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Truck and tractor pullers go the distance at Ag Expo & Fair

July 26, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

"The bragging rights stop here tonight!"

That message from the announcer Tuesday night set the tone as more than 30 pickup-truck drivers gathered to see who has the strongest pulling rig in Washington County.

It happened at the annual tractor and truck pull at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, where entertainment was the order of the night.

As if the roaring engines and the belching of black smoke weren't enough, announcers Bill Clem and Kenny Barnhart kept the crowd laughing with Dodge truck jokes and a contraption that shot free T-shirts into the air.

The competition featured three classes, including one that was reserved for local residents with their everyday pickup trucks. That class featured diesel and gas trucks.

 The second class was a 8500 Mod Turbo tractor group, and the third was for Pro Stock Diesel Class pickup trucks. The latter two groups feature souped-up machines, Clem said.

The object of the competition is to see how far a vehicle can drag a sled that weighs about 40,000 pounds.

Drivers competing in the local competition turned out with a variety of Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford pickups, some with a few alterations to their vehicles.

Clem said pickup owners in the local class could add some weight to their trucks and unhook their exhausts, but they couldn't modify their engines.

Logan Smith of Hagerstown said truck owners could add features to their engines as long as they remain street legal. Smith said he put a bigger turbo on his 1992 Dodge pickup for added performance.

"It just gives it a little more air, a little more power," said Smith, who uses his truck for heavy towing chores on a farm off Sharpsburg Pike.

It can be a rough sport as some truck owners have been known to break axles and ruin transmissions in the grueling pulls, Clem said.

"They get out there and show off for their wives and girlfriends," Clem said.

Smith understands that.

He said the clutch failed on his truck in a previous pull but it was repaired and ready to go Tuesday night.

"You got to pay to play," said truck owner Nicholas Dromeburg of Hagerstown, describing an equipment failure on his vehicle from one competition.

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