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September 15, 2017

Lucas Pro Pulling Spotlight: Involvement In The Sport A Way Of Life For Nelson Family

Midnight Gambler
Five members of the Nelson family, including Jeremy Nelson in "Midnight Gambler," will be competing on Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League. (Lucas Oil Pro Pulling photo)

Wheatland, Missouri (September 15, 2017) - There will be a whole lot of "Midnight" on Saturday night when the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League's Champions Tour visits Lucas Oil Speedway.

Night two of the Lucas Pro Pulling Nationals will find the Nelson family out of central Illinois out in full force, piloting five vehicles in the Optima Batteries Super Modified 2WD Class. Four of the five have "Midnight" in their names.

"It's one of those things that's in our blood," said Jeremy Nelson, the oldest of the five family competitors and driver of a souped-up 1941 Dodge Panel Van called "Midnight Gambler."

The remainder of the Nelson family pulling roster: Nelson's wife, Misty, in a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado named "Midnight Chaos;" brother Jared Nelson in a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado called "Midnight Revenger;" Jared Nelson's wife, Bethany, in a 2011 Ford Ranger "Sweet Revenge" and Jeremy Nelson's father-in-law, John Mumma, in 2007 Chevrolet SSR "After Midnight."

The Nelson family is a perennial contender on the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, with one of them winning a season championship in five of the last six years. Entering this weekend's season finale, Jared Nelson in "Midnight Revenger" sits atop the points race.

Jeremy Nelson, from Sidney, Illinois, said pulling has been a family fabric for as long as he can remember.

"I'm the oldest of all of us (pulling now) and was the first one involved," he said. "My dad (Dale Nelson) was involved in pulling since I can remember. He let me starting driving the truck I'm driving when I was 16 and then we got a second truck and let my brother drive it. He just kind of passed the torch."

Jeremy Nelson said he met his wife through pulling. For years now, it's become a way of life in the summer and early fall for the entire family.

"I'm turning 40 this year," Jeremy Nelson said. "It's the only thing I've known in the summer. Chasing the pulling circuit all around. It is in our blood."

Aside from the competition, Nelson said the friendships that have been forged make it all worthwhile.

"The people we meet and the fans we meet are just great," he said. "We have fans that have turned into friends over the years. That's the exciting part. It's sure not the money or the workload involved because it can be like a second job in the summer time.

"Between the Illinois pulling circuit and the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, we'll hit about 35 events a year. It gets to be expensive when you work a full-time job and you do this on the side."

Nelson described the trucks, which in his class turn around 3,000 horsepower, as something that's best appreciated in person.

"You can watch it on television, but in person you can feel the horsepower. It really is something else," Nelson said.

Being fan-friendly also is something that Nelson said he enjoys about the sport. Fans are welcomed in the "Midnight" pits.

"We let kids sit in our trucks and get their pictures taken," Nelson said. "They all seem to enjoy that. We want to invite them to come by on Saturday."

The infield in front of the Lucas Oil Speedway main grandstand will be transformed into a pulling area for the powerful machines, with gates opening at 5 p.m. and opening ceremonies at 7 both Friday and Saturday.

Friday will find the ARP Light Weight Super Stock Tractors, ARP Super Stock Diesel Trucks, Limited Pro Diesel Trucks and Limited Pro Stock Tractors.

Then on Saturday night it's the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions' Tour. Classes in action will include the E3 Sparkplugs Super Modified Tractors, MAVTV Unlimited Super Stock Tractors, Super Farm Tractors, Optima Batteries Super Modified 2WD Trucks , Pro Modified 4 WD Trucks and Protect the Harvest Pro Stock Tractors.

For ticket information, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Tickets also can be purchased online at

Adults (16 and up) $20
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $17
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $40

Adults (16 and up) $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $22
Youth (6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $50

For more information on the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, including complete schedules and archived stories, visit

For ticket information for all Lucas Oil Speedway events, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.

Click for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.

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