The WPI/NTPA office has been notified of the passing of Murrel Richardson, 80, of Leitchfield, Kentucky. Mr. Richardson was the father and grandfather, respectively, of Grand National competitors David ("For Sale" Unlimited) and Chase ("The Vibrator" Modified Mini) Richardson.
The NTPA office regrets to report the passing of Carol Warschkow, 72, of Iowa Falls, Iowa on October 22, 2020. Carol was the wife of former puller Ron Warschkow and mother of TWD puller (Jeepers Creepers) Troy Warschkow.
Carol married her high school sweetheart, Ron, in 1966, and they started their family in 1968 with the birth of son Troy, followed by their daughter Trisha in 1972. Carol was a puller's wife and crew chief from the beginning, as Ron pulled out-of-the-field tractors until becoming a charter member of the Iowa Tractor Pulling Association in 1970. Carol did drive Ron's Allison powered modified tractor "The Persuader" down the track one weekend but was satisfied with just watching from then on. When Ron built "Top Gun" in 1986, Troy took over driving duties of “The Persuader” and Carol had a new favorite puller. In later years, Troy built his TWD “Jeepers Creepers,” which he still pulls today.
She was Troy's biggest fan throughout the years and attended every event he pulled at, often giving him better advice from the stands than his pit crew from the sidelines. Even after being diagnosed with cancer in April---and undergoing two rounds of chemotherapy in June and July---she still insisted on attending the North Iowa Nationals in Rockwell at the beginning of August. She proudly sat in the stands and watched every session, as she loved the sport that much.
Mrs. Warschkow's full obituary can be found here.
Our thoughts are with Ron, Troy, Trisha, and the entire Warschkow family as they mourn and remember.
Columbus, Ohio---It's truck and tractor pulling's annual bowl game in the Bluegrass State. And it's on for at least three more years.
The National Tractor Pullers Association and the Meade County Fair of Brandenburg, Kentucky have reached a new agreement whereby the Meade County Fair Grand Nationals will remain Association-sanctioned through 2023.
Resultantly, NTPA competitors who elect to follow the Grand National Circuit presented by Case IH Agriculture will travel the rolling hills of northwestern Kentucky for Friday-Saturday sessions on July 30-31, 2021; July 29-30, 2022; and July 28-29, 2023. Each iteration, conducted within the fairgrounds' natural amphitheater, coincides with the concluding weekend of the annual eight-day fair.
Divisions scheduled to appear each season will be announced via www.NTPAPULL.com, The Puller Magazine, and the Association's social media accounts.
"The Meade Co Fair Board is very proud of our longstanding relationship with the NTPA," said Kenny Haught, chairman of the pull committee. "We would like to thank the NTPA, sponsors, and many volunteers that have made the Meade County Fair Grand Nationals a three-time NTPA Grand National Pull of the Year.
"We look forward to seeing all of our friends in 2021 and years beyond," Haught concluded.
The 2019 edition of the premier-level event, located less than an hour west of Louisville and just minutes south of the Indiana border, featured four classes that were contested at the GN level for prize money and points toward championships and berths in the Enderle Pull-Off invitational. The 2020 Brandenburg pull was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the Meade County Fair Board to consolidate its operations to a Junior Fair that excluded grandstand attractions.
"After a year like 2020, we've learned not to take anything for granted," said Gregg Randall, the NTPA's Executive Director. "But signing a new contract with the good folks in Brandenburg to keep NTPA Championship Pulling in their unique arena for years into the future makes us feel like things are getting back to normal."
(Photo by MAD Pulling Pics/Anna Galloway)
Applications are now open to apply for the 2020 World Pulling International and Pullers Against Drugs Higher Education Scholarships. The deadline to apply is November 16. Though winners are traditionally recognized at the annual NTPA Awards Banquet, due to the cancellation of this year-end celebration scholarship winners will instead be announced on the NTPA website and in The Puller magazine.
High school seniors and college students in good academic standing who are immediate family members of NTPA competitors, crew members, officials, clerks, promoters, and associates are encouraged to apply for three $1,000 awards. Sponsoring these scholarships once again is K&K Insurance and WPI. The online application can be found on the NTPA website, here, and includes a series of questions regarding school and community involvement, along with a written essay prompt.
