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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Zaring gearing up for national pulling campaign

Saturday, March 14, 2009

(Photo)
Jake Zaring [Order this photo]
For Jake Zaring, or "Crazy Jake" as everyone in Putnam County knows him, truck pulling has always been a passion for him.

If someone drove by his house in Fillmore, they wouldn't see typical lawn ordainments, they would see a lot of the trucks he pulled with in the past years just sitting there collecting rust. Unless you drove by there this weekend.

On Thursday, Zaring loaded up several of his trucks and headed to Cloverdale to take part in what Zaring calls "the largest indoor truck pull in the country."

"It's the biggest indoor unsanctioned hook in the United States," Zaring said. "It's really fun because there is no pressure on anyone because there are no points to win. You're just here to have fun."

Most of the people that run in meets like the one in Cloverdale, usually only bring one, maybe two trucks. Zaring brought four.

"When you are 17 miles away from home and you get to pull against people from all around the country, you bring all your guns with you," Zaring said.

When he isn't racing his truck down the 300-foot dirt lane, he's off making business transactions. For Zaring, truck pulling isn't just a weekend good time -- it's a full-blown business.

"The pull this weekend is the cream of the crop for me," Zaring said. "I build engines and parts for quite a few guys at this pull. So I get to see a lot of my stuff in action.

"There is one guy here from Nebraska that is running one of my engines that I built and another guy that was leading using a rear-end that I sold him," Zaring added.

One of the trucks that Zaring raced, the Double-Nickel, wasn't a truck he owned, but one he helped build.

"That truck is actually my brother's truck, but it does have one of my engines in it," Zaring said. "We built that truck from scratch because my brother wanted to get into the sport and he needed help to do it.

"We built that truck in 2002 and that year it won the points championship and my brother won his very first hook in that truck," Zaring added. "My stuff speaks for itself."

The Hoosier Invitational marks the end and the beginning of the pulling truck season and for Zaring it marks the beginning of his largest national truck pulling campaign of his career.

"We are going to hit more this year than we ever have," Zaring said.

But does that mean he is not going to be pulling at the state hooks anymore?

"We are semi retiring from the state pulls because of the kids being in school and because we are going to be focusing on the Dixie Chopper truck more," Zaring said. "We are running it in two classes this season.

"The big truck takes up so much more time because we leave on a Thursday and don't get back until Sunday, unlike the state pulls where you are back home that evening and ready for work in the morning," Zaring pointed out.

Even though it's a profession, it's an enjoyable one.

"This is a profession to us," Zaring said. "We build and sell parts nation wide, but we have such a good relationship with other pullers in different states that it makes it an enjoyable profession.

"Especially when you can have fun and spend family time with all of them," Zaring added.

Zaring begins his 2009 campaign in two weeks when he and the Dixie Chopper Dodge travel to Jessup, Ga. for the first point's hook of the year.

The finals of the Hoosier Invitational will be tonight at 7 p.m. at Crossroad USA Arena in Cloverdale.



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