Friday night rain didn’t dampen the roaring truck engines or snuff out the billowing black tractor smoke during the 41st Whitewright Truck and Tractor Pull.
While the overnight storms did eventually cause the cancellation of the Saturday night show, people turned out in droves for the first night of the annual event. Ginger Miller, a promoter of the event, said this year’s show brought in about 3,500 people — one of the biggest crowds for the event, she said.
The majority of the show went off without a hitch before downpours started Friday night.
“As soon as the last puller went down the track, it started pouring down,” Ginger Miller said on Saturday afternoon. “It did not let up.”
The downpours caused the arena in Whitewright to become too muddy, Ginger Miller said, which would have caused problems for parking and difficulties for the participating tractors and trucks. So the Saturday night show was canceled.
About 70 vehicles in the eight different classes participated in the event. Ginger Miller said pullers came in from Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, South Dakota, New Mexico and, of course, Oklahoma and Texas.
For those who have never been to a tractor pull, promoter Ray Miller said it’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s all about horsepower.
“It’s a lot of horsepower for anybody that likes horsepower,” Ray Miller said. “It’s big mod tractors putting out somewhere around 8,000 to 10,000 horsepower.”
The crowd pleasers, Ginger Miller said, are the smoke tractors that leave trails of heavy exhaust hovering. The two-wheel drive truck class, she noted, is loud and has the most vehicles.
“It’s a lot of horsepower, noise, smoke — some vehicles are loud, some vehicles are smoky,” Ginger Miller said. “If you’re a horsepower junkie, it’s definitely up your alley.”
The Millers have owned and promoted the event for the past three years, and Ray Miller said the show continues to improve. Since they’ve taken over, more classes and more vehicles have been added. He said there’s just more to see, but it takes a full crowd to make a good show.
“It’s definitely gotten better in the last three years that we’ve owned it, than it was in the last few years,” Ray Miller said.
Ginger Miller said for next year, they plan to have the same number of pullers, if not more. And hopefully next year it doesn’t rain.
“Hopefully we’ll get a two-night show next year if the weather cooperates,” Ginger Miller said.