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Pullers harness raw power to make tracks at Washington Co. ag center

July 09, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Robert Martin of Chambersburg, Pa., pilots his John Deere pulling tractor to a distance of 317 feet Saturday in front of a large crowd at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center south of Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

"The atmosphere, the sound, the raw power, the experience."

That is what Earl Welch of Hagerstown was looking forward to at Saturday's national truck and tractor pulling event presented by Washington County Tractor Pullers and East Coast Pullers at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center south of Hagerstown..

"To be honest with ya', down here it seems like a small-town community event in a way, even though (it's a) national event," Welch said.

"It feels the way it should feel," said Welch, who came with his girlfriend, Michelle Anderson of Greencastle, Pa.

Welch and Anderson were among hundreds of spectators at Saturday's event.

The Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League classes included Modified Tractors, Two-Wheel Drive Trucks, SS/Pro-Stock Tractors, Pro-Stock Diesel Four-Wheel Drive Trucks and a Hot-Rod Semi invitational class.

Dustin Freeburn of York, Pa., was helping his friend Jason McKenzie, also of York, who entered "Never Satisfied," in the Modified Tractor class.

"Hopefully, nothing breaks," Freeburn said.

"It's an adrenaline rush. (For) us motor heads, it's an adrenaline rush," Freeburn said, smiling.

Hailey Shelton, 11, of Boonsboro, said she has liked tractor pulling "since she was little."

"I just like to watch everybody pull their tractor. I have friends who pull," Shelton said while waiting in a line of people in front a concession stand piled high with kettle corn.

Bryan Kennedy of Clear Spring and his sister, Jasmine Kennedy of Hagerstown, had varied reasons for coming to Saturday's event.

Aside from the smoke- and dirt-flying pulling competition, Kennedy said she just enjoyed the atmosphere and the food as she munched on some french fries.

"My sister's a country person," said Bryan Kennedy, smiling.

A huge fan of Dodge engines, Bryan Kennedy, who was finishing off a country-ham sandwich, said he was interested in the engines and would tractor-pull if he could.

For driver Adam Blosser, Saturday's event was his third attempt to win with his "Hillbilly Shaker" entry in the Two-Wheel Drive Trucks class.

"(It's a) long ride if you don't do no good," said Blosser, who drove two hours from Stanley, Va., for the competition.

Blosser said his best finish before Saturday was fourth place.

The prize money helps pay for the fuel, and he expected to burn about nine gallons Saturday in a competition the 23-year-old said he enters "just for the fun."  

 Results of Saturday's event will available at www.eastcoastpullersllc.com/.

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