(Words and photos by David Whealon) – Well we’re back on our yearly stop at the NC State Fair with some of the best NTPA pullers in the country showing up for their final exhibition of the 2016 season. The four session event was packed slam full with nearly 100 competitors pulling in eight classes of go or blow nonstop action. For some it’s probably a good thing that they have all winter to pick up the busted parts and pieces and do what every racer is committed to do in the long offseason……get stronger for the next upcoming season. This show did not fail to disappoint any of the diehard pullin’ fans that took a break from all the excessive revelry that they experience while attending “The Fair”. One cool point of this type of show at the fairgrounds is that of the diversity of the crowd in attendance. You got your folks that avidly follow the sport and call the drivers by their first names. And the ones that root for the brand name tractors which probably cheer the loudest when that Green tractor gets the call from announcer Wayne Lewis of “FULL PULL!!!!!” Then there’s the curious ones that heard all that racket and smelled that smoke from all over the fairgrounds and just wanted to see what the heck was going on over there. Most of all I didn’t see many leaving without a big grin. The State Fair is the perfect venue to attract new fans and give public recognition to an awesome form of motorsport that it so legitimately deserves.
With two sessions for each class, the three day weekend event turned out to be a weekend sweep in three classes. In Mini Modified, David Lacey Thedford from Ontario, Canada in his Triple Play Double/ Not machine won both of his sessions. Light Pro Stock driver Mark Wiederhold pulling the sled with his John Deere 4455 took both the trophies back to Clarksville, Ohio. The Modified class was also a double win for Marion, Indiana’s and Tedder Pulling Performance’s owner Scott Tedder piloting his three engine Mr. Twister. Also in Super Stock it was a team sweep for Galot Motorsports with drivers John Strickland and Brent Payne each taking a session of their own. Other winners included DeWayne Endecott and Butch Martin in Light Four Wheel Drive, John Davis and Kevin Schools in Four Wheel Drive and Steve Wilson and Allen Brown in Two Wheel Drive. In Super Farm, Phillip Kelley won the Saturday session and after having fuel pump issues on his International 1066 in the Saturday show and driving a couple of hundred miles to his Red Springs, NC home to fetch a new pump, Marvin McDonald took home the hardware on the last hook of the pulling season in the final session on Sunday.
As much as Lohnes loves this stuff, maybe one day I’ll be able to bait him up with enough combinations of bacon laced delicacies that the NC State Fair has to offer and he can try his chops out on the mic hollerin’ Fullllllllll Pullllllllllllll !!!