GOSHEN TOWNSHIP - The first of three big tractor and truck pull events in this year's "Bunker Hill Shootout" is set for today and Saturday at the Bunker Hill arena.
The event is presented by the Goshen Ruritans.
Pulling begins at 7 p.m. each night and the general admission is $6 for anyone.
The pulling usually concludes at 11 p.m. but it can go later.
The Bunker Hill arena is located at 15110 W. Middletown Road about four miles north of Salem just down the road from Western Reserve Motorcycle Club.
Rick Feight, president/CEO of Full Pull Productions which operates the premier pulling series in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, said the Columbiana County and southern Mahoning County area "is really a major area for tractor and truck pulling."
There are "basically" three major classes, the Work Stock class consisting of daily driver "grocery-getter" trucks; the Open class for souped up "probably uneconomical to run on the road" trucks running diesel engines restricted to 2.6-inch diameter turbo inlets.
Feight said the Open class is a very popular class and noted local drivers include Dale Bennett of Bennett Trailer Sales, Bryan Whinnery of Salem, John Savage of Sebring and Tad Brogan of Minerva.
Feight said Bennet is the eldest competitor.
Other big local names include Jeff Mitchell of Salem pulling for JM Pool Builders, Justin Garwood from Columbiana, John Rose from Homeworth with Rose Trucking, Rocco Vizzouso from Homeworth and Julia Conny of Beloit sponsored by MAC Trailer, owned by her father, Mike Conny.
She runs the "MAC Daddy" super open farm tractor while her father competes in "Mr. MAC Daddy" in the same division on the national circuit. Both could appear.
She is a top runner at the national level, Feight said, adding,"Julia is definitely the top lady driver in the tractor division."
The third class is Pro Stock.
"It's wide open and purpose built with very few limits," Feight said, adding that Wayne Greier from Canfield runs in the class which includes semi-trucks.
"So there will be some local competitors in every class," Feight said, explaining the Open Class will be run on Friday while the Work Stock and Pro Stock will run on Saturday.
Feight said, "They're be a lot of equipment there."
Bo Whinnery of Salem, the father of Bryan Whinnery who placed sixth in the Nationals in Indy in 2010, said, "These are huge events and are held Friday and Saturday nights with different classes pulling each night.
"Friday is by far the biggest night with the 2.6-diesel trucks with some of the hottest tractors around pulling."
He added, "When the pickups are pulling the sled and the weight transfers all the way to the front of the sled it is equal to 50,000-75,000 pounds of weight being pulled by the truck."
Visit www.bunkerhillshootout.com for results and details. Information can also be found at fullpullproductions.com.
The next Bunker Hill shootout events will be July 13-14 and Aug. 10-11.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com