Truck and tractor pull draws large crowd to fair grandstand

The 2018 West Michigan Truck and Tractor Pull was a rousing success. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — Screaming motors and giant plumes of black smoke were part of the fun Friday as the West Michigan Truck and Tractor Pullers event unfolded at the Mecosta County Agricultural Free Fair.

The sport of pulling originated in the early 20th century when townspeople would gather to do draft horse pulling. From there, the sport evolved with the advent of motorized vehicles. One of the first recorded motorized pulling events took place in Missouri in 1929 and from there has evolved into what Mecosta County spectators witnessed on Friday night.

Fans flocked to the grandstands to watch over 50 tractors and trucks pull in seven different classes: Field Farm Tractors, Modified Gas Trucks, Street Diesel Trucks, Pro Street Diesel Trucks, Light Limited Super Stock Tractors, Hot Diesel Trucks, and Super Farm Tractors.

Ludington senior Kelsey Kosiboski competed in her second-ever truck pull on Friday and finished with a distance 305.73 feet in the Street Diesel category.

“It’s fun,” Kosiboski said. “All my step brothers pull with tractors so it was fun to be able to do it, myself. This is street diesel, so it’s like you’re supposed to be able to drive it on the street. My brother’s a mechanic so he does most of the work for me.

“I didn’t know this was a thing until a few years ago, but it looked like fun and I wanted to give it a try.”

On top of truck pulling, Kosiboski also plays basketball and runs track for the Orioles during the school year.

“I show horses as well,” she said. “I’m always busy with something.”

Kosiboski will compete in several more pull competitions before the school year starts.

“I’m in this club,” she said. “Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins a trophy.”

Friday’s winners as of press time: Field Farm Class, Vic Wolfert, 328.1; Street Diesel Truck, Marty Nicklas (341.39); 2Hot2Farm Darwin Eisenga (282.0); Hot Gas, Chad Stanton (317.3).

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