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  • Writer's pictureMiles Krieger

Bowling Green Preview: Renee Theobald, driver of Pretty Wicked

We caught up with Renee Theobald, driver of the “Pretty Wicked” Mini on the NTPA and PPL Circuits, for a quick question and answer about her transition to a new class, and her early season success. The former Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Truck driver has taken to the seat of a brand new ride with relative ease, as the family put together a second Mini over the off-season with a new Modern Machine frame and Hemi power plant prepared in the shop in South Central Indiana. Renee is currently off a win in Rockwell, IA two weeks ago, and sits 2nd in points with the NTPA as they enter the National Tractor Pulling Championship in Bowling Green, OH.

Renee and her family, husband Doug, and sons Grant and Mason are no strangers to the sport. Both Grant and Mason grew up on the sideline just like their parents did and are the next generation in a long line of fierce competitors with both grandfathers having been long-time competitors on the national level. The Theobalds from Shelbyville, Indiana currently campaign four vehicles across three different classes on the NTPA GN circuit, the “Full Blown Wicked” triple screw blower/hemi Unlimited tractor, two Hemi powered Mini Modified tractors “Pretty Wicked” piloted by Renee and “Lil Wicked” driven by Grant, lastly the 1923 T-Bucket Two Wheel Drive truck piloted by NTPA Rookie Mason Theobald.

On the weekends when they all compete, the toy box is full for the Wicked Motorsports team but they wouldn’t have it any other way. The synergy of the team has yielded tremendous results over the last decade and it is only growing as they are off to a very hot start in 2023. Thank you to Renee for joining us for the Q & A, and good luck this weekend. If you are in Bowling Green, stop by and see the Wicked Motorsports team.


Full Pull- You have really taken to driving the mini, to what do you attribute the comfort and ease you show while driving?

Renee- I attribute my 13 seasons of TWD driving experience. You really have to feel a TWD to drive it well, and sitting between the tires of a mini rod, you feel it even more. Also since this is my first season of mini rod pulling, I feel I have no expectations and nothing to lose.

Full Pull- You clearly have a proven piece with “Pretty Wicked” winning Henry, and a great start to the NTPA points race has to give you confidence moving forward, what inspired the move to Mini?

Renee- For the past several years, I have always thought it would be fun to drive a mini and once Grant showed interest in wanting a mini, it made that process to convince Doug to get into the mini class a little easier. Plus, for me, it was nice that I got to drive Grants mini a couple of times last year to test it out before I made that leap from the TWD class. Winning in Grants Tractor made that change a bit easier for me.

Full Pull- You often carry a banner for women in this sport, which I know you don’t take lightly. What does it mean to be out competing with your son, as well as being a mentor and idol for young women in the sport and stands?

Renee- It has definitely been cool to see more husbands have the confidence in their wives that they can do this too! It definitely takes a certain kind of personality to hop into one of these pulling machines. It’s not as easy as it looks on the outside looking in. Competing with my son Grant and doing this as a family is a lot of fun. That is also how both Doug, and I grew up in pulling, so we really don’t know any different. As far as being a mentor to young girls, it’s always fun to get good luck high-fives from them and to let them know that they can achieve anything they want to do in life and to never give-up!

Full Pull- You guys have made it to some PPL events this year which is neat to see you come a compete at some events you may not typically hit, what have you enjoyed about getting out to see the new venues?

Renee- Having mini rods now, has made it easier to go to PPL events for our first time this year. Henry, IL was only our 3rd time competing on the PPL CT circuit. We have been to Henry before to pull the Wicked Willy TWD. The last time we were at Henry, I was pregnant with my youngest son, Mason; 16 years ago! PPL has been very welcoming!

Full Pull- Is anything different from Grant’s tractor to yours other than the driver?

Renee- Both tractors are basically the same.

Full Pull- Wicked has really become a brand with a following. You have four vehicles, three classes, and four drivers, and at events like Tomah, Fort Recovery, BG, and Rockwell, where all the vehicles compete, it can be hectic. How do you manage it all?

Renee- We have a great group of guys back home that don’t necessarily go to many events, but they are invaluable to our success on the track! Josh Myles, Manager, Engine Builder, and Tuner. Roger Williams Engine Builder. As well as all our guys that help to take care of our grain farming operation while we are gone. Father-In-Law Keith and Mother-in-Law Jan play a huge role as well. Of course, my husband Doug and sons Grant and Mason are an integral part of our Team. We have several friends that jump in and go to pulls and/or come to the shop to help us get ready to go to pull or get down the track! Les and Cory Korporal keep us fed at most of the pulls and are always right there on the track, whenever needed. It takes everyone, no matter what the task big or small; to make our Team successful!

Full Pull- Your son Mason has recently begun his pulling career.

What is it like to have him competing with you? And doing so in your old truck, do you miss running the T Bucket?

Renee- It is great to see him jump in the truck and have the confidence to do this at the highest level of pulling! He absorbs as much knowledge and advice as he can from Doug, Grant, and myself, but ultimately it is something that will just take laps in the truck. He is a very cool and calm young man and not a lot of stress ever gets to him and that is a plus. The number one thing I will miss about the T-bucket is getting to compete at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY.

Follow the team on Social Media platforms @WickedPulling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snap.

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