Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Events

Truck, tractor pull is Saturday at Hernando County Fairgrounds

BROOKSVILLE

With a deafening blast, the engine roars to full power. Smoke belches from the exhaust pipes and rear tires spit out dirt as they try to gain traction.

To the men and women involved the sport of tractor pulling, the high-horsepower spectacle never fails to bring a thrill. But anyone watching for the first time might find it hard to believe that the noise and action comes from farm machinery.

"It definitely opens your eyes and ears," said Richard Klimas, founder of the Brooksville Pulling Association, which will host a statewide, multi-class pull Saturday at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.

Klimas, a builder of competitive garden tractors who has been involved with tractor pulling for nearly 10 years, said the sport has come into its own over the past decade. Florida in particular has emerged as a hotbed of competitive pulling.

"A lot of it has to do with the amount of agriculture we have in the state," Klimas said. "The people involved are mostly guys who work on tractors and trucks all day long during the week. So at night, they're busy building high-performance versions so that they can compete with them on weekends."

Klimas said that while many people have driven a tractor at some point in life, there is something noticeably different about negotiating a 150-foot dirt track pulling a sled that becomes heavier the farther it is pulled.

"It feels different," Klimas said. "The tires are grabbing and a digging in and you can feel the front end pulling up. When I first tried it I was hooked. You wouldn't believe a tractor could do that to you, but it does."

Florida's foray into competitive tractor pulls dates back the early 1970s when Frank Paulhamus and his brother Gene formed the Florida Tractor Pullers Association and began organizing local tractor meets near their farm in Eustis. Within a few years the annual Sunshine State Tractor Pull became one the Southeast's premier two-day pulling events, drawing thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors. The event is now held annually in Zellwood, in Orange County.

Klimas said that his hope is to establish Brooksville as tractor and truck pulling mecca. Saturday's event has lured some of the state's more notable pullers who will compete in classes like modified 4x4 diesel trucks, modified 4x4 and gas trucks, stock and super modified tractors. Among the competitors will be Chris Beiter, owner of "Reapers Agent," who has racked up a number of impressive wins throughout Florida, and Michael Falconer, whose "Myakka Hooker" Dodge 4x4 truck is a dominant player in the modified diesel class.

This weekend's pull will also feature a pre-event "tractor rodeo," where operators of various classes of farm equipment will compete against one another by navigating an obstacle course. The rodeo will start at noon and is free to the public.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 17

Forever Plaid: Four young singers killed in a car crash posthumously hit the stage for one last performance full of barbershop quartet harmonies and 1950s nostalgia. Through March 11. 7:30 p.m., Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Art...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Music, food and arts fill Pasco weekend festivals

Those hankering to get out for the day or pack the weekend with a taste of the blues, barbeque and local art have two long-standing festivals to choose from, one in Zephyrhills and one in Wesley Chapel. • The eighth-annual annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ ...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Events for Jan. 19

19 FridayCelebrating Our Seniors: Organizations that provide services to seniors in the community will be on hand, including representatives from Pasco Senior Services, Veterans Services, CARES, United Way, SHINE, Humana, Lighthouse for the Blind, De...
Published: 01/16/18
Coming-of-age love story ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a rare treasure

Coming-of-age love story ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a rare treasure

Another young man’s summer he’ll never forget is the core of Call Me By Your Name, a movie to likewise treasure. Luca Guadagnino’s coming out-of-age drama is a rare exception to familiar romantic rules.This film’s same-sex summer fling shared by a te...
Published: 01/16/18
With Zev Buffman at the creative end, Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer to the stage

With Zev Buffman at the creative end, Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer to the stage

An actor famous for playing a radio station manager will star this week in the world premiere of a radio play.Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder brings Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati, to Ruth Eckerd Hall. And the star power was ...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 16

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 16

USF Lecture Series: Harry Belafonte: The actor, activist and singer developed a deep friendship with King and played a key role in the civil rights movement, including the 1963 March on Washington. Belafonte is expected to provide the audience with h...
Published: 01/12/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Jan. 15-21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Jan. 15-21

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Celebrations happen all around Tampa Bay today, including the MLK Dream Big Parade in downtown St. Petersburg. It includes 110 units and bands, including Florida A&M and Tuskegee universities, and ends with a Family Fun Da...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/14/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 13

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 13

Monster Jam: Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium to run the specially built track. 7 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$185. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000. Martin Luther ...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/13/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 14

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 14

Karla Bonoff and Livingston Taylor: The two singer-songwriters who have careers spanning more than four decades. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $25-$45. (727) 791-7400. Hungrytown: Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson make up the ac...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Here’s how to sing along to the entire Hamilton soundtrack at a Tampa library

Here’s how to sing along to the entire Hamilton soundtrack at a Tampa library

If you’re already singing along to the entire Hamilton soundtrack alone, why not meet like-minded folks and do it together?A Hamilton singalong goes down tonight at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library in Tampa. Fans will gather to sing the entire — y...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18