Tractor pull Saturday

Published 9:31 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

When the smoke starts to billow and the engines roar, it’s all business at a tractor pull.

The competitors, who spend most nights working on their tractors, do their best to beat the other drivers.

But when that run is over, the drivers are all friends, helping each other in any way they can.

It’s that comraderie that brings more pullers into the sport.

The Piedmont Antique Power Association will host an Old Time Tractor Pullers Association pull on Saturday at the Masonic Picnic Grounds off North Main Street in Mocksville. Gates open at noon, and the pulling begins at 3 p.m. A kiddie pedal pull is scheduled for 5 p.m. Admission is $5. The Masons will be selling food.

Expect to see local pullers when the tractors fire up on Saturday.

Johnny Willard will be one of them, in his second year of competition.

“I went to a tractor pull with a friend, and the next week, I bought a tractor and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Willard said. “It’s addictive.”

He pulls with a 1950 Allis Chalmers W-D. “It’s just for pulling. It ain’t no good for nothing else.”

Willard said his first tricycle was a tractor, and he’s had farm tractors over the years. He’s working on getting his second pulling tractor ready for the track.

“Pulling against one another, they’re all good guys,” he said. “Everybody helps one another.”

Joe Crotts agreed. A 15-year veteran of the sport, he will also be competing in Mocksville on Saturday.

“We get together and we have fun,” Crotts said. “There’s no money in it, but a lot of expenses. We just get together and have a good time. That’s what it’s all about.”

His son Lucas, 3, is getting the fever, as well. He already has his own tractor and is a member of the tractor association.