For the seventh year in a row, some of the region’s best tractor drivers will compete at the Miller Coliseum.
A racer competes in the 2011 Southern Invitational at Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Davis)
This weekend, pullers will bring their souped up tractors to the area to see who can go the farthest distance during the Southern Invitational starting Friday night.
Action starts Friday night at 7 p.m. The second session begins Saturday at 11 a.m., and the finals are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Racers from eight different states are expected to compete in the event.
“We have a great show lined up for all three sessions,” event promoter David Holbrook said. “It will be an all around good time.”
During the event, every tractor, each with its own distinct character that includes interesting paint jobs, will start at one end of the arena and be hooked up to a machine called a weight transfer sledge.
The sledge is hooked up to the tractor, which varies in size from 6,200 pounds to 12,000 pounds. At the same time, the tractor is pulling a set weight from that sledge.
During the run, the weight moves from over the rear axles of the tractor to the front of the sledge.
On the sledge, the front of the rear wheels, there is a pan. The pan is a metal plate. When the tractors goes further down the straight line course, the weight from it moves over the metal plate and the resistance builds, which makes it harder to pull.
The goal of each run is to make the tractor compete the full distance of the course, otherwise known as a full pull.
In most outdoor events that are shown on television, the distance is 300 feet.
However, because this event is indoors and is being held inside a smaller arena, the “full pull” distance will be 260 feet.
During last year’s event, several drivers reached that distance, which brought the crowd to its feet on several occasions.
In each class, every tractor will get only one chance to run the distance. If more than one tractor reaches that distance, additional weight will be added to the weight transfer sledge, and those tractors will get another run, also known as a pull-off. Whoever reaches the farthest distance during that run will win the event.
Holbrook, an experienced racer in the sport, said the way the tractor is set up will determine how far the tractor will go.
“You’ve got to make it count since you only get one shot,” Holbrook said.
Ten different classes will be in action on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Holbrook said, the top six or seven from those two sessions will advance to the finals Saturday evening.
For more information go to southernmotorsports.net.