Fighting the Floods and Marching to Manilla.

Fighting the Floods and Marching to Manilla.

Fighting the Floods and Marching to Manilla. 

As someone with a remedial background in writing and composition, I am mildly aware that my personal style often time adopts a tone, or voice that is light-hearted and quick witted in nature. I never try to take myself too seriously, and I strive to create pieces that may crack a joke or two, and bring a quick smile to readers’ faces with some goofy puns, and a fast-paced style. That being said, before we begin this week’s recapping of events, I am aware that wit and humor may not be the appropriate style. 

As I geared up Saturday morning to head to Manilla, Iowa where my role would be that of camera operator, I was met with one of those “gut feelings.” Something would be different about this weekend. Roles would shift. I didn’t know what it was, or why. I just knew something in my bones felt off. I gathered all my supplies to be prepared for anything, and I departed with optimism. Around noon my premonition was validated as I received a call saying northwest Iowa had been hit hard with severe flooding. The epicenter seemed to be the small town of Rock Valley; the headquarters and heart of the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association. Focusses shifted. Thoughts went from lineups and track conditions to community members. All of my thoughts and feelings of goodwill go to the communities of northern Iowa who are battling the rising waters, and all the hardships that come with them. Especially the town of Rock Valley. The Outlaw family stands with you. 

Preparation for the show was delayed by about three hours as our production equipment was forced to reroute continuously due to adverse road conditions and floodwaters. Once everything arrived it was a complete whirlwind to put forth the best show imaginable to the faithful crowd in Manilla. And faithful they were. Manilla put their best foot forward showing us one of the largest and most passionately involved crowds we had seen all year. And were they in for a treat! Seven of our thunder-roaring classes met the call, and the show was arguably our best of the year. 

The naturally aspirated two wheel drives came up to bat in the leadoff position, starting the show with some wheel standing action. There were no surprises in the results, as David Gemes guided his Ford-powered T-bucket to his second win of the season, following up on last season’s championship. The super farms rolled on to the track next, where the Wallman 1066 played the role of x-factor, knocking off all previous winners to take home the victory. Drake Wallman certainly looked to shake up the standings after a picture perfect A to B pass on a track that grabbed drivers to the right hand side all night long. 

Following the super farm machines, it was the perennial crowd favorite class of light limited modifieds bringing the thunder. Blake Otte continues to gun down competitors like the red baron of tractor pulling, parking his v-12 Allison powered mod he calls Frequent Flyer in the winners circle for the third straight pull. Brother Gage, and friendly rival Wes Sievers finished in the second and third position guaranteeing at least a three horse race this season for points. Keep an eye on this class, however, as the Meyers, Beckman, and Geiger all keep things interesting each time. 

The alcohol burning, multi-charged light super stock tractors gave us a color show as the fourth class. They offered red, green, and even blue tractors to the fans to cheer for. Ultimately John Deere and New Holland fell short to defending points champion Justin Hoffman in his IH 5488 he calls Last One Standing. It lived up to its monicar being the only one to pull over 340 feet. Congratulations to Justin on his upcoming marriage this weekend as well! Next to answer the call were the modified four wheel drive trucks. Their first hook of the 2024 season. The trucks battled a track that had become slick with the setting sun and a heavy wagon. It was old school pulling at its best. With a winning distance just over 290 feet, it was 2022 points champion Joe Claypoole behind the wheel of Risky Business in the victory position. The Thornton team, your 2023 champs, were hot on his tail, however, parking their fleet of three trucks in the second, third, and fourth spots. Keep an eye and ear on all the trucks in this class this year. From the starting line, I could tell they had them all set on kill from the very first hook. 

The limited pro stocks “4.1’s” and light limited pro stocks rounded out the show. Defending champion, National Farm Machinery Show competitor, and The Pullers Championship winner George Beyer showed people not to mess with his Side Piece winning by nearly fifty feet. The light limited pro stocks displayed a field of twelve top tier pullers. Ever-constant hard charger Mike Hargens in Wild Side picked up his first victory of the year. He parked his John Deere to a finishing spot of 345 feet and change. 

It was one of our most electric and exciting pulls of the year. We are back in action Friday and Saturday, June 28th and 29th for our first trip to the Lone Star State. Whitewright Texas will kick off at 7:30 each night presenting five top notch national level classes.

Pullin’ is fun. 

Mike Eitel 

Engagement Specialist

Beer Money Pulling Team


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