Machinery put to the test at speedway

Drivers enjoy competition while putting on a show
By: 
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano County Fair truck and tractor pull brought competitors and fans from around the area to Shawano Speedway on Wednesday night .

Most drivers slowly worked their machines down the straightaway with the eliminator in tow in front of the speedway’s grandstand. A select few were able to move down the track with a great deal of speed to the delight of the crowd before eventually running out of steam.

Some competitors were registered in the event to try and showcase their powerful machines and win their classes. Others were just hoping to enjoy the unique experience and try and turn the heads of the fans.

Bonnie Lettau, of Clintonville, was one of the competitors hoping to squeeze every ounce of fun she could out of the event.

Sporting a colorful, can’t-miss outfit, Lettau competed in the C class, cheering her John Deere tractor on as she worked her way down the track. She also did her best to fire the crowd up along the way, hooting and hollering and waving her arms.

Her actions perked up the crowd, leaving many fans chuckling and with smiles on their faces.

“I like to see all the people in the stands and the people that are out by the tractors. And I like to wear my hat and my fancy get-up, wave to everybody and cheer my tractor on,” said Lettau, who was introduced to tractor pulling when she was about 5 years old.

“I don’t care if I win, I’m just out there to put on a show and have a good time.”

Many of the competitors were ones who had participated at Shawano in the past.

Arlen Baumann, of De Pere, was one of those individuals. He said he has been tractor pulling for about 10 years and that Shawano was his favorite place to come to pull.

“It’s kind of been a family tradition. The competition, camaraderie and being with friends and family when you are out here. It’s all about having fun and seeing how you do,” said Baumann.

The pulling started around 7 p.m., with competitors having to weigh in their machines prior to hitting the track.

sports@newmedia-wi.com