(Words and photos by David Whealon) – All I can say is Holy Cow!! My first trip to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville Kentucky was nothing short of astounding. I was well aware of all the awesome indoor pulling that has been going on there for the past 50 years but I sure wasn’t prepared for the over one million square feet of the expansive Kentucky Exposition Center. All of the major domestic and international machinery manufacturers were on hand displaying their inventories making it the biggest show of farming equipment in the country. From massive combines right down to your zero turn yard mowers. I put many a mile on my old hoofs touring the grounds along with the other hundreds of thousands in attendance over the four day affair.
The invitation only Championship Tractor Pull show bought out the best of the best from all the major pulling sanctioning bodies including the PPL, NTPA and others for a five session pulling extravaganza. Ten awesome classes with nearly 200 total pullers were on hand to give the packed house of Freedom Hall fans a superior dose of off-season hooking excitement. The blown classes of Modified and 2WD along with the 4WD Truck Alcohol and Diesel classes were present to rattle the arena. Rounding out the show were the more traditional tractor diesel classes of Super Farm, Pro Stock (Light and Heavy) and the Alcohol burning Lightweight Super Stock. And as an added twist to the drama the 8,200lb Diesel Super Stock and the 8,000lb Alcohol Super Stock Tractors were combined into the same class for the first time in 21 years. The shows were split up to four classes per session with twelve pullers per class hooking over four days in hopes for the ultimate hook in the Championship Finals session on Saturday night. Only a handful would be brought back in six classes for a shot at the prestigious 2020 Championship Tractor Pull Finals Crystal Cup and gaining honorable entry for into the 51 year history book as the Class Champion. All-American Tradition at it’s finest.