By John Bombatch
XENIA — Once the drivers got the soggy clay of the Greene County Fairgrounds pulling lane figured out, the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association put on quite a show, Friday night.
Early on, the Light-Limited Pro Stock tractors were getting bogged down in the moist clay. Run on the same clay where the demolition derby events were held earlier in the week, the moisture from when track officials wet down the clay combined with the high humidity made for a challenging course for the OSTPA drivers to maneuver.
Weight was removed from the pulling sled in both the Light-Limited Pro Stock division and the Two-Wheel Drive Truck division, causing several re-pulls to be conducted in order to ensure that everyone competed under the same conditions and weight load.
Series points leader Jeremy Lee, of Magnolia, Ohio, came out on top with a pull stretching 335.385 feet in his “Disposable Income” International Harvester tractor. He stretched his lead in the division, as division runner-up Greg Kenreigh finished ninth in the 11-tractor field. Lee entered Friday’s Greene County Fair pull with a slim 216-215 lead over Kenreigh, of Salem, Ohio.
“I came out the first time and I didn’t want to over-heat the tractor. I knew that wasn’t going to be a very good first run (185.7 feet), but then the went ahead and dropped the weight. I came back, and I knew it wasn’t going to take a lot of front-end weight, so I moved a bunch of the tractor’s weight to the back and I moved to the left side of the track, because the track was pulling to the right, and it seemed to work,” Lee said. “I got to about 150 feet down the track and I felt her hook up. She just sailed.”
Tom Miller, of Marlboro, Ohio finished second with a 318-foot pull. Brad Cochran was third with a pull of 310 feet.
Eaton’s Tina Cain had powered her Buy Polar classic pick-up Funny Truck to an early lead with a solid 310.410-foot pull in the Two-Wheel-Drive Trucks category, but late in the event five other drivers managed to motor their machines the entire 320-foot distance to force a pull-off for the title.
Points leader Howard Antram of Alliance, current points runner up Don Williams of Croton, Richard McPherson, Matt Cain and Bill Widenmeyer had each pulled the sled the entire 320-plus distance to create a pull-off for the title.
The Two-Wheel Drive Truck pulloff, as well as the entire Super Stock Tractor and 10,000-pound Pro Stock Tractors had yet to be completed as of presstime. Complete results should be available by early next week on the OSTPA.com website.