The essay prompt is: The year 2020 will be remembered as among the most tumultuous in American history. While our free society has always been tolerant of differing points of view, it seems that our citizenry is as divided as it has ever been on matters of politics, economics, safety, and health. Describe an interaction with a classmate, a teacher, a relative, or a friend with whom you respectfully ‘agreed to disagree’ on an issue of your choice. What reasoning did they provide to support their opinion, and what reasoning did you provide to support your opinion?
Worthington, Ohio---Sarah Smith, NTPA Publications Editor and Merchandise/Webmall Coordinator, has been honored with the Lashutka Spirit Award in conjunction with the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon.
She and her husband Chris will join 20,000 other participants in the Columbus Marathon on Sunday, October 21, she for the fourth time. But this year, they and a group of friends will be running in support of a cause: Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, with which Sarah was diagnosed this past July. Her motto, inspired by The Puller magazine feature subject Dave Archer, is "Bound and Determined."
A front page article on Sarah, Chris, Millie (pictured), and J.J. appeared in the Friday, October 19 Columbus Dispatch. Brief profiles on this year's 10 Spirit Award winners also appeared on the Marathon's website and blog.
We offer our congratulations to Sarah and our encouragement in this and all of her future marathons.
About National Tractor Pullers Association
The NTPA is the sport’s oldest and most respected truck and tractor pulling sanctioning organization. Governed by a board of directors, the NTPA is managed by World Pulling International (WPI), an independently owned entity. Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, the NTPA provides rules and regulations and the infrastructures required for organizations throughout the country to arrange truck and tractor pulls.
The 2020 NTPA Championship Pulling Circuit is sponsored in part by Case IH, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Angry Farmer Products, Hot Shot's Secret, Enderle Fuel Injection, MAC Trailer, Ag Protect 1, Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, Columbus Diesel Supply, Stainless Diesel, Midwest Wheel Inc., the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio, Profab Machine Inc., the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin, and Riverside Engine Inc.
Watch the 15th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Encore performances appear on Mondays at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern. RFD-TV is available on satellite through DirecTV (345), Dish Network (231), and AT&T (568) along with Spectrum/Time Warner, Brighthouse, Comcast, Charter, Suddenlink, Cox, and other cable providers. Check your current provider for details or visit the channel finder at www.rfdtv.com. The 16th season debuts on Tuesday, August 25.
NTPA Live Streaming produced internet broadcasts of several national events in 2020. Visit NTPA.tv to purchase on-demand access to individual events. Or go all-in on the $299 Yearly Pass and get live and on-demand access to all streamed summertime NTPA events plus current and past episodes of "NTPA Championship Pulling" included! Purchase each stream or the package in your browser at NTPA.tv and watch there or via the NTPA.tv app on popular smart tv platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire, AppleTV, and AndroidTV and on both Apple iOS and Android mobile devices.
Subscribe to the Official Magazine of the NTPA! The Puller brings you the best in NTPA news, stories, and related pulling information. The PULL! Official Program and Souvenir Yearbook is carried in Tractor Supply Company (TSC) outlets.
Wear it loud! The NTPA's Webmall has pulling apparel in fresh, new designs for fans of all ages and sizes. Hats, event shirts, hoodies, pins, and patches all sport the iconic NTPA shield that represents excellence in premier-level pulling. Event, TV series, and special DVDs let you watch pulling action on your schedule. See it all at ShopNTPA.com.
For more information about the NTPA, visit our website, www.NTPAPULL.com, follow us on social media at our Facebook page (ntpapulling), Twitter (@NTPApull), YouTube (NTPApull), and Instagram (ntpa), or call the NTPA office at 614.436.1761.
The NTPA regrets to report the passing on July 18 of Eldon Townes, 89, of Weare, New Hampshire. Mr. Townes was the co-owner and driver of several editions of the "Sassy Massey" Chrysler Hemi-powered Modified from 1979 to 1985 and won four Regional National titles in a three-year span.
Mr. Townes served his nation with distinction as a Chief Petty Officer with the Navy Sea Bees for 18 years. Following his discharge, he entered the construction industry where he remained for half a century. In addition, Mr. Townes was a Road Agent for Weare and a member of the Free Masons and the Shriners.
Mr. Townes was fond of speed and horsepower, and his interests were directed to stock car, sprint car, and snowmobile racing, the last of which he enjoyed alongside his son Rick. In the late 1970s, he partnered with John Knox to build the single-426 "Massey," to which they added a second powerplant in 1980. They won the northeastern Region I's 5,200-lb. Modified title in 1981 and then the region's 7,200- and 9,200-lb. championships in 1982, with Rick sharing the driving duties. Based on his winning performances across Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia, Mr. Townes qualified for both the 1982 and 1983 Indy Super Pulls.
