Tuesday, April 25, 2017



In 1542, the Hernando de Soto Expedition from Spain, crossed the Sabine River in the Hunt County area of Texas, searching for gold.  Fast forward some three hundred years, and Texas Governor James Pickney Henderson, would officially create Hunt County, named for General Memucan Hunt.  By 1847, the Hunt County town of Greenville was created, with Samuel Hooker named as the first postmaster. 

The Hunt County Fair was first conducted in 1967, and to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, the Lone Star Garden Tractor Pullers Association teams would mount an expedition in search of tractor pulling gold to be contested on the historic fairgrounds.  Crawford-Smith, Inc. would offer up a bounty, as the competitors would hook up and hunt for victory in a double header event on Friday and Saturday nights.  Contested on a 200 foot track, drivers and their machines would compete for the title on both nights, with the total distances for the weekend to determine the Crawford-Smith Bonus Bounty winners. 

Opening ceremonies on Friday night would feature performing artist Victoria Leigh, with an outstanding performance of the National Anthem.  The LSGTPA Youth Class competitors would take to the track first, with Lane Duncan firing the first shot with two Full Pulls aboard his 'Twisted Kitty', to secure the victory.  Tatom Robinson would wheel the 'Yes Deere' tractor to the runnerup spot for the Mean Green Pulling Team.  Lane Duncan would return to place his 'Texas T-Rex' tractor in the number three spot on the podium.  Jared Stephan would pull to a fourth place finish, aboard his 'Iron Head' tractor.  Tatom Robinson would score a top five finish on the night, aboard his beautifully painted 'Little Digger' tractor.  Cody Doyle would score a sixth place finish on the opening night of Youth Class action, aboard his 'Old Yeller' entry.

Lane Duncan wheels his 'Twisted Kitty' to a Full Pull at the Hunt County Fair.

OEM Stock Class would see Ken Langham, Jr. taking the win for the Longhorn Express Pulling Team from Bonham.  Claude Lewis would wheel his 'Old Yeller' tractor to the runnerup spot.  Jim Helfferich would score a third place podium finish, with James Helfferich taking the fourth spot in the field.  Mark Vanbeber would travel from Colorado to compete, and would score a top five finish.

Aidan Hovind pilots 'Yes Deere' to a win at the Hunt County Fair.

In Hot Stock, Aidan Hovind would take the win aboard the 'Yes Deere' machine, with fellow Youth Class alumni Kody Langham taking second aboard his Longhorn Express Pulling Team entry.  Stetson Bowerman would wheel the new 'Instigator' tractor to a third place finish, with John Aufdenkamp piloting his 'Rusteze' tractor into the fourth place position. 

John Aufdenkamp launches downtrack during LSGTPA competition in Greenville, Texas.

Stock Diesel would have Aidan Hovind pacing the field aboard the 'Buck Shot' machine.  Patrick Bramlett would steer his 'Warthog' tractor to a runnerup finish, with James Helfferich finishing on the podium in third.  In Big Stock, John Aufdenkamp would take the win aboard his Outlaw Pulling Team mount.  Jerry Toland would wheel his 'Triple Deuce' into the second spot, with Patrick Bramlett running his 'A Muck' tractor to a third place finish.  Jeff Robinson would take fourth place in the opening round aboard the 'Texas Thunder' tractor, with James Helfferich scoring a top five finish on the night. 
Aidan Hovind rolls downtrack to a win in Stock Diesel Class competition at the Hunt County Fair.

Stock Altered would see a one-two finish for the Colorado based teams of Ralph Lauffer, from Greeley Colorado.  Super Stock Class action would also find the podium dominated by the Colorado based team of Ralph Lauffer, taking the top three places with his fleet of machines. 

Ralph Lauffer would sweep the Super Stock Class, with his fleet of Colorado based tractors.

