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Antique Tractor Pull provides old-school fun

Antique Tractor Pull provides old-school fun


A slew of antique tractors, some with rust and faded color, filled the Motorsports Track at the Nebraska State Fair on Friday morning.

The antique tractor pull still brought a crowd, despite the scattered showers and overcast weather.

Participants were to not go faster than three miles per hour, otherwise they were penalized with a horn. They pulled tons of weight on the packed down mud on the track. The goal was to pull the sled as far as they could. Competitors went the distance.

Russ Barth, 70, of Doniphan competed in the tractor pull with orange Allis-Chalmers tractors. He has a collection of about 25 of the tractors, five which he brought to the State Fair.

Barth said he’s been pulling tractors since about 1995. He used to be into stock cars, he said, but then switched over to tractors. Barth competes in pulls around the country and has won national championships. Last year in Michigan at the national championships, he won.

His favorite part about tractor pulling is “the competition,” Barth said. “It’s a good bunch of guys to be around. It’s fun.”

Barth pulled with a 1937 and 1953 Allis-Chalmers.

Zach Wallgren, 20, of Aurora has been doing tractor pulls for about a year. His girlfriend’s grandpa, LaVern Rentschler, 81, of Smith Center, Kansas got Wallgren started in it. Wallgren and Rentschler both pulled on Friday. Rentschler has been doing tractor pulls since about 1990, he said.

Wallgren said he likes doing tractor pulls because he gets to be around “great people” and a “great atmosphere.”

Rentschler said the sport is fun and always offers a surprise.

“What works today won’t work tomorrow,” he said.

He also said the tractor pull community is supportive.

“This bunch of people is like family,” Rentschler said. “you’ve always got someone to help you out.”

In the 3,000 stock class, Russ Barth took first with 147 feet and 7.56 inches. Zach Wallgren took second with 118 feet and 7.44 inches. For a full list of results, visit

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I cover the towns and counties surrounding Grand Island, Nebraska. Have a good story? Send it my way.

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