Tractors, trucks pull for prizes and glory

April 26, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

With a plume of black smoke and its engines roaring, the bright red tractor popped its front wheels and raced to the finish line as adoring fans cheered.

"Now that one actually looks like a tractor," said Jim Brunnett, chairman of the Carroll County Ag Center's annual tractor pull as he motioned toward the souped-up Massey Ferguson. "Most of these don't."

About 3,500 people flocked to the Ag Center yesterday to watch 200 trucks and tractors drag a 68,000-pound sled 300 feet -- or try to until engines quit or wheels started spinning.

"This looks like one of the best crowds we've had in a few years," said Lawrence Meeks, president of the Carroll County Ag Center board.

Competitors were divided into four classes of local farm stock and four-point classes, Mr. Brunnett said.

Competitors in the point class are professional drivers who travel the circuit. Farm stock is usually entered by local people who race their tractors for a hobby, he said.

"That's how the tractor pulls began," said Mr. Brunnett. "It's a way to clean out the engine and see if you can beat your neighbor."

All the money collected -- from the front gate receipts to the food sales -- goes to pull prizes and maintenance of the Ag Center, Mr. Brunnett said. Twelve cash prizes, ranging from $375 to $50, were awarded in each of the eight classes in the $12,000 event.

Organizers said the warm, sunny weather probably helped produce the large turnout.

Last year's pull was rained out and attracted lower than usual attendance on the rain date.

"Everybody's been cooped up all winter and is eager to get out and get a suntan," Mr. Brunnett said. "People have room to get up and move around. It's not like a stadium, where you're jammed in next to another person."

Paula Price of Hampstead said she attended with her husband, Mark, "to get out and have fun with everybody.

"My husband's father did this for awhile and my husband has helped out for awhile," said Ms. Price, who took tickets at the gate yesterday. "He comes down every year."

Jeff Harrison of Wrightsville, Pa., said yesterday's pull was the first he's attended in about five years.

"I like to watch the stock and the super-stock tractors," he said. "Usually, all you see is the modified trucks and tractors."

Unlike other pulls on the circuit, at the Carroll event, spectators can walk down to the pits and talk to the drivers and mechanics, Mr. Brunnett said. "This is a very educational place to come if you've never come to a tractor pull," he said. "It's a good, fun day in the country."

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