In Outlaw Class, Paul Smith with wheel his gorgeous 'Texan' tractor to the top spot, with Steve Pierce scoring the runnerup aboard his 'Buzzards Roost' tractor.  In Mini Rod Class action, Colby Crowe would pilot his 'Weekend Warrior' tractor into the top spot.  Jerry Toland would wheel his 'Shinin Time' tractor to a second place finish, with Steve Hovind scoring third aboard the '99% Moody' turbocharged diesel.  David Houchen would score a fourth place finish aboard his 'Back In The Day' tractor, with Paul Smith riding his 'Texan' tractor to a top five finish. 

Paul Smith launches his 'Texan' downtrack, to secure his bid for the Crawford-Smith Bounty Bonus in Greenville.

The Super Rod Class tractors would close the show, with a tie for first in the rain shortened event.  Ken Langham, Sr. would wheel his 'Psycho' tractor to a Full Pull, and share the top spot with John Kiemele and his 'Dodge This', also sitting at the top of the class with a Full Pull on the two hundred foot track.  Ken Langham, Jr. would hold the third place position on the podium, with his new Ford powered 'Sneaky Snake' machine.  Randell Moody would pilot his 'Ridge Runner' into the fourth place position on the night. 
The Longhorn Express Pulling Team entry, 'Sneaky Snake', winds its way downtrack with Ken Langham, Jr. at the wheel in Greenville.

Saturday nights track conditions would be challenging to some, as rain fell overnight and required some track maintenance from the Crawford-Smith, Inc. equipment.  Victoria Leigh would return for an awesome encore performance of the National Anthem to start the show.  The Youth Class competitors would lead the LSGTPA expedition, with Tatom Robinson scoring the win aboard the 'Yes Deere' tractor.  Lane Duncan would wheel his 'Twisted Kitty' tractor to the runnerup spot in the field.  Cody Doyle would pilot his 'Old Yeller' machine to a third place podium finish.  Rinn Mayberry would place fourth, with Lane Duncan scoring a top five finish aboard his 'Texas T-Rex' tractor from Enloe.  Jared Stephan would score a sixth place finish with his 'Iron Head' tractor from Blue Ridge.  Tatom Robinson and his 'Little Digger' tractor would pull to a seventh place scoring, with Rinn Mayberry wheeling the Colorado based 'Digger', to an eighth place finish in the field.

Tatom Robinson launches 'Little Digger', during LSGTPA Youth Class competition in Greenville.

In OEM Stock Class, Wade Robinson would place the Longhorn Express Pulling Team tractor in first, with Claude Lewis and the 'Old Yeller' tractor taking the runnerup position.  Mark VanBeber would place his 'Digger' tractor on the podium in third.  Jimmy Helfferich would score a fourth place finish with James Helfferich making a top five run for the night. 

Kody Langham wheels his Bonham Service Center entry down the Hunt County Fair pulling track.

In Hot Stock Class, Stetson Bowerman would score a Full Pull to secure the victory aboard his 'Instigator' tractor.  Kody Langham would pull to a second place scoring for the Longhorn Express Pulling Team.  John Aufdenkamp would place his 'Rusteze' machine on the podium in third, with Aidan Hovind riding the 'Yes Deere' tractor into fourth place. 

Stetson Bowerman and the 'Instigator' work their way down the Hunt County Fair pulling track in Greenville.

In Stock Diesel, Patrick Bramlett would take the title aboard his A-10 Thunderbolt themed 'Warthog' tractor.  Aidan Hovind would roll coal aboard his 'Buck Shot' tractor to score the runnerup position.  James Helfferich would take the third place podium spot in the class.  In Big Stock Class, John Aufdenkamp would take the title for the Outlaw Pulling Team.  Jeff Robinson would pilot the 'Texas Thunder' tractor to a runnerup finish.  Patrick Bramett would run his 'A Muck' entry to a third place scoring, with James Helfferich taking a fourth place finish. 

Patrick Bramlett pilots his 'Warthog' on a low level pass at the Hunt County Fair.

