The first Vance County 300 Truck and Tractor Pull was held on Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25 at the Vance County fairgrounds, off Highway 1 in Henderson, North Carolina.
The Truck and Tractor Pull was a fundraising event presented by the Vance County Fire Association in cooperation with the United Pullers of the North Carolinas, which is an Official NTPA Sanctioned State Member (National Tractor Pullers Association). Proceeds from the event benefited the Volunteer Fire Departments of Drewry, Hicksboro, Kittrell, Townsville, and the Vance County Rescue Squad.
The two-day Truck and Tractor Pull event featured a line-up of more than fifty competitors that hailed from all over the state of North Carolina as well as Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana.
Though Tractor Pulling may sometimes be the brunt of jokes, it is really no laughing matter at all. This motorsport is definitely just as interesting and exciting for spectators as Nascar racing or drag racing and it is pretty serious business. As Saturday night’s announcer questioned, “Where else can you see $30 million dollars worth of equipment for $15,” referring to the entrance fee.
The fans seemed to be in agreement and came out to support the event too. A volunteer fireman from one of the participating fire departments estimated more then 1,500 people attended Friday night’s event and more than 2,000 folks attended Saturday night. For the first year of what is going to be an annual event for the Vance County Fire Association, this was more than an admirable show of support.
Tractor pulling is a lot different from other vehicle sporting events. In regular sports racing, drivers compete to see who has the fastest vehicle and who can most skillfully manipulate the vehicle on the track. While truck and tractor pulling has a track and also requires some skillful driving, in comparison, tractor pulling is more like strength training for vehicles. The vehicle is attached to, and must then pull, a weight transfer sled machine.
The weight transfer sled looks like a flatbed truck except it has a motor at one end and a steel pan on the other end. To begin with there is a weight at the end near the motor. A green light comes on to signal the start of the pull and as the vehicle begins to pull, the weight slides down a rail that transfers the weight toward the pan so that it gradually increases the weight and friction that the vehicle is pulling. When the vehicle stops, the distance is measured from the starting point to the stopping point. The object is to basically go the distance because the vehicle that pulls the weight the farthest, is declared the winner.
The Vance County 300 featured an assortment of trucks and tractors including ones with special effects that ranged from fun honking horns, fireballs, and awesome paint jobs. The vehicles alone are a show-stopping performance that kids young and old alike will thoroughly enjoy as before the competitions fans are invited to visit their favorite vehicles and drivers up-close.
If you missed the Truck and Tractor Pull in Henderson, North Carolina there are still a few weekends left in the 2007 season to enjoy the United Pullers of the Carolinas. Upcoming events in North Carolina are scheduled for Roanoke Rapids, Wilson, and the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh.
Fans can visit www.tpull.com for additional event information.
Be sure to keep an eye out for information on next year’s Vance County 300, as it seems that the Vance County Fire Association has certainly ignited a fire when it comes to entertainment in the Henderson, North Carolina area!