The New Wayne County Fair in Fairfield, Illinois has been billed as the Southern Illinois Summer Heat for years, but in 2012, the name truly reflected the way it felt outside.  Fans from throughout Southern Illinois and the surrounding communities packed the stands in the face of Mother Nature to watch four crowd pleasing classes of competition on Saturday Night.  The featured classes on the schedule for the kickoff to the New Wayne County Fair were: Super Farm Tractors, smoke throwing Premier Crop Insurance Pro Stock Tractors, high flying Optima Battery Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks, and Earth shaking E-3 Sparkplug Super Modified Tractors.  

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https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gifThe Super Farm Tractors kicked things off on the Air Dog Track with International fans claiming the first victory of the night on the strong shoulders of young Clay Darnell.  Clay picked up his first ever Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour victory on board the ever consistent Maximum Overdrive out of Cynthiana, Kentucky.  The win was on the heels of a strong showing at Salem, Indiana and gave Darnell the early points lead.  Less than a foot behind the winning distance was the always potent Real Deere of Justin Wagler from Morgantown, Indiana.  Wagler appears to be in mid season form in the early going of the season and currently sits second in the Champions Tour points.  The third place finishing position went to Marshall, Illinois’ Blaine Fraker.  The Agitator John Deere claimed the lead and made the early hook pay off in the form of a third place finish and valuable points for Fraker. 

On the Lucas Oil track, the Premier Crop Insurance Pro Stock Tractors gave the fans a thrill with nineteen of the nation’s best tractors vying for top honors in Fairfield.  With an early hook in the class, the recently debuted TS Performance Young Buck claimed the early lead and never let the title out of it’s grasp.  The duo of Brad Moss and Miles Stratton took the win back to the farm in Schochoh, Kentucky and carry strong momentum heading into the big sweep next week.  Eddyville, Iowa’s Bryce VanGenderen was hot on the B&M Motorsports team’s heals but had to settle for a strong second with the Geared Green John Deere.  Mixing it up with the youngsters in the front was veteran puller Don Masterson and his Tinker Toy John Deere.  Masterson of Grandview, Indiana secured a top three sweep for the John Deere fans filling the stands.

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After the smoke settled on the Air Dog and Lucas Oil Tracks, it was time to bring the noise to the capacity crowd in Fairfield.  The Optima Battery Super Modified Two Wheel Drive Trucks brought the noise to the Air Dog track in a hurry with Jared Nelson and his Midnight Revenger roaring to a leading distance of 334.91.  Nelson hit the nail on the head with his setup and anxiously stood at the finish line waiting to watch the remaining ten competitors throw everything they had at him.  The Revenger got a big scare from his teammate John Mumma and his After Midnight Chevy SSR.  Mumma finished just seven tenths of a foot away from claiming his third Champions Tour win of the season.  Right behind Mumma was Craig Corzine, making his Champions Tour debut with his newly built Burn Notice Chevy Colorado.  Corzine, who is also from the state of Illinois helped complete a sweep of the top three for the Illinois Boys with a late hook in the class. 

On the Lucas Oil track the E-3 Sparkplug Super Modified Tractors were showcasing the raw power of 10,000 screaming horses.  Claiming top honors was Ansonia, Ohio’s Darrick Barga and the turbine powered Apache.  Barga seemed to float across the track in front of the grandstand and claimed the most impressive win of his career with a distance twenty five feet further than his nearest competitor.  Fighting hard to chase Barga down was North Collins, New York’s Joe Eder and his Hemi powered 75th Edition.  Eder came from late in the class to grab the runner-up position from Wayne Sullivan.  Sullivan had a picture perfect pass as the option puller on board his triple Hemi powered Kentuckian.  Team Sullivan couldn’t have been more thrilled with the run and as their fellow competitors continued to come up short of them, they realized just how awesome their run was with the Warsaw, Kentucky based tractor.  The win for Barga was his second on the Champions Tour.

The Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League will continue it’s sweep across the Land of Lincoln with events planned for Thursday July 12th and Friday July 13th in Freeport, Illinois, before heading to Henry, Illinois on Saturday July 14th for America’s Pull.  The nation’s premier league will conclude the four day sweep of competition in Knoxville, Iowa at historic Knoxville Raceway on Sunday July 15th.

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