The next year, the pair advanced their program to a triple-Hemi setup and added one more title in 92 MOD in 1984 before Mr. Townes retired from competition in 1985. In all, he amassed 13 class victories over a six-year stretch. The Modified would evolve into four- and five-engine combinations throughout the 1980s and eventually assume the "Country Girl" name when John's wife Rodalyn migrated from drag racing to pulling.
Mr. Townes is survived by Carol, his wife of 68 years; their children, Susan T. (John) Hutchison, Richard E. (Lynda) Townes, and Julie A. (Peter) Steele; his brother, eight grandsons; and nine great-grandchildren. His full obituary may be found here, where messages of condolence may be left for the family. Next spring or summer, the Townes family will hold a Celebration of Life at Moody Pond.
We express our deepest sympathy to Carol and to Mr. Townes' family and friends on the occasion of their loss.
WPI/NTPA is saddened to announce the death on Sunday, September 6 of Donald Bauer, 75, of Urbana, Ohio. Mr. Bauer was a good friend to the Association in general and a booster of the Enderle Pull-Off in particular after it moved to the Champaign County Fairgrounds in 2006.
A graduate of Iowa State University, Mr. Bauer was a sales manager for DeKalb Ag Research and Morton Buildings before starting Bauer Stoves and Fireplaces in Urbana, a business with which he remained involved until his passing. He was a tireless ambassador for his community and for Champaign County and annually hosted the Enderle family and early-arriving staff and participants of the NTPA's all-star event.
Mr. Bauer's other passions included sports cars, wooden boats, trains, tractors, fire trucks, horses and cattle, and living on Hearthstone Farm where he grew up. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife Jane, his children Chuck (Kerry) and Heather (Gary), his brother Andy, his grandsons Will and Charlie, and several cousins and nieces. His full obituary may be found here.
A private funeral service will be held graveside for immediate family, while a celebration of life event will be at Hearthstone Farm at a date and time to be determined later.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Champaign County Rotary Club at P.O. Box 660, Urbana, Ohio 43078 to benefit Freedom Grove Park, in whose founding Mr. Bauer was instrumental in founding.
We extend our sympathy to Jane, the entire Bauer family, and the Urbana community of which Mr. Bauer was a dedicated servant-leader.
So, how about we bring them to you instead?
The 16th season of "NTPA Championship Pulling" on RFD-TV presented by Case IH Agriculture shakes screens nationwide each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central. Episode will be rebroadcast on Monday at 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern (or Sunday 11:30 a.m. and Monday 5 a.m. Central).
And while our motorsport has largely been on an unwanted summer hiatus, be assured: It's not reruns that you'll be watching.
We've scoured our extensive video library and assembled never-before-seen shows from past years' thrilling performances. Tomah, Wisconsin; Chapel Hill, Tennessee; Bowling Green, Ohio; and Cloverdale, Indiana to take you through the first eight weeks of television's longest-running program dedicated entirely to truck and tractor pulling. Witness awesome competition across divisions such as Super Semis, Unlimiteds, Pro Stocks, and Minis that helped to define championship seasons and still stands the test of time.
After that, 2020's only Grand Nationals---the North Iowa Nationals from Rockwell and the NTPA Winter Nationals from Cloverdale---will take you through the rest of this uniquely challenging year. As always, Doc Riley and Gregg Randall are on the call. (For a list of descriptions of upcoming episodes, click here.)
So tune in on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT for first-run episodes or Mondays at 12:30 or 6 a.m. ET for encore performances of "NTPA Championship Pulling" presented by Case IH. Find us on DirecTV channel 345, Dish Network channel 231, or AT&T U-verse channel 568, or use RFD-TV's locator service at rfdtv.com to locate your channel on cable systems nationwide. "NTPA CP" is also available anytime via RFD-TV's streaming service, RFDNow.com. And at NTPA.tv, all 15 completed seasons have been archived and are available on-demand as well as each week's new episode.
Until we can gather in the stands and in the pits, stay safe, and keep an eye on the NTPA every Tuesday night.
Worthington, Ohio---Competitors who purchased 2020 NTPA driver licenses and/or 2020 NTPA vehicle registrations will have part or all of their paid amounts applied toward 2021 membership fees, announced World Pulling International, the Association's holding company. The decision was reached at the June 21 meeting of the Executive Board and came in the midst of a Championship Pulling season that has been dramatically shortened by the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.
