Brenda Shanklin from Navarre, Ohio has had a month of May that will be in her memory bank for some time. The eighteen year old Stark County native graduated high school in the month of May of this year to mark a certain milestone in her young life. And then on Sunday evening at Mercer Raceway Park she took another ‘first’ with a victory in the Big Rigs class for USA-EAST Sled Pulling.
Shanklin’s truck, a very unique Dodge Bighorn, is powered by a 3406 CAT engine with an automatic transmission. The combination proved to work just perfectly on the track at Mercer Raceway. “Black Sheep” was built by her father, Lew Shanklin and his crew chief Tim White. The truck had not lived up to its earlier billing in the past two years, but all of the pieces came together at Mercer for the young lady from Navarre.
The Big Rigs class had nine entries and with the two Rodger’s girls driving their Macks “Unleashed” and “Unpredictable” a full 33% of the drivers were female. This in itself delighted the packed grandstand at Mercer. Another youngster, Jerod Scott from Palmyra, Ohio, finished second at Mercer with Sanders’ “Cat Scratch Fever” another CAT-powered machine.
One of the highlights of the event was the first run down the track for Justin Fredo and the revamped “A Rood Awakening” now in the Sanders’ Pulling Team stable. Mrs. George Rood was in attendance along with her sons, George, Jr. and Jeff, to witness the first run of the resurrected Mack that her deceased husband had campaigned for many years with the Big Rigs Series.
The Big Rigs have an exhibition hook at Bunker Hill, Ohio on June 7th and then head to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds near Brookville, Pennsylvania for their next point hook on Saturday, June 14 at 7:00pm. Photos by Brock Johnson.