Purchase photos

Classic tractor race 'like watching paint dry'

9/9/2012

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Nobody told the drivers in the slow-poke tractor race at the third annual Old Iron Classic Antique Tractor Show Saturday that the race is to the swift.

For them the opposite was true as they inched two by two toward the finish line.

"So far it's like watching paint dry," said Jan Davis of Kensington.

Gary Warden placed first in the event. With the wheels of his tractor barely moving, he was still "racing" to the finish line while two other heats finished around him.

The youngest competitor, Nicole Dreiling, 7, guided a 1951 John Deere to a second-place finish. Her sister Kylie, 8, also raced.

They're the daughters of John and Bonnie Dreiling, Hays.

Their siblings didn't race, but they could have.

"We've got more tractors," Bonnie Dreiling said.

Danna Rigg, Cheyenne Wyo., probably came the greatest distance, and had the most unusual entry in the slow poke race.

This is the second year the group of six from Wyoming has attended the event.

"We all have such a good time."

Rigg drove an eyecatching pink 1952 John Deere MT, which stands for model tricycle.

"It's a tricycle because of the front tires," she said.

Her sister died of cancer, and five years ago she and her husband Ron, restored the tractor and painted it pink in her honor.

It sported a pink steering wheel cover and flew the U.S. and Wyoming state flags in front.

It's not very powerful, but she's entered tractor pulls and used it to plow, Rigg said.

"We've hauled it quite a few places."

She lost her heat, but won the crowd's attention.

Jan Davis' husband, "Tractor Bob" entered an unstyled wide front "H" tractor, one of only three in existence, she said.

He won the heat, but didn't place in the overall running.

Tractor Bob also brought the "candy cannon," an unusual looking implement attached to a small tractor. Using compressed air, the cannon shot candy out to waiting youngsters every 30 minutes.

"He's a ham," Davis said of her husband. "He says the kids have almost as much fun as I do."

The Tractor Show marked the John Deere 175th anniversary and the Hays branch of Carrico Implement's 10th anniversary. It also included a kids pedal tractor pull, parade of antique tractors and rides by Sunflower Clydesdales.