OREGON – Black smoke, bouncing front tires, and loud engines filled the grandstand Thursday afternoon at the Ogle County Fair.
These were coming from a variety of tractors being driven in the annual tractor pulls.
Bill Clothier of Polo brought his Farmall 1466 Turbo to the line and went down the track in the 12,500-pound division.
When the flag was waved to end his run, Clothier finished with a pull of 313 feet, 2 feet short of a full pull.
“I just missed the pull-off,” Clothier said. “I was close today, but I am in the hunt. Other tractors have 200 hp more than this one.”
Clothier used to compete in the antique tractor pull and decided to try the larger show.
This was his second tractor pull this year. His other was at Leaf River Summer Daze.
“I like to stay close to home,” Clothier said. “You meet good, friendly people. It makes it fun. It is 99 percent fun competing in tractor pulls.”
The other 1 percent is heavy lifting.
After the 12,500-pound pull, Clothier had to get ready for the 14,500-pound class.
“The weights on the wheel are 75 pounds per pair,” he said. “The weights on the front are 100-pound or light 67-pound weights.”
To get his tractor ready for the 14,500-pound class, Clothier added weights to ensure his tractor would be approved when placed on the scale.
“It is a busy day to get everything done on time,” he said.
Clothier enjoys knowing he is competitive with his tractor and sometimes just misses a top finish.
“You never know,” he said. “Any tractor can win.”