For the purposes of rollover amount calculation, the basis for a "fully used" membership is six hooks during the calendar year beginning with the 2020 NTPA Winter Nationals in Cloverdale, Indiana. Here, A "hook" refers to any single appearance of a driver or vehicle in which the driver is insured by the policy that is in force due to NTPA or NTPA member state sanctioning, promotion, or other agreement.
A competitor who elected or elects to make at least one hook in 2020 may, for each hook left unused up to a maximum of six, apply one sixth (1/6) of the total of fees paid for their 2020 driver/vehicle combination toward the purchase of a 2021 license and/or registration.
Example: Jane Jones paid the middle rates for a Competition License ($470) and a Grand National Registration ($591) and made four hooks. That left two hooks of her six allotted hooks unused, and so Jane will be able to apply two sixths (2/6) of the $1061 total, or $354, toward her 2021 fees.
A competitor who elected or elects to make zero hooks in 2020 may apply all driver license and vehicle registration fees toward the purchase of a 2021 license and/or registration.
Example: John Smith paid the early rates for a Competition License ($409) and a Regional National/Member State Registration ($240). If John makes zero hooks, John will be able to apply the total, $649, toward his 2021 fees.
Members were presented with the option of requesting a 75-percent refund of fees paid, but no members had applied for such before the August 1, 2020 deadline.
Other than to designate their 2020 membership fees for donation, competitors need not take any action. The rollover amounts will be calculated by the NTPA office and applied to 2021 license and registration fees beginning October 1, 2020.
Worthington, Ohio---A significant number of the NTPA’s promotional partners (see below) have elected to cancel or postpone the 2020 editions of their events with hopes of regrouping for 2021.
The NTPA fully understands and respects the heart-rending decisions they have made, and we will eagerly welcome them back to the Championship Pulling tour next year.
These cancellations aside, it remains the NTPA’s intention to proceed with 2020 Grand and Regional National circuits that include as many events as can be safely held.
COVID-19-Related Cancellations to Date
- March 20-21: Wakarusa Ag/Deutz-Fahr Spring Nationals / Shipshewana, IN
- May 23: Dragway 42 NTPA Spring Nationals / West Salem, OH (Spring)
- June 13: Showdown in Curdtown / Ellsworth, WI
- June 19-20: NTPA Power Pull Nationals / Hutchinson, MN
- June 19: Paulding County Fair Pull / Paulding, OH
- June 20: Maumee Valley Pullers Summer Nationals / Wauseon, OH (MVP)
- June 25-27: Budweiser Dairyland NTPA Super Nationals / Tomah, WI
- June 29: Rush County Fair Pull / Rushville, IN
- July 2: Marion County Fair Pull / Marion, OH
- July 8-9: St. Joseph County Fair Pull / South Bend, IN
- July 10-11: Arcola National Pull / Arcola, IN
- July 10: Blake’s Prairie Shootout / Bloomington, WI
- July 16-17: Eaton County Fair Pull / Charlotte, MI
- July 16: Winneshiek County Fair Pull / Decorah, IA
- July 17-18: Johnson County Fair Pull / Franklin, IN
- July 21: Van Buren County Youth Fair Pull / Hartford, MI
- July 22: Great Jones County Fair Summer Slide / Monticello, IA
- July 23-24: Coors Light Shootout / Anoka, MN
- July 24-25: Lions Super Pull of the South / Chapel Hill, TN
- July 24-25: Meade County NTPA Grand Nationals / Brandenburg, KY
- July 25: Clark County Fair Pull / Springfield, OH
- July 25: Throwdown at Hoedown / Houston, MN
- July 25: Dunn County Fair Regional National Pull / Menomonie, WI
- July 30: Butler County Fair Pull / Hamilton, OH
- July 31-August 1: Fort Recovery NTPA Grand Nationals / Fort Recovery, OH
- July 31: Union County Fair Pull / Marysville, OH
- August 1-2: Northeast Nationals / Langford, NY
- August 1: Smoke 'N' Thunder by the Kinni / River Falls, WI
- August 4: Cass County Fair Pull / Cassopolis, MI
- August 6: Monroe County Fair Pull / Monroe, MI
- August 7: Western Illinois Grand Nationals / Mount Sterling, IL
- August 7: Preble County Fair Pull / Eaton, OH
- August 8: Marion County NTPA Grand Nationals / Salem, IL
- August 8: Celebration on the Pond / Morley, MI
- August 10: Champaign County Fair Pull / Urbana, OH
- August 12: Branch County Fair Pull / Coldwater, MI
- August 14: Erie County Fair Pull / Sandusky, OH
- August 15: Henry County Fair Pull / Napoleon, OH
