Fair 2021: Trucking down the track

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Driving a Chevy, Jacob Shepherd of Brown City, Mich., competes in the truck pull at the 2019 Madison County Fair. Shepherd had a pull of 310.775 feet. The truck pull is back for the 2021 fair and takes place on July 16.

(Posted July 14, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Back in 2008, London resident Dennis Long started playing around with the idea of organizing a truck pull circuit.

He was on the Madison County senior fair board at the time, and the fair had put on its own truck pull.

“After one of the pulls one night, we were sitting around with some of the pullers and got to talking about figuring out a points system for county fairs,” Long said.

That winter, he and his daughter, Bridgett Shoemaker, mulled it over and decided to go for it. The Central Ohio Truck Pull Circuit (COTPC) evolved and in 2011, the father-daughter team formed an LLC. Now, they average 12 pulls per year.

“A couple of the pullers who planted the idea in our heads are still pulling with us. There’s one in particular–I blame him for all the fun I have,” Long said.

This year’s Madison County Fair truck pull, put on by COTPC, takes place on July 16 at 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome to enter as long as they meet all safety equipment guidelines. Circuit organizers will take entries the day of the pull up until each class starts.

This year’s classes are: 8,000-lb. work stock diesel, 6,200-lb. light pro stock gas, 8,000-lb. 2.6 diesel, 6,500-lb. open gas, and 8,000-lb. run what you brung open. The cost to enter is $25 per class. The total cash prizes awarded per class is a minimum of $1,000.

All of the trucks are fun to watch. Some spectators prefer the diesel trucks for the showy black smoke they put out. Others are all about the gas trucks and their noise.

“You get to watch trucks that look like everyday trucks. People can relate to that; either they have one, their dad has one, or their neighbor,” he said. “Our trucks look identical to them except the pullers have taken them from a 350 horse-power truck to 1,000 up to 2,500, depending on the class.”

The pull offers “good family entertainment,” Long said. The pits are open. Children and adults are welcome to get up-close looks at the vehicles. Some pullers even let the kids sit in their trucks.

“The group that we pull with are a great group. They want to improve the sport and make it grow, so they help out the spectators as much as possible,” Long said.

General admission to the truck pull is free with paid gate admission to the fair. Pit passes are an additional $10 per person.

Visit www.cotpc.com for rules and the circuit schedule.

The 2021 Madison County Fair runs through July 17. For a full schedule of events, visit Madison County Fair.

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