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Tractor, truck pulls put engines to the test

Tractor, truck pulls put engines to the test

“White Lightening” drags a weighted sled through Food Maxx Arena on Sunday during the Truck and Tractor Pulls at the Stanislaus County Fair.

POSTED July 17, 2012 10:06 p.m.

The sun was out but the heat wasn’t a factor at the Stanislaus County Fair on Sunday. To compensate, people from across the Valley and beyond piled into the Food Maxx Arena for high octane entertainment at the Truck and Tractor Pulls.

“There’s something about the adrenaline rush when you take off down the track,” driver Mark Zohns said. “There’s nothing like it.”

Spectators witnessed an array of machines, equipped with multiple engines and a host of other modifications, compete in 11 different classes as they each attempted to drag the 44,000 pound sled the furthest. For some drivers the pulls are a hobby but for others it’s a passion, rooted in years of tradition and love for the sport.

Zohns is one such driver. The San Luis Obispo native designed, built and drove two tractors for Sunday’s 72,000 pound modified class — the Semper Fi and Bale Out. With 13 years of competition under his belt, Sunday was just another chance to show off his workmanship and vie for the number one spot.

“This is two years of my life,” Zohns said as he pointed to his tractor. “There’s an excitement about making the machine perform the best it can.”

Semper Fi, with its twin marine helicopter engines and combined 2,800 horsepower, provided the crowd with the most excitement of Zohns’ two tractors, earning him a 3rd place finish.

Sunday wasn’t just about tractors though. The trucks, although not as powerful as the tractors, seemed to please the crowd just as much as any of the machines, particularly the 6,200 modified class.

Oakdale’s Jason Titsworth brought his California Flash to the fairground for said class. The polished big block Chevrolet not only pleased the eyes of those in attendance with its polished white paint and comic art, but it also tore up the track and fed those who wanted to see raw power.

“I’ve grown to love the sport as well as the people and promoters involved,” Titsworth said. “It’s a good family sport.”

Although Titsworth didn’t finish in first place he did take second place, showcasing seven years of pulling competition and know how.

Arena action continues at the Stanislaus County Fair with Valley Stock Tractor Pullers at 6:30 p.m. today, followed by CCPRA Rodeo on Thursday, Flat Track Motorcycles on Friday, Motocross/QuadCross and Pee Wee Bikes on Saturday and Mud Bog and Lawn Mower Races on Sunday. For ticket information, visit

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