- August 15: Norwalk Lions Truck and Tractor Pull / Norwalk, WI
- August 16: Muskingum County Fair Pull / Zanesville, OH
- August 17: Berrien County Youth Fair Pull / Berrien Springs, MI
- August 20-22: National Tractor Pulling Championships / Bowling Green, OH
- August 22: Pulling for Youth Hunger and Health / Colby, WI
- August 25: Great Darke County Fair Pull / Greenville, OH
- August 26: Hudsonville Community Fair Pull / Hudsonville, MI
- August 28: Friday Night Spectacular / Wellington, OH
- August 29: Edon Days Festival Pull / Edon, OH
- August 29: Waupaca County Fair Pull / Weyauwega, WI
- September 4: M.E. Miller Tire Tri-State Showdown / Wauseon, OH
- September 4-5: Thunder in the Corn / Hoopeston, IL
- September 4-5: Stark County Fair Pull / Canton, OH
- September 6: Hancock County Fair Pull / Findlay, OH
- September 6: Ridgeland Nationals / Ridgeland, WI
- September 7: Richwood Independent Fair Pull / Richwood, OH
- September 10 & 12: DeKalb County Fair NTPA Grand Nationals / Sandwich, IL
- September 11: Thunder in the Park / Roanoke, IN
- September 12: Lynn Lions Club Pull / Lynn, IN
- September 16: Allegan County Fair Pull / Allegan, MI
- September 19: Enderle Memorial Pull-Off / Urbana, OH
- September 26: Dragway 42 Fall Nationals / West Salem, OH
- October 2: Hillsdale County Fair Pull / Hillsdale, MI
COVID-19-Related Postponements to Date
The Roanoke Tractor Pullers Association has announced the cancellation of the Thunder in the Park NTPA Regional National event that had been planned for Friday, September 11. Local health officials informed the Roanoke TPA that the limit for mass gatherings in the state was 250 persons and that they would not permit the event to proceed.
The five-class contest has traditionally been one of the major attractions within the Roanoke Fall Festival. The cancellation of the greater community gathering had been announced in June.
Thunder in the Park will not be rescheduled this year. The tentative 2021 date for the Roanoke is September 10.
With this cancellation, the 2020 NTPA national regular season ends after four events: Wilmington and Washington Court House, Ohio; Mandan, North Dakota; and Rockwell, Iowa. The 2021 pulling calendar is scheduled to begin in Cloverdale, Indiana on January 8-9.
The following is the Roanoke TPA's statement that was released on August 21:
To all of our loyal fans and supporters, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 events. With the current pandemic and the restrictions associated with it, the deck was stacked against us to have a safe and successful event for both fans and competitors. We would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding. We look forward to a successful 2021 event.
Worthington, Ohio---On Tuesday, June 16, the Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pullers Association (NWOTPA), the promotional group of the National Tractor Pulling Championships (NTPC) in Bowling Green, Ohio, elected to cancel the 2020 edition of the NTPA Super National pull. The decision comes after several briefings with Wood County officials on the challenges of staging the motorsport's greatest spectacle, one that welcomes participants and spectators from across the nation and around the world into its campgrounds, pits, and grandstands.
Mike Erford, NWOTPA President, cited "the underlying threat to our youth groups and senior volunteers [and] our community" and reported to the "pullers, fans, and sponsors" that there could be "found no way to safely bring you all together."
Originally planned for Thursday through Saturday, August 20-22, the NTPC's 54th edition will be delayed until August 19-21, 2021. As a result, 2020 will be the first year since 1967 that the tracks at the corner of Poe and Haskins will be silent on the third weekend of August.
"For any pulling fan, from casual to passionate, the name 'Bowling Green' is synonymous with the sport," began Gregg Randall, NTPA General Manager. "Every year there's been a Super Bowl in the winter for football, there's been a NTPC in the summertime for pulling, and hooking there and winning there are the ways a great many of our competitors measure the arc of their careers.
"The absence of BG from our 2020 schedule is just another brutal consequence of the coronavirus," Randall continued. "From the content and tone of my discussions throughout the summer with promoters and officials from around the nation, I was braced for the call the Blue Shirts might have to make. But it's still a tough one."
