Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gordyville Recap

The Bulldog (Art Downs), Krystal Clifton, Butch Krieger and myself!
The winter months are among us and that only means one thing, pulling season is getting closer.  This past weekend The Midwest Winternationals were held at Gordyville USA in Gifford, Illinois.  Five years ago, I made my debut as one of the announcers of this event.  The growth the event has seen over the last few years is quite remarkable and is a true testament to the hard work and passion of Whats Smokin Promotions.

In my perception this event began as a stepping stone for those in classes that had qualified for the National Farm Machinery Show.  For those competing in classes that were not contested at the NFMS, this was a great chance to break up the monotony of the cold winter and get excited to go pulling.  In the past few years my perception of the event has changed as National Champions are arriving in large amounts to fight to win the Midwest Winternationals.  

Whats Smokin Promotions continues to bring innovation to the sport  in way of the track and the methodology they use to bring the tractors in and out of the arena.  From the minute the tractor leaves it's pit spot to the minute it arrives at the sled, it has been handled by several different tractor operators. Observing the pit area and watching the tractors fly through it with such precision is truly remarkable.  The track is one of the most consistent that I have ever seen as the last hook and the first hook are both given a fair opportunity to win.  

I love going to Gordyville as it gives me a chance to see pulling machines that I have never seen compete before.  Several vehicles truly caught my eye this year and I wanted to highlight a few. 

Hy-Strung of Brice Terry- Photo by Adam Draudt
Brice Terry's Hy-Strung D-21- Wow folks this tractor is a thing of beauty.  If I could have given a best appearing tractor for the weekend, my vote would have gone for this Missouri based Light Super.  Brice is a competitor with the Outlaws and will be in the Light Super Stock class at the National Farm Machinery Show.

Dustin Hart's Beyond Limits- Photo by Adam Draudt
Dustin Hart Beyond Limits-  Dustin made his debut of this tractor on Wednesday nights test night at Gordyville.  Wednesday night was only the beginning as the first night of competition this Case MX series International won it's qualifier to the finals.  What a beautiful tractor and the Hart's of course how made it one potent piece of machinery. 

I met Adam Draudt, a great photographer from New York for the first time this weekend.  Adam was shooting photos with Dick Morgan of Pulloff.com and travels to quite a few pulls in the summer to shoot photos as well.  Adam's photo galleries are posted on Facebook if you would like to look at them further.  The three photos in this blog post were posted by Adam from this weekends action..

As an added treat this year, I got to introduce my father Butch Krieger to Gordyville.  Dad came up as the third announcer with me and the Bulldog Art Downs.  I feel so lucky to be able to share the microphone not only with my father but also Art.  While my dad has been traveling on the National circuit, Art Downs has been capturing the hearts of the people of Illinois for years.  Art took a chance in working with me in 2006 and has taught me so very much about the sport, not just about announcing but also how these machines work.  What a weekend in Gordyville and congrats to the winners, Whats Smokin Crew and Klint Tucker for taking a dream and making it a reality!  

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