We were all pumped for the Truck and Tractor pull tonight! Well, when I say ‘we’, I probably mean ‘me’, because Jeff seems to do a lot of eye rolling when I get all excited for loud tractors, firey trucks, smoke clouds, and mud.
This year the 2 day event was moved out of town to the Riverside International Speedway just out of town in James River. The traditional site of the pull was on the fairgrounds but the noise by-law was a problem. The spectators were also really close to the track so safety was issue.
This year we were prepared. I had a noise reducing headset and Jeff had a pair of ear plugs. We brought the camera and lens and we were all fired up (again, when I say ‘we’, I probably just mean ‘me’).
The grounds opened at 5 but we figured we’d still get a good seat if we waited until closer to the starting time at 6:30 to arrive.
We opted for the 1 night only pass since tomorrow’s forecast is 34°C and I would way rather sit in our house relaxing by the window air conditioning (actually that time I could have said ‘we’).
So we get to the speedway and pick out a comfortable (and when I say comfortable I really mean stiff, hard, not meant for aging cool people like ourselves) spot on the wooden, no-backed bleachers.
It seemed they were just getting the track ready. The announcer came on and said we were close to start time, and there would just a little delay to get the track perfect.
They had machinery going back and forth on the dirt track they set out in the middle of the 1/4 mile stock car race track. It looked like they hauled in some dirt for the occasion.
They seemed close to ready, and then they brought out a farmer’s plow and churned the entire track back up!
The clock was ticking past 6:30 and headed to 7:00pm. They kept working on the track, back and forth. The announcer said they had a delay getting water for the track in the afternoon but it would soon be ready.
I pointed the camera around to see the sights. We have never gone to a car race at this track but it seems like a really nice facility. I noticed they even have their own ambulance!
Woo hoo! Maybe we’ll have some firey pulls like last year! Nothing like something in the engine blowing to stop a pull.
Back to the track facility – I noticed that they had really good lights – but they were all pointing at the main car track. There wasn’t a single light post facing the middle of the track. I wondered if the organizers thought of this – last year they pulled until after 11.
By 7:20 they were starting to bring the first tractor class in for weighing while they were still working on the track.
The track still wasn’t marked by 8pm. Usually they put a white chalk line along the edges to show the out-of-bounds line, and hammer in distance signs. A full pull is 310 feet!
Instead of marking the track, they instead decided to run a test pull with the first tractor in the first class. It was a nice big green John Deere. Not a really impressive pull, but it was a start! Woo hooo!
Only the pull truck weight thingy didn’t move.
It was ground down into the dirt.
We thought it was stuck.
Not good – maybe they’d have to keep working on the track more. Maybe it was too soft.
A few men starting poking around, trying to figure out the problem.
More men joined them.
Even the flag man.
Then a man got a toolbox.
And the men moved inside for a closer inspection.
Soon, another toolbox arrived.
Meanwhile the announcer kept reminding the growing crowd that there was so much excitement coming tonight and there would just be a little delay while the men adjusted the drag.
More men decided they needed to take a look.
Then a truck pulled up with a Liquid Air sign on some equipment in the back. A man pulled hoses out of the back of the truck.
Soon there were sparks flying as the men grinded away.
Around 8:30 they found a way to lift the drag up and out of the dirt, and reversed the machine back behind the start line. The announcer said they were going to switch the program around a little and run the modified 1200lb class lawn tractor class first instead. “Lots of excitement coming up folks!”
And THEN they started marking the track with the chalk line, and putting out the measuring stakes.
(And oh-my-gawd we’re not built for wooden bleachers anymore)
Closer to 9 they started the lawn tractor class. In the dark.
Rather anti-climatic when were had been hearing the throttle revving of all the big modified trucks and tractors in the starting gates.
Meanwhile, 40+ men continue to circle the drag machine thingy with their tools.
Even a big welder truck joined the crowd.
By 9:30 the lawn tractor class was over. None of the pulls were memorable. By this point we were just waiting for them to draw the 50-50 ticket already so we could collect our $1120 and get out of there.
Then they started letting the lawn tractors run for fun with less drag, just to see if they could get past the 310 feet line.
In fact I’m not sure anyone of them made it past the 200 foot line.
Anyway, by 10pm they found the winning 50-50 ticket holder and it wasn’t us so we headed out the gates and back to the car.
I wonder if they will offer a refund.
The last thing we heard as we neared the car was the announcer still telling everyone “Folks, there is a lot of excitement still to come tonight….”
Think Jeff will agree to go again next year???
Here are our photos from last year’s pull: https://lisa.blog/index.php/2008/08/truck-and-tractor-pull