Bowling Green joins the Budweiser Dairyland Super Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin (June) and the Lions Super Pull of the South in Chapel Hill, Tennessee (July) as cancelled 2020 Super National events. An updated schedule of remaining events is maintained at NTPAPULL.com.
For information regarding the application of 2020 National Tractor Pulling Championships ticket and campsite purchases to 2021, visit the event's official website, PullTown.com.
The following is the full text of the release prepared by the NWOTPA office.
In the wake of the wearisome coronavirus threat that continues to hang over us, the Board of Directors of the National Tractor Pulling Championships has decided to cancel the 54th consecutive Super National Event in Bowling Green, Ohio.
To say that this decision was difficult is an understatement. However, after many meetings with State and Local officials and experts, we felt the underlying threat to our youth groups and senior volunteers, our community, and of course the love we have for our pullers, fans and sponsors, was a risk too great to take.
From all of us, to all of you, we are sorry. We looked at every avenue and every option available to us and we found no way to safely bring you all together.
As the Board of Directors for the NTPC, we ask that you respect this decision. We know you are disappointed, as we are. But please keep all remarks that you share on social media or among one another positive and productive. This is nobody’s fault. We enjoy and appreciate the pictures and comments you share, of all the great times you have experienced in Pulltown USA, and we want everybody to concentrate on the memories yet to be made. Anticipation can be an amazing thing!
So, button down the hatches, and be ready for one heck of a show in 2021. All tickets and campsites already purchased will be rolled over to next year. Anybody wishing to purchase or add tickets for 2021 can order beginning Monday, January 4, 2021.
Until next year, please stay safe and healthy. We miss you and look forward to seeing you all August 19-21, 2021.
Mike Erford, President
Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pullers Association
National Tractor Pulling Championships
The National Tractor Pullers Association and Dragway 42 have jointly agreed to cancel the Dragway 42 Fall Nationals in West Salem, Ohio. The decision was impelled by an order from Governor Mike DeWine that prohibits standalone motorsports events amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Originally planned for Saturday, September 26, the NTPA Regional National event will not take place in 2020.
Looking ahead to 2021, the West Salem facility will tentatively host the Dragway 42 Spring Nationals on Saturday, May 22 and the Fall Nationals on Saturday, September 25. It is expected that the events will bookend the Ohio portion of the NTPA's Region II schedule. Divisions to appear at each event will be announced later.
Citing a need to "do our part for the health and safety of our community," organizers of the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh have announced the elimination of the 11-day fair for 2020.
From this announcement follows the cancellation of the NC State Fair Southern Showdown NTPA Regional National that was to have been run in four sessions from Friday through Sunday, October 16-18. The pull will not be rescheduled in 2020.
Tentative dates for Raleigh 2021, in alignment with the proposed State Fair dates, are October 15-17.
The following is a portion of the NC State Fair's release that was posted to Facebook on July 29.
When we started planning for this year’s State Fair last November, no one would have guessed what the next few months would bring. We’ve been monitoring the guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. We’ve thought through how we could hold a Fair in October and stay true to what has always been our ultimate goal: a safe and entertaining event for families to enjoy.
What we ultimately determined is that our correct course of action to do our part for the health and safety of our community and to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 is to cancel the 2020 N.C. State Fair. We are disappointed for all that annually look forward to the largest event in North Carolina including the N.C. State Fair staff that work all year to bring the best to our visitors.
We know this does not come without consequence. The State Fair is a vital economic engine for local non-profits, community groups, small businesses, individuals and artists. Competitors have been working all year to perfect their exhibits to show. These people who pour their talents into the Fair are the foundation on which we are built and are true partners in lock-step with Fair staff to produce a tradition in North Carolina that dates back to 1853. We could not be more grateful for them or more saddened by this outcome.
We look forward to seeing you October 14-24, 2021 for the 153rd North Carolina State Fair. Until then, stay healthy and be kind to each other.
By an executive order from the office of Governor Mike DeWine, all remaining 2020 Ohio county fairs starting on or after July 31 will be limited to junior fairs with no attractions open to the general public. The order was announced during the governor's coronavirus news conference of Tuesday, July 28. Specific activities like livestock competitions and exhibits will still be permitted, but there will be no grandstand entertainment, rides, or games.
As a result, the Preble County Fair Pull in Eaton (Friday, August 7), the Champaign County Fair Pull in Urbana (Monday, August 10), and the Great Darke County Fair Pull in Greenville (Tuesday, August 25) have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled in 2020. These events' tentative 2021 dates will be August 6 for Eaton, August 9 for Urbana, and August 24 for Greenville.
