Chapel Hill pulls it off

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The always-popular Renee Theobald, driving her "Pretty Wicked" machine finished in second place in Saturday night's second session. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Super Pull once again a success

The 39th edition of the Lions Club Super Pull of the South had it all last weekend as the National Tractor Pull Association (NTPA) put on a stellar show with two nights of non-stop action.

"Everything is just wonderful," Lions Club President Clint Bowman said. "This brings everyone together in Chapel Hill and it's like a big reunion as we all work together for this community."

Chapel Hill Lions Club president Clint Bowman addresses the crowd before the start of Saturday night's second round of action at the 39th Annual Lions Club Super Pull of the South.

A big crowd on Friday night grew to capacity for Saturday night's finale that saw pullers from all over the country scream down the track at the Lions Club Memorial Field at Chapel Hill.

"These pullers are very dedicated and very competitive, and it's what they live for and they have fun doing it," Bowman said.

Friday winners

Doug Theobald from Shelbyville, Indiana, opened the event with a victory in his "Wicked" machine in the Grand National 6,200-lb. Modified Two-Wheel-Drive Truck division, winning by 21 feet over Joey Frasur's "Runnin Block" truck.

In the 6,200-lb. Modified Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks, Baldwin, Wisconsin puller Lisa Peterson drove her "Profab" Chevrolet to a pull-off win over the Jason Bramer's "Cornfed" machine.

Paton, Iowa's, Adam Bauer took home the top spot in his 8,000-lb. Unlimited Modified Tractor "Cross-Threaded," winning a pull-off against Wayne Purser "Uncle Sam" and Dave Archer "Pioneer."

Stan Blagrave from Ackerly, Texas, dominated the competition in the 8,000-lb. Diesel Super Stock Tractors, driving his Case International MX240 "Red Horse" machine to victories on both nights.

Finishing up Friday night's action was the always popular 2,050-lb. Open Modified Mini Tractors that ended up in a pull-off won by the "Honkin' Donkey Black" machine driven by Washington, Pennsylvania, driver Jason Hathaway.

Ken Veney finished second in "Funny Li'l Farmall" and Jason Hathaway came home in third place in his "Honkin' Donkey Red" tractor.

Randy Petro, who has been coming to Chapel Hill for over 20 years, checks out the condition of the track before the start of Friday night's opening session.

The high 90-degree-and-above heat can be hard on the track, but Bowman was quick to give credit to his track crew before the start of Saturday night's last session.

"We have a great track crew," he said. "Ken Lamb and his bunch keeps the water in it and has been babysitting it all day, so the track will be in great shape."

Saturday's best

On Saturday night, the fans got an opening treat when the 6,200-lb. Modified Two-Wheel-Drive Trucks went to a pull-off featuring three of the most popular drivers in Jessie Petro (Buckeye Hauler), Renee Theobald (Pretty Wicked) and newcomer Ashley Corzine (Second Degree).

Petro took the win by a slim 6-foot margin over Theobald.

Some of the fans cover their ears as the tractors scream down the track.

In the 6,200-lb. Modified Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks division, Peyton Davis from Tappahannock, Virginia, won both first and second place in his "Punisher" and "Young Gun" entries.

Purser would come back from a second place finish on Friday night to claim the top spot on Saturday, guiding his "Uncle Sam" machine to a pull-off win over Braden Shramek's "Young Blood Unleashed" in the 8,000-lb. Unlimited Modified Tractors.

Blagrave, the only repeat winner from last year won a pull-off over Jeff Demers (Smokin' Hot Deere) and Steve Burge (Lock-N-Load), setting up the last division of the event.

Cara Waters belts out the National Anthem before the start of the event on Friday night.

Phillip Fairbanks (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) took his "Bobcat Jr." to a win in the 2,050-lb. Open Modified Mini Tractors, beating out Adam Bauer (Iron Toy) and Larry Koester (Footloose).

Huge crowds

The Super Pull brought tens of thousands of people to Chapel Hill many of the proceeds from the event will go to charitable causes, including the Lions Eyebank and Sight Service at Vanderbilt Hospital.

The 8,000-lb. Diesel Super Stock Tractor, "Liv'n a Dream", driven by Brandon Hunt from Oak Grove, Kentucky. Gets a good pull going.

In the past, the Chapel Hill Lions Club committed $100,000 to help build a new Children's Eye Hospital at the new Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and took on a new cause this year with the A Soldier's Child Foundation.

"I think it's great, these kids can be seen after and have us take care of them after the parent is gone and it is one of the best charitable organizations that has come along," Bowman said. "Widows and orphans and everything else, the 'Good Book' tells us that and it is our job to support them."

The Lions Club has been a long-time supporter of Forrest Athletics and helped build the "Lions Club" field house that opened in 1999.

The "Lumberjack" machine, driven by Jeff Bartley from Saluda, SC screams down the track.