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Power pullers

Tractors, trucks pull crowd to Ag Expo

Tractors, trucks pull crowd to Ag Expo

July 27, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

SHARPSBURG - Vehicles snaked up Sharpsburg Pike on the way to the Tractor and Truck Pull at the Washington County Ag Expo.

Wednesday night's crowd was the biggest in five years, said Gus Rethemeyer, who was working the front gate at the Ag Expo. More than 1,000 vehicles overflowed from parking lots onto grassy fields. He said the truck and tractor pulls are the Ag Expo's biggest draws.

People of all ages crowded into bleachers facing the dirt track, and several hundred sat in lawn chairs and lounged in the grass on the opposite side of the track as truck after truck pulled weight several hundred yards.

The crowd erupted into cheers when a truck mowed its way down the track and across the finish line.

"It's the power and sound, competition, excitement," said Clarence Horner, who was at the truck pull with his daughter, Staci, and her two sons.

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"The boys like watching the mud fly up at the end," Staci Horner said.

Mike Miller of Boonsboro has been "pulling" for 10 years. Miller said he burned more than a gallon of racing fuel in the short distance it took him to get down the track Wednesday night.

A lot of time and money goes into beefing up the motor to pull, Miller said, but he does it for the thrill.

"I like the power," he said.

The motors made so much noise that dozens of people wore ear protection or covered their ears when the trucks pulled.

The trucks, which pulled sleds full of weight, were brightly painted and cleverly named. A white Ford with blue racing stripes on the front had "Totally Hooked" painted on the side. A black Ford had "Dirt Digger" emblazoned on it.

Pullers from West Virginia and Virginia also competed in Wednesday's event. One traveled from Page County, Va., and another came from Winchester, Va.

Lines for the fair food were almost as long as the line at the front gate. Funnel cakes and kettle corn were popular items.

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