DeWine’s motivation for issuing the order was the report of more than a dozen COVID-19 infections originating from one fair that took place in June. "It’s becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in Ohio in the summer of 2020," DeWine said.
By a majority vote of the Lorain County Senior Fair Board, the Lorain County Fair in Wellington, Ohio has terminated all 2020 Senior Fair activities. The action comes in response to concentrated efforts by local health officials to enforce social distancing and hygiene requirements that would have curtailed allowable attendance.
All grandstand entertainment, including the Friday Night Spectacular NTPA Grand National event on August 28, has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled this year.
"Throughout the summer, as we've watched the secondary impacts of this disease unfold across the country and here in Ohio, we've been cautiously optimistic about late-season events," said Gregg Randall, the Association's General Manager. "But the increase in reported COVID-19 cases and the perception that our state's position is getting more precarious triggered a tougher stance by statewide leadership.
"Several fairs, including Lorain County, have decided that they cannot operate within the bounds of these measures, and that spelled doom for all the fine attractions to be found during the fair week, most notably our longstanding GN event," Randall lamented.
Organizers of the Friday Night Spectacular received one of two Promoter of the Year honors in 2019 in the inaugural occasion of the award.
The 2021 edition is tentatively scheduled for August 27.
The WPI/NTPA family is heartbroken in announcing the passing on Wednesday, July 22 of Randy Petro, 62, of Camden, Ohio after a months-long battle with cancer. Mr. Petro was a five-time Grand National champion in the Two Wheel Drive division and the patriarch of the Petro Motorsports Team that won 10 consecutive premier-level titles from 2009 through 2018.
The owner of Petro Trucking in Camden, Mr. Petro began his pulling career in stock Four Wheel Drive in the late 1970s, and a foray into sanctioned pulling in 1984 in the supercharged division with "Milsap Magic" ended after just one year. He returned to Regional National and Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association competition in 1990 with his first Two Wheel Drive---the "Buckeye Hauler" Ford Ranger---and won a state championship in his rookie season. He added "Challenger" to double the size of the nascent Petro Trucking stable for 1991, and it took sixth place behind "Hauler"'s third in the Pro National standings.
For the very next campaign, he exchanged the pickup look of "Challenger" for the iconic T-bucket he christened "Kathy's Komplaint." It was an alliterative term of endearment toward his devoted wife, who initially feared for Mr. Petro's safety, exposed as he was in the open cab of the wheelstander. Mr. Petro would proceed to pilot various editions of that truck for the next 28 years.
The "Hauler"/"Komplaint" tandem was a winner from the beginning, as Mr. Petro was both champion and runner-up in Region II in 1992 with nine combined PN/RN victories and a sweep at Ionia. A first title for "KK" and fifth-place finish by "BH" came on the PN circuit in 1993 before a move to the Grand National circuit for 1994 put "KK" in third at season's end.
In 1995, Mr. Petro was the Grand National champion with "Kathy's Komplaint" as he debuted "Buckeye Hauler: Next Generation" in sixth. The pair of roadsters were fourth and sixth in 1996 as Randy undertook yet another challenge: The multi-engine Modified division. There, he took second in both the 7,200-lb. Limited Mod and 7,600-lb. Unlimited with the four- to five-engine "Multi Chaos," winning once at each weight. With "Chaos" second in MOD and fourth in UNL, the trucks likewise moved up to second and fourth in 1997.
At that point, son Jessie was ready for a ride and took the reins of "Buckeye Hauler," promptly finishing sixth and being voted Co-Rookie of the Year. The younger Petro would begin a string of seven consecutive top-10 finishes in the GN TWD standings while his dad maintained his own top-10 streak with both "KK" in TWD---winning it all a second time in 2001---and "Multi Chaos" in at least one of MOD or UNL through 2003.
A 2004 Bowling Green ring turned out to be Mr. Petro's last hurrah in the Unlimited division, as Petro Motorsports downsized to just single-engine vehicles beginning in 2005. But over time, they attained quite a collection of them. "2 Timin'" joined the squad in 2007, and after a three-year stretch running Region II that resulted in titles for Randy and "Komplaint" in 2007 and 2008, the Ford Ranger won Jessie his first GN title in 2009. Meanwhile, Randy was voted GN Rookie of the Year thanks to his entry into yet another division with a Modified Mini---eventually named "Freak on a Leash"---that made effective use of the team's spare engine.
