The Jefferson County Fairgrounds just outside of Brookville was the scene of the opening leg for the Big Rigs Pulling Series on Saturday, June 15. The series is sponsored by Cen.Pe.Co. Lubricants and fuel additives of Cleveland, Ohio and Wolcott, Iowa. The Big Rigs Series will have ten point events during the summer of 2024.  

The unexpected winner of the first pull was the youngster Vinnie Giulitto from Ravenna,  Ohio driving “Full Spool” a Mack Superliner powered by a Cyclone CAT engine. This truck is the former “Rood Awakening” that had been converted from V-8 Mack power to a C-15 CAT. This is the first Big Rig win ever for the youngster who is the son of former Big Rigs champion, Joe Giulitto. Vinnie did have a victory on the Ohio State circuit a year ago in his first year of competition. 

Second was “Cat Scratch Fever” the five-time Big Rigs Series champion with new owner Mike Ostetrico from Aurora, Ohio driving in his first-ever hook with the Big Rigs. This CAT  powered Mack was a recent acquisition of the MO Power Team from the disbursal of the Fred  Sanders Pulling Team.  

And third was Bob Lautanen from Jefferson, Ohio with “Grape Ape”. The awesome truck was purchased from Dale Mitchell a couple of years ago and has emerged as a formidable foe for  the rest of the class. Fourth at Brookville was the Ed Zeglen from Fayette County with “Death Row”, a 1975 Freightliner sporting an all-new CAT C-15. Zeglen’s engine had a complete and spectacular melt-down at Meadville in August of last year and has come back stronger than  ever. 

Jeff Lautanen from Ashtabula County, Ohio has been dealing with ‘gremlins’ since mid-season a year ago with his Peterbilt but was happy with his pull of 280 feet at Brookville. “Moody Blue” is the former Big Rigs Champion during the Pandemic years. 

The hard-luck story of the night went to “Sneeky Pete” and Joe Giullito from Portage County, Ohio. The yellow Pete drew first in the class and when the sled was deemed too heavy and was reset, he had to return at the end of the class only to have a failure in his turbo-charger  that relegated the team to last place. 

A number of member trucks were not yet ready for the track due to the extremely long wait for parts – which has become a major motor sport problem across the country. And the powerful Chris Jeffries Pulling Team from Wyoming, New York has chosen to follow the NTPA National Series for a year and will only be seen a selected Big Rigs pulls in 2024. 

The next hook for the Big Rigs Series will be on Friday, July 5 (7:00pm) at the Big Butler Fair on Route 422 in Prospect, Pennsylvania – just west of the city of Butler.

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