Backing the Blue

Backing the Blue

Before we dump the clutch and slam the throttle forward on this current rendition of “This Week in Pulling,” let’s shift gears. Let’s, briefly, for the point of examining a phenomena switch from truck and tractor pulling to the rest of the world of motorsports. Anytime we examine our non-agricultural horsepower cousins, such as drag racing, dirt tracks, NASCAR, mud-bogs, or whatever,  something very obvious becomes predominant in all of them. Two camps exist. Well, almost three. But mainly two. There is team Ford power and Team Chevrolet power. Then there is the off-shoot almost there, but not quite as populated camp of Team Dodge/ Mopar. Like I said, two teams. Three. At any given motor-head, and gear-heart event 40% of the fanbase is screaming for Fords, 40% is confessing their loyalty to Chevrolet, the next 18% blow their vocal chords for Dodge. There, is obviously that remaining 2% for all the outlying oddity this and that brands. Toyotas and GMC’s and Buicks. Sub-brands of the big three, or non-entirely recognized “imports.” But all-in-all its Ford vs. Chevy. Oh, yeah, and Dodge. 

Ok. Return to the gear analogy. We will drop that first paragraph like a bad test hook, and shift back to our old-faithful gear. Don’t worry guys, we have returned to discuss pulling again. Except, doesn’t the exact same phenomena occur in our motorsport too? Especially if we just look at the tractor classes. You have two very main and predominant camps. Well, three. In our world it’s John Deere vs. Case IH. And Allis-Chalmers/ AGCO. But mainly green versus red. Of course, if we break down the fan numbers, I have no doubt we will see the exact same statistics in our sport. 40% of the crowd goes bananas when the announcer thunders, “Where’s my John Deere fans at?!” and naturally 40% of the crowd jumps out of their bleacher seats when the announcer inquires, “Do we have any IH fans in the house?!” Then there is that crazily obsessed 18% who I’m convinced literally bleed orange. Which leaves us our really intriguing and fun 2%. I would argue the tractor 2% is way cooler than the automotive 2%. Minneapolis-Molines, Massey Fergusons, Whites, Olivers, Fords. All the colors. 

I believe that credit should always be given where credit is due. I also think that for the most part, things align themselves in this fashion quite naturally. I’m not convinced that they have in the hierarchy of tractor-cheering fan base membership, however. I think we just need to come right out and say it. Why not Ford/ New Holland?! Deeres, IH’s, and Allises. Sure. But I would contest that of all the “other” color brands, Ford has stood out as an absolute dominant beast in the pulling world that deserves more of a spotlight. 

When Kevin Lynn campaigned the Notorious Light Super Stock in the mid nineties, he opened the floodgates for the blue ovals. And they immediately found a great home in the light super stock class. Most of them preferring a steady diet of racing methanol. Fords converted to alcohol weighing between 5500 and 6500 pounds became absolute speed bullets. And given a clay track and a light-ish wagon, would basically just take the money and run. We saw rockstar tractors like The Bomb, 504 Rocket, Haley’s Comet, and now ones such as Alter Ego, or recently The Commander

They have even expanded beyond their bread and butter of the light super stock class and alcohol to some diesel setups. Look at classes like the light limited super stocks or the light pro stocks. (I guess they do just prefer anything with the word “light”). We saw a Ford from Canada go undefeated this past season. We have all sorts of single charger diesel Fords winning points championships all over the LLSS world. 

They have earned their place. It is time to back the blue. What once was received as the budget or economy tractor, is as far as I’m concerned, a legitimate contender in the world of pulling. It has paid its dues, and I say we need to show the blue ovals some love. And hey, I can’t help but notice when I’m snowed in, and my neighbor comes to blade my driveway, he doesn’t show up in his Allis Chalmers 7060, nope, it’s usually his trusty Ford 7700. 

Green Flags and Tight Chains. Pullin’ is fun.

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