The father countered the son's GN title with two more of his own in 2010 and 2011. But after it added a fourth truck, informally called the "Penguin" for its monochromatic paint scheme, the team would soon add a third member, nephew Joey Frasur, to drive the renamed "Runnin' Block" beginning in 2013. Frasur's success was immediate, as he converted his opportunity into the team's third Rookie of the Year campaign. And Jessie? In 2015, he added a fifth truck, "P5," but mostly added GN crowns---six of them---to extend Petro Motorsports' unprecedented streak to nine entering the 2018 season.
A new "Kathy's Komplaint" debuted in 2016, but the old chassis, rebadged "Vintage KK," continued its title-claiming ways in Region II for three additional seasons and matched its successor as Mr. Petro was twice victorious at the Enderle Pull-Off. The next season, "Kathy's" two "Komplaint"s combined to win nine of the Western subregion's 14 hooks. And in 2018, competing everywhere it could across several national circuits, Petro Motorsports deployed seven vehicles and four drivers: "Buckeye Hauler, "Kathy's Komplaint," "2 Timin'," "Runnin' Block," "Vintage Kathy's Komplaint," "P5," and "2 Timin' 2," variously piloted by Randy, Jessie, Joey, and Chad Mayhill.
Was the chaos of a multi-truck shop and multi-hauler driveway a distraction? Hardly. It was all kept in order by Kathy, 2017's Crew Chief of the Year. In fact, the Petro conveyor belt turned out a workmanlike 10th straight GN title with Randy, after winning only the 45-truck Saturday night class in Tomah, unseating Jessie atop the standings and claiming his second BG ring.
2019 proved to be a difficult season, as the elder slipped to third with "Kathy's Komplaint" and neither "Runnin' Block" nor "Buckeye Hauler" found consistency. And the offseason took a tragic turn, as an ailing Randy was diagnosed with lung cancer that rapidly metastasized. Piloting "KK" in Randy's place at the legendary National Farm Machinery Show Championship Tractor Pull in Louisville, Kentucky, Jessie dominated the proceedings, first with a Friday night heat win and then with an emotional Saturday night Finals victory.
Mr. Petro's name will be well remembered by even casual observers as that of a fierce competitor in several supercharged divisions. But he was most respected by his fellow pullers and students of the game for his team's meticulous preparation and his own diligent analysis of each contest's pulling surface to maximize his opportunity to contend. Indeed, it can rightfully be said that Randy Petro did most of his winning before the starter was engaged.
WPI/NTPA expresses our sincere condolences to Kathy, Jessie and Jessica, Joey, and the entire Petro family and team who were on hand on Friday, July 10 to see Randy take his place among the greats of all time in the Pulling Hall of Fame. Mr. Petro will be deeply missed by the patrons, participants, and presenters of a grateful motorsport.
In a late-breaking development, the Knox County Agricultural Society has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Knox County Senior Fair in Mount Vernon, Ohio due to the tightening of state and local health regulation enforcement amid the coronavirus pandemic. The fair's slate of activities was scheduled to begin just three days after the announcement.
Therefore, the Knox County Fair Regional National Pull that had been scheduled for Sunday, July 26 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled this season.
The tentative 2021 date for the Mount Vernon event is July 25.
The following is a portion of the release that was released by Knox Public Health on Thursday, July 23:
With the support of local officials, Health Commissioner Julie Miller has cancelled the portion of the Knox County Fair referred to as the senior fair. This includes grandstand events, most food vendors, merchant exhibits, and other displays. The fair is slated to open on Sunday. All Junior Fair activities and harness racing will still take place as scheduled.
Initially committed to staging the annual fair, local officials lately have struggled with how to conduct the fair safely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"After discussing the issue with fair board representatives, the local health department and considering Governor DeWine's new directives, we felt it was the appropriate response," said Knox County Commissioner Thom Collier. "There was not a way to ensure the safety of the public and maintain an environment conducive to operating a fair."
As health commissioner, Miller has the authority to cancel the fair in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and the current Ohio public health emergency order ... "This decision is sure to upset many people, but I feel the health risks to the community outweigh the benefits of a fair," said Miller.
"I would not want to have the fair this year and have someone get sick and die and then, that person not be able to attend next year's fair," said [Fair Board President Dustin] Beheler.
Knox County's COVID-19 positive cases ... have quadrupled since Memorial Day and topped 100 on July 23.