When you mention that the late Stan Burton is among the legends being inducted into the NTPA Hall of Fame, it is evident that no one will argue the selection. But depending upon who you talk to, you might find some disagreement on which of his credential qualifies him for such a prestigious lot. His stint in the driver’s seat of “Stan’s Steel Mule” might be qualification enough. Burton, known for getting as much out of a single Allison engine as anyone, traveled throughout the country during NTPA’s early years and succeeded, particularly in the light Modified class. Trips to Florida and Texas and points in between were the norm for the revered Burton, winning many of the top pulls in the country including Tomah and Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Another factor was displayed in his technical ingenuity. Besides being a wizard with the Allison engine, Stan Burton built two of the first mechanized sleds in the country; doing so early enough to be exempt from the Billy Watkin’s sled patent of the early ‘70s. These two sleds are still functioning today in the antique and classic tractor ranks of pulling. Some would point to Stan’s organizational skills, as Burton was one of the founding members of the Iowa Tractor Pullers Association in 1968. Burton was an active member involved in the newly formed United Pullers of Iowa which represents the NTPA today. Then, of course, most contemporaries knew Stan as a knowledgeable tech inspector and flagman. His trademark, all white, official’s uniform provided a professional image, and his even temperament and utmost fairness was respected by competitors, promoters, and fellow officials alike. Coming from the competitor ranks, Burton knew that best way to do his job as an official was to call it like it was, and he always did. His love affair of pulling spanned exactly 50 years from the time he entered that first Iowa pulling contest through his passing on August 31, 2001. Those 50 years brought much pride and satisfaction to his life. Burton was also proud that he had every issue ofThe Puller magazine ever published. That would qualify him as a loyal and great fan of the NTPA.
Stan Burton’s versatility, commitment, years of service, and most importantly love of the sport of pulling garnered him the opportunity to be remembered amongst NTPA finest representatives.