Tractor pull looking for local competitors

After a better-than-expected debut last summer, the second annual Marion County Fair Antique Tractor Pull is hoping for ?bigger and better? in 2010, according to its lead organizer.

?It was more successful than we anticipated,? said Myron Regier of Goessel, who is involved in several such events each year.

This year?s pull will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, July 30, in the fairgrounds arena.

Regier and his planning committee?Larry Heiser, Dan Bernhardt, Joe Alvarez and Marty Dalke?are looking for local farmers to bump the interest level of the event even higher.

?That?s what we?re really trying to push this year,? Regier said. ?We want to see some local guys who want to bring their farm tractors out and play. There will be classes for them.?

Normally, antique-tractor pulls are limited to 1958 as the newest model year. But to attract more local participation, this pull is open to tractors as new as the early 1970s, Regier said.

?That?s what?s going to make it more fun, especially for spectators,? he said about local entries. ?Sure, they?ll see guys from all over the country (in other classes), but if they see their neighbors out there in a neighborly feud, that?s what makes it more interesting.?

Farmers interested in entering the Farm Class should have 12,000-pound tractors that are as close to stock as possible. The basic rules call for a stock tractor, unmodified drawbar no higher than 16 inches, and equipped only with weights made for that tractor. No dual tires or four-wheel-drive allowed.

?If people want more information about what?s allowed, they should call me,? said Regier, who can be reached at 620-242-7965.

In addition to bragging rights, the class winner will receive a T-shirt.

Modified classes

Beyond the Farm Class, spectators will see competitors in classes that involve the more serious competitor.

Division 2 and Division 3 will be for tractors from 2,500 to 8,500 pounds that are set up for pulling competitions. The Open Class, meanwhile, is open to modified and re-powered tractors.

?Hopefully, that will pull some tractors from Emporia,? Regier said about the Open Class. ?They?ve got some tractors up there that have been repowered with Cumming turbo-charged motors. It?ll be fun to watch them pull.?

Regier felt good about the event?s inaugural run last year.

?We pulled two automatic weight-transfer sleds, which, given the time of night we started (7 p.m.), kind of makes it go a little quicker,? Regier said. ?We pulled 100 hooks in three hours last year, so we were done a little after 10 p.m.?

Entries came from around the state, including Waverly, Welling?ton, Hutchinson, Abilene and Salina. Some entries were as old as 1930s models.

Regier said he?s been involved in tractor pulls since his youth in the 1970s. He has helped organize a variety of events over the years, from the Country Threshing Days in Goessel, to the large national indoor event at Kansas Colliseum in Wichita.

He, his wife and two children have all competed at one time or another.

Tickets for the Marion County Fair Antique Tractor Pull will be: adults $6, children age 6-12 years $5, and 5 years an younger get in free.

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