Wheels spun, mud flew, and the dozens of vehicles competing on Saturday, July 13 in the truck and tractor pull teetered on the edge of mechanical meltdown — all in the name of competition and entertainment.
This year, more than 100 “pullers” tested engines and power in as many as four different weight classes for tractors and eight different weight classes for trucks.
The hundreds of spectators seated in the grandstand bleachers and the hundreds more sitting and standing in the infield at Turlock’s Food Maxx Arena got a chance to view diesel power first hand.
The souped-up vehicles hooked up to, shuttered under the weight of, and then dragged a sled that weighed up to 62,000 pounds; as far as their engines and reinforced frames could take them.
Attendees at the event, promoted by John Shipman Motorsports and sponsored by Thompson Chevrolet, watched 5,000-horsepower multi-engine and jet-powered modified tractors, along with four-wheel-drive trucks and top fuel-powered, two-wheel-drive trucks.
Mini modified tractors, light four-wheel-drive trucks, super stock and super farm tractors also competed on the arena’s 300-foot track.
Albert Mendes III, a third-generation Crows Landing dairyman, was one of a handful of competitors from the West Side competing in this year’s fair. He came away with a first-place finish (301.3 feet) in the 4x4 local 8000 modified diesel truck class.
Tim Henley, of Patterson, took first place (199.4) in the 4x4 local 5500 modified diesel truck class.
On a night when most of his fellow contestants had a hard time even going the distance, Matt Crow and his custom hot rod tractor had no problem going the extra mile.
Crow’s machine surged to a distance of 125.1 feet to finish second in the 8,000-pound, limited tractor class at Saturday’s combined tractor and truck pull at the fair.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.