NICKNAME:
CLARK

"I compete against these guys all time. Beating them once doesn't mean anything. To try and do it all year, that's the hard part.

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  • Hometown: Yukon, OK

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Jambo & Gateway Drum Smokers

  • Sponsors: The Kansas City BBQ Store, EAT Barbecue, Yeti Coolers, Kosmo's Q, Compart

Travis Clark,
HEAD PITMASTER

AMERICAN ROYAL CHAMPION

2017 KCBS OVERALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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GOES BY:
MURPHY

"The thing we love about competition BBQ is the people and the camaraderie.  Plus, it is an outlet for overweight, middle age guys to compete at something."

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  • Hometown: Kansas City, MO

  • Competing Since: 2011

  • Pit: Jambo

  • Sponsors: The Kansas City BBQ Store, Yeti Coolers, Kosmo's Q

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ): Hunting, Fishing, Racing

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Our first GC, which was at a Sam's Club Qualifier in Overland Park, KS

  • Who is your biggest rival? Who would you love to beat? I really love to beat Shake 'n Bake BBQ, but it rarely happens.  Also, any teams in the National BBQ League.

RYAN & KAren Murphy, PITMASTERs

2017 KCBS SIXTH PLACE OVERALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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He secretly wishes he was a Backstreet Boy, he's a Leo and a former Chip n Dale dancer who loves Dairy Queen, and has a mean front headlock.

NICKNAME:
GINJA NINJA (left)

His favorite movie is The Notebook, when he grows uo his dream is to become a Circus Clown, he loves Bud Rights, and he WILL forget your name.

NICKNAME:
FERGIE
 (right)
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  •  Hometown:   Gardner, KS

  • How did you start? 

Love for Italian food opened the door and led to the obsession with smoke and fire

  • Sponsors:

GMG, Miller, BBQData.com, BBQ Guru, Trails West, ACE, Smoke Me BBQ Wood, Smithfield, Royal Oak, Kosmo's Q, Design4Sports, LocalTickets.com

  • Partners in Crime:

"Ginja Ninja"-Jeremy Williams & "Haus"- Rick Jimenez 

richard Fergola, HEAD PITMASTER
richard Fergola, HEAD PITMASTER

APPEARANCES ON HIT TV SERIES:

BBQ PITMASTERS

CHOPPED: Grill Masters

APPEARANCES ON HIT TV SERIES:

BBQ PITMASTERS

CHOPPED: Grill Masters

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NICKNAME:
BEEFY JESUS

"It's turned into something that consumes our lives. Some people go camping, some go fishing, some do whatever.. We go out and WE COOK!"

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  •  Hometown:   Springfield, MO

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Gateway Drum Smokers

  • How did you start?

At one point we were out smoking in the backyard and we just decided our BBQ is the best and we were going to go out an prove it 

  • What do you love about competition BBQ?

You think you've seen it all after a couple hundred contests but you run into something new every week

  • Sponsors:

Smithfield, Blues Hog, Gateway Drum Smokers

brad leighninger, HEAD PITMASTER

Over 50 Grand & Reserve Grand Championships

2017 KCBS PORK Team of the Year 

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NICKNAME:
LUCKY

"These NBBQL competitions are great because I've met so many people from across the nation that I call friends."

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  • Hometown: Waverly, IA

  • Competing Since: 2011

  • Pits: Stumps Stretch & Gateway Drum Smoker

  • Sponsors: Smithfield, Grizzly Coolers, Big Poppa Smokers

  • Love most about competition BBQ? The friends I've made

  • Other Hobbies/Interests: Golf & the Outdoors

  • Favorite BBQ memory: 2012 Grand Champion  Sam's Club BBQ Tour

  • Who is your biggest rival? Brad from Gettin' Basted, he's the best at losing!

justin mcglaun, HEAD PITMASTER

2017 KCBS CHICKEN TEAM OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP

2016 KING OF THE SMOKER GRAND CHAMPION

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  • Hometown: Bristow, VA

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Backwoods Smoker G2, Jambo, Gateway Drum Smoker

  • Sponsors:

Big Poppa Smokers, The BBQ Guru, Blues Hog, Smithfield, BBQData.com, Gunter Wilhelm, Mister Brisket

  • Other Hobbies/Interests: Golf, Reading, & all things Unicorns

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Winning World BBQ Champion at the World Food Championship

  • Who is your biggest rival? The rest of the NBBQL

  • Partner In Crime: Lil' General

luke darnell, Head PITMASTER

2017 KCBS CHICKEN TEAM OF THE YEAR

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NICKNAME:
BIG DADDY

"We're the only non-Midwest team in the NBBQL. It's so different than the east coast. Everyone so serious, and these guys are crazy!"

 
NICKNAME:
BRAIN

"The biggest thing about BBQ is thinking quick on your feet. That's what separates the good teams from the bad."

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  • Hometown: Omaha, NE

  • Competing Since: 2013

  • Pits: Jambo, Gateway Drum Smoker

  • How did you start?

Growing up in Texas, you are born smoking brisket!

  • Favorite BBQ memory:

Travel 13-15 states per year, probably log 20,000 miles and enjoy the heck out of it!

BLANE HUNTER, Head PITMASTER

2017 AMERICAN ROYAL WORLD SERIES OF BBQ OPEN CHAMPION

2017 KING OF THE SMOKER CHAMPION

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"People look up to me, no matter what, because I'm the tallest man in BBQ!"

THE TALLEST MAN IN BBQ
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  • Hometown: New Haven, MO 

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Gateway Drum Smokers

  • Sponsors: 

Blues Hog, Gateway Drum Smokers, Smithfield

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ):

DJ'ing (aka "DJ Shake"), Basketball

  • Words to live by:  "If you're not first, you're last!" - Talladega Nights

  • Who is your biggest rival?

It's always great to beat Gettin' Basted!!

Tim SCHEER, Head PITMASTER

2017 KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP

2017 AMERICAN ROYAL PORK CHAMPION

2016 KCBS PORK TEAM OF THE YEAR

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"I'll be the first person to tell you that my food is better than everyone else's."

NICKNAME:
TV JOE
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  • Hometown: Kansas City, MO

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pit: Traditional Offset

  • Sponsors: 

Blues Hog, Royal Oak, Kosmo's Q

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ):

I love golf and all sports. I own a 1979 Mark Twain Boat that I don't get to use because of BBQ, but I love having a boat!

  • Favorite Memory:  Finishing 2nd Overall on TV Show BBQ Pitmasters

  • Who is your biggest rival?

If I had to pick one team I want to beat on a regular basis would be…..EVERYBODY!

joe pearce, HEAD PITMASTER

APPEARANCE ON HIT TV SERIES: BBQ PITMASTERS

2017 TOP 10 TEAM OF THE YEAR TEAM 

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They call him the "Greatest Of All Time" and he's got the ammo to back it up.

NICKNAME:
THE GOAT
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  • Hometown: Des Moines, IA

  • Competing Since: 2006

  • Pit: Jambo & Gateway Drum Smoker

  • Sponsors: 

Snake River Farms, Grizzly Coolers, Smithfield

  • Hobbies/Interests:

Smokey D's BBQ Restaurant  (As seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives)

DARREN WARTH, HEAD PITMASTER

2018 AMERICAN ROYAL OPEN GRAND CHAMPION

2017 KCBS FOURTH PLACE TEAM OF THE YEAR

2017 HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW & RODEO WORLD CHAMPION

2016 SAM'S CLUB NATIONAL BBQ TOUR GRAND CHAMPION

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