, but it would be banks getting there first with a 4.24 to 4.27 (both dialed 4.20) for the $1000 victory on the night.

The win for Banks set up a three-way championship race off for the title. Banks & Upchurch from Indiana along with Harney from Kentucky would battle it out to be a first time PTN Pro Truck champion. With three entries, Rodney Upchurch pulled the low number to earn the bye run. So, in the first round of the race off it would be Jeep versus Bronco as Harney and Banks pulled to the line. With both drivers dialed at 4.20, it was a heads-up battle. Banks had the advantage at the tree .047 to .067, but at the stripe he would be on the losing end of a double break out decision 4.16 to 4.19 sending Harney to the final round. Upchurch would run a 4.164 on his bye run. This set up a prime time winner take all showdown between Harney and Upchurch. With all of the marbles on the line, Harney took the advantage .036 to .054. They were locked side-by-side all the way down and in a wild double breakout decision Harney turned on the win light 4.145 to 4.111. Congrats to Kyle Harney & the Hayshaker team on being the 2012 PTN Pro Truck champions.

Jeff Banks - Pro Truck Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Buddy Hammett - Pro Truck Runner-Up (Lonestar Photo)

Rodney Upchurch - Pro Shootout Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Ryan Wilson - Pro Shootout Runner-Up (Lonestar Photo)

Pro Outlaw

PTN put a little spin on the Pro Outlaw class for this event at Little Sandy Raceway. Under the new class rules, any car with 150” wheel base or shorter could enter. Plus, for this event at Little Sandy, the class would be contested to 200’. With Little Sandy having 200’ timers always in place, it would make sense to try something a little different.

Qualifying was entertaining with the 200’ times counting, but also recording 300’ ET’s. Brian McWethy in the MI-based “The Boss” screw-blown BBC Funny Jeep led the pack with a 2.38/103MPH pass (3.05 300’ time). Rounding out the top half of the field would be Scott Papenhagen’s Jeep (2.65), Curtis Combs’ Altered (2.72) and Ben Dozeman’s Jeep (2.76). Frank Martuscelli’s wild Turbo Pauter 4-cylinder Buggy struggled in qualifying to a 2.77 pass, which put him in the 7th position heading into eliminations.

The first pair out would be top qualifier McWethy against Bob Ramlow in the “Strictly Business” BBC Nitrous-assisted Altered. Ramlow had a great .027 RT, but the supercharged power of McWethy was too much with a 2.35/103MPH for the win. Next up would be Combs in his potent SBC-powered Altered against Martucelli’s Nitro Burning 4-cylinder Buggy. Combs had a great .044RT, but as in the prior pair it would be Martuscelli driving around with a beautiful 2.44/101MPH to advance. #2 qualifier Papenhagen would receive a solo as Kip Martin’s Blown BBC-powered “Primal Scream” Jeep broke a rear end in Pro Truck class action. Scott got a little out of shape and pedaled to a 2.83/66MPH. The final pair of the round saw Dozeman and Dale Flaugher line up in an all-Jeep battle. Dozeman used a stellar .020 RT to take the victory 2.84 to 2.89.

A prime time match up between the two quickest cars on the property kicked off the semi-final round as McWethy and Martuscelli lined up. Both racers were loaded for bear as they rolled into the beams. Martuscelli immediately had problems and had to shut off while McWethy ran another solid 2.39/100MPH to move on to the final round. In the other half of the semis, an all-Jeep battle pulled up to the line with Papenhagen and Dozeman squaring off. Dozeman would squeeze the tree just a little too much with a .002 red light while Papenhagen went on to the win with a 2.76/82MPH.

The final round came to the line with a David versus Goliath match up between the screw-blown Funny Jeep of McWethy against the Nitrous Assisted BBC power of Papenhagen. When the tree dropped, it was all McWethy as he ran a 2.43/103MPH to defeat Scott’s 2.73/83MPH for the win. Congrats to “The Boss” team on their Pro Outlaw victory in Kentucky.

Brian McWethy - Pro Outlaw Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Scott Papenhagen - Pro Outlaw Runner-Up (Lonestar Photo)

Bracket Classes

The tough Pro 1 Cars bracket class came down to Pro Truck runner-up Buddy Hammett in his second final of the night against Indiana’s Brian Harrison in his beautiful new Mopar-powered Chevy Truck. Buddy would cut a killer .018 RT and run a solid 4.325 (4.25) to force Harrison into a 4.057 (4.09) break out.

Buddy Hammett - Pro 1 Cars Winner (Lonestar Photo)

On this weekend at Little Sandy, the Quick 8 ATV class was a heads-up affair with some of the quickest ATV’s in the region doing battle. The final round saw a pair of lay down 3-wheeled entries of Albert Callihan and Tex Andy English face off. Callihan ran a best of 3.45 in the semi-final round while English ran a 3.49 in round one. Callihan left first and hung on for the win with a 3.55/89MPH while English shut off early with problems.

Albert Callihan - Quick 8 ATV Winner (Lonestar Photo)

The Pro ATV category was contested on both Friday and Saturday nights. 22 entries made the call for first round on Friday night. In the final, Josh Followay used a .040 RT and 4.305 (4.22) to take the victory over Brian Bond. A familiar face made the Saturday night final as Followay looked to double up on the weekend as he faced Q8 ATV runner-up Tex Andy English in the final. This battle was over on the tree as English went .053 red handing Followay the double-up win with a .030 RT and 4.200 (4.27).

Josh Followay - Pro ATV Winner on both Friday & Saturday (Lonestar Photo)

A staple of bracket racing in the IOK region is the open dial Sportsman Tree bracket class. On this weekend, there would be two nights of this with the Ironman class on Friday night and the Sportsman Car class on Saturday. Friday’s final round came down to Bracket Killer Justin Dees and Andrew Meyer in an all-Altered final round. Meyer would get a little too antsy with a .079 red light, and hand Dees the win. Saturday night came down to a battle between Matt Randolph’s Altered and John Schultz’s MI-based Blazer. Schultz got the .064 to .076 edge at the line, but too much stripe as he broke out with a 5.551 (5.63) while Randolph ran a 4.601 (4.58) to take the big win.

Justin Dees - Ironman Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Matt Randolph - Sportsman Car Winner (NSDN Photo)

Keith Lycans topped a massive Open ATV class as he defeated JR Nolen in the final round. The Junior ATV class saw Cameron Gibson defeat Ty Papenhagen while Brock Sargent defeated Brock Papenhagen in the Peewees final round.

Keith Lycans - Open ATV Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Cameron Gibson - Junior ATV Winner (Lonestar Photo)

Photos Courtesy
Lonestar Graphics -

Event Photo Gallery - Courtesy of Lonestar Graphics

Event Photo Gallery - Courtesy of NSDN

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