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Ottertail's Smokin' Iron pulls off record-breaking event

Indiana's Larry Koester drives his "Footloose" mini-rod tractor down the Smokin' Iron track for a distance of 301.47 feet, to win the Open Modified Mini-Tractor division.1 / 3
Mark Stigge of Lavista, Neb., hauls down the track in his "Stud Monkey" tractor at the Smokin' Iron event Friday.2 / 3
A modified two-wheel drive truck tears down the revamped Smokin' Iron track Friday evening in Ottertail. A good crowd was hand both Friday and Saturday to watch the seventh annual tractor pull.3 / 3

A record-breaking Smokin' Iron event was pulled off Friday and Saturday in Ottertail, as the Region 3 Tractor Pull attracted the most ever hitches in its seven-year history.

A total of 90 pullers competed Friday and 88 Saturday, which, according to Smokin' Iron President Terry Wagenman, is over 20 more the event has ever had.

"The pullers heard we changed the track, so many decided to return and try it out," Wagenman said. "It was a great group of pullers with a couple of former Grand National champions (in the mix). Overall, everything went very well."

The revamped track was a hit with pullers, which was evident in the four-wheel drive event, as the majority of competitors hit the 300-foot mark.

"That's a great indicator the track was in great shape," Wagenman said. "The track used to be flat, but we used a two-percent grade downhill. We also changed the hot pit around a bit."

Everything fell into place for the seventh annual tractor pulling competition, as the dark storm clouds Friday drifted just north of Ottertail, adding just a sprinkle on the 2,000-plus fans in attendance.

Saturday's gorgeous weather brought another good crowd, with up to 2,500 in paid attendance, which doesn't include V.I.P. spectators.

Smokin' Iron, which has won four of the last six Region 3 Pulls of the Year, attracted seven pullers who drove up from Nebraska after that event was rained out.

There were 11 pulls held Friday and Saturday, as former Grand National champion Larry Koester of Indiana won the 2,050-pound open modified mini-rods with a distance of 301.47.

Bret Berg took two events with his "Money Maker" machine, after winning each of the 7,500-pound modified tractor divisions each night.

This year's Smokin' Iron event was dedicated to one of the original founders of the tractor pull -- Bill Ferrell -- who passed away in February.

The V.I.P tent area was named after Ferrell during a short ceremony Friday.

Smokin' Iron results

(Top 3 finishers in each division)

2009 Smokin' Iron Truck and Tractor Pull

Session 01 RESULTS:

2,050-lb. Open Modified Mini Tractors

1. Larry Koester Footloose 301.47

2. Adam Bauer Cowboy Up 297.69

3. Adam Bauer Iron Toy 296.22

6,200-lb. Modified Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks

1. Tom Scalzo Dodge-N-Bullets III 339.64

2. Mike Manke Foolish Farmer 329.67

3. Scott Phillips Yankee Blue 328.70

9,300-lb. Super Farm Tractors

1. Mike Linnehan Green Power 299.48

2. Wayne Lamoreux Fear the Deere 298.26

3. Rod Hinz Super Buck 296.84

6,200-lb. Modified Two-Wheel-Drive Trucks

1. Michael Johnson Bit of Magic III 305.87

2. Doug Christensen Pack Rat VI 303.15

3. Corey Kielmeyer Beer Wagon 303.03

7,500-lb. Modified Tractors

1. Bret Berg Money Maker 352.87

2. Ricky Rose Giddyup 326.43

3. Jeff Gueningsman Aftermath 305.33

8,000-lb. Heavy Super Stock Tractors

1. Gary Wipf Deere Fever II FP/285.45

2. Randy Becker FP/BR

2. Kendall Klevgard Last Dog FP/BR

Session 02 RESULTS:

2,050-lb. Open Modified Mini Tractors

1. Adam Bauer Iron Toy 326.415

2. Adam Koester Double Play 310.557

3. Adam Bauer Cowboy Up 305.907

6,200-lb. Modified Four-Wheel-Drive Trucks

1. Rich Thomsen Hammer Down 323.70

2. Lawrence Line Totally Hooked 316.19

3. Tom Scalzo Dodge-N-Bullets III 315.77

9,300-lb. Super Farm Tractors

1. Merle Bass Fear the Deere 336.070

2. Wayne Muller Bucksnort 331.510

3. Jeff Bahl Doctor Deere 328.250

6,200-lb. Modified Two-Wheel-Drive Trucks

1. Corey Kielmeyer Beer Wagon 324.218

2. Chad Christensen Pack Rat V 323.360

3. Kyloe Knapp Eighty Acre$ 321.090

7,500-lb. Modified Tractors

1. Bret Berg Money Maker 344.87

2. Ricky Rose Giddyup 321.04

3. Dennis Christensen Pack Rat 4 304.64