In Stock Altered, the Colorado based team of Ralph Lauffer would score another one-two finish in the class.  In Super Stock, the Colorado driving duo of Ralph Lauffer and Mark VanBeber would sweep the podium, taking the top three spots in the field.  In Outlaw Class competition, Paul Smith and his 'Texan' tractor would take the title, with Steve Pierce and the 'Buzzards Roost' entry taking the runnerup position. 
Steve Hovind prepares for a hook, aboard the '99% Moody' turbocharged diesel at the Hunt County Fair.

Mini Rod Class action would see Paul Smith taking the top spot, aboard his high winding 'Texan' tractor.  Colby Crowe would use a Full Pull to secure the runnerup spot, aboard his 'Weekend Warrior' tractor.  Steve Hovind would wheel the '99% Moody' turbocharged diesel entry, to a third place finish.    The Super Rod Class tractors would close out the show, with Ken Langham, Sr. taking his 'Psycho' tractor to a wild Full Pull in the closing round to secure the top spot.  Randell Moody would pilot his 'Ridge Runner' tractor, from Blue Ridge, to a runnerup finish.  Ken Langham, Jr. would continue to dial in the 'Sneaky Snake' entry, scoring a third place finish. 
Ken Langham, Sr. rides 'Psycho' to a win at the Hunt County Fair in Greenville.

As the dust and mud settled, the teams in the hunt would look to the score cards to see which teams would leave Hunt County with the Crawford-Smith Bonus Bounty.  In the closest finish of the weekend, Youth Class drivers Tatom Robinson and Lane Duncan would swap the leads with four Full Pulls between the two, with Robinson taking the bounty by a margin of twelve feet aboard 'Yes Deere'.  In OEM Stock Class, the driving tandem of Ken Langham, Jr and Wade Robinson would combine for two wins and the class title.  In Hot Stock, Stetson Bowerman would use a final round Full Pull to seal the deal and take the top prize with 'Instigator'.  In Stock Diesel, Aidan Hovind would use a win and runnerup to take the gold aboard 'Buck Shot', in a close battle with Patrick Bramlett and the 'Warthog' machine.  In Big Stock, John Aufdenkamp would use two wins to lock in the victory and the bonus for the Outlaw Pulling Team.  In Outlaw Class, Paul Smith would ride high in the saddle aboard his 'Texan' tractor, and take the bounty.  In both Stock Altered and Super Stock Class, the Colorado combo of Ralph Lauffer and Mark Vanbeber would take the class wins and the bounty.  In Mini Rod Class, Colby Crowe and his 'Weekend Warrior' would work to use two Full Pulls and two wins to collect the bounty.  In Super Rod Class, it was the 'Psycho' show, with Ken Langham, Sr. wheeling his Bonham Service Center entry to two Full Pulls and two wins to run away with the loot.

The LSGTPA teams will have an extra week off to prepare for the Bonham Heritage Day event, to be held  at the historic Powder Creek Park in Bonham, Texas on May 6th.  As the LSGTPA 2017 Championship Series rolls into the spring, teams will be hoping to pull out of the Bonham Depot with a full head of steam.  For more information on the LSGTPA events, visit www.lsgtpa.com .

Victoria Leigh would perform the National Anthem during the Hunt County Fair LSGTPA event.

Lane Duncan presents Victoria Leigh with an honorary pulling trophy, for her outstanding National Anthem performance at the Hunt County Fair tractor pull.

Keith Pope and Crawford-Smith were on hand to provide track maintenance and support, during the LSGTPA pulling event at the Hunt County Fair.

Sarah Crowe is the LSGTPA 'dealer', as she allows the pullers to draw their hand for running order at the LSGTPA tractor pulls.

Track preparation got a little tricky at the Hunt County Fair.

Randell Moody surveys the track at the Hunt County Fair.

Claude Lewis manages the scales at the LSGTPA tractor pulls, weighing each tractor prior to hooking to the sled.

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