Advertisement

Pull of pulling

Fans: Truck and tractor pulling events are exciting

Fans: Truck and tractor pulling events are exciting

May 07, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

Sixteen-year-old Brittany Heller hears the roar in her ears and feels the vibration in her chest when the powerful engines throttle up.

Brittany sits on the track guardrail, as close as she's permitted to get to the trucks and tractors as drivers gun the engines and try to pull a weighted sled as far as they can.

She is one of thousands of people who attend tractor and truck pulls in the Tri-State area. The season began in April and several pulling events are coming up in the Tri-State area starting this weekend.

Like many automotive sports, such as NASCAR racing, tractor and truck pulls attract many families, who, in between the action, mingle with friends.

Advertisement

"I like to just sit near the guardrail and sit and watch the tractor pull and eat the great funnel cake they have," said Brittany, who lives south of Hagerstown. As she watches, friends come up to chat, said Brittany, whose mother took her to her first tractor pull when she was much younger.

Many people who attend pulls know a driver or two.

Brittany cheers for a few friends who pull, while Dave and Barb Nicodemus root for friends like the Oldens of Boonsboro.

The Nicodemuses didn't know any drivers when they started going to pulls about six years ago. In recent years, they joined Western Maryland Pullers Association and their plumbing business has sponsored some pullers and class purses.

"When I was younger, I used to like to watch drag racing. It's kind of the same thing, except it's tractors and trucks," said Dave Nicodemus, 54, of Boonsboro.

In pulling, drivers of tractors and trucks take turns to see which can pull a "sled" farthest. The sled has a box on top that shifts weight toward the tractor or truck as it pulls; making the sled heavier the farther it's pulled.

Competing tractors include ones with a classic tractor appearance except for multiple engines, and modified tractors that look more like a drag racing car.

The Nicodemuses set up lawn chairs close to the track and bring sodas to wash down the sandwiches they buy at the concession stand.

They socialize with friends and stretch their legs behind the scenes.

"We walk around a little bit and walk up through the pits to look at the tractors and stuff. Most of the people ... are really nice. They let little kids climb up on tractors and take pictures," said Dave Nicodemus.

And the drivers are not shy when it comes to talking about their tractors and trucks. Just ask, he said. They love to talk.




Pulling events



Some of the upcoming pulls in the Tri-State area are:

o Saturday, May 9, at 6 p.m. Western Maryland Pullers at Washington County Agricultural Education Center, off Sharpsburg Pike, with tractor and truck classes. $10; free for ages 10 and younger. Call 301-432-6203.

o Saturday, May 9, at 6 p.m. Back Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Co. truck and tractor pull at Berkeley County Youth Fair Grounds off Golf Course Road. $10; $5 for ages 8 to 12; and free for ages 7 and younger. Call 304-676-6115. This is a fundraiser for the fire company.

o Friday, May 15, at 6 p.m. Mountain State Pullers at Jefferson County, W.Va., Fairgrounds, with tractor and truck classes. $10; $5 for ages 8 to 12; and free for ages 7 and younger. Rain date is Saturday, May 16. Call 304-671-5354. Go to http://mtnstpullers.com.

o Saturday, May 23, at 6 p.m. Franklin County Tractor Pullers Association at Franklin County Fairgrounds, off Warm Spring Road in Chambersburg, Pa., with tractor and truck classes. $8; $4 for ages 8 to 12; free for ages 7 and younger. Call Jason at 717-263-0705.

o Saturday, May 30, at 6 p.m. Washington County Tractor Pullers Association at Washington County Agricultural Education Center, off Sharpsburg Pike with tractor and truck classes including hot rod semis. $15; free for ages 7 and younger. Rain date is 3 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Call 301-730-9523.

o Saturday, June 13, with dynomometer contest at noon and pull at 6 p.m. Mountain State Pullers at Jefferson County, W.Va., Fairgrounds with tractor and truck classes. $10; $5 for ages 8 to 12; free for ages 7 and younger. Call 304-671-5354. Go to http://mtnstpullers .com. The dynomometer contest, called "dyno," measures a vehicle's horsepower; highest horsepower overall wins.

o Saturday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. Two Top Ruritan hosts a tractor pull at Two Top Community Park, 5 miles south of Mercersburg, Pa., off Pa. 75. $10; $5 for ages 8 to 12; free for ages 7 and younger. Call 717-261-6655.

o Saturday, June 13, at 3 p.m. Western Maryland Pullers at Strawberry Festival at 20122 Rohrersville School Road in Rohrersville, Md., with tractor and truck classes. $10; free for ages 10 and younger. Call 301-491-5222.

o Saturday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Shippensburg, Pa., Community Fair Grounds off Possum Hollow Road south of Shippensburg with tractor and truck classes. $8 for ages 12 and older; free for ages 11 and younger. Call 717-423-6672.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|