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Pullers put on a show
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Tony McDonald, Darlington, finished in second place in the Hot Farm class of the Badger State Tractor Pull at the Green County Fair Thursday.
MONROE - The Badger State Tractor Pull at the Green County Fair was filled with power, engine flare ups, rain and oil spills.

There were 11 area pullers in five classes at the tractor pull Thursday night. The tractor pull remains a signature event of the Green County Fair, and it packed the grandstands again this year.

"It's a popular sport," said Steve Digman, Green County Fair vice president and superintendent of the amphitheater. "Everyone likes to see the smoke, power of the tractors and see the wheels spin."

Tony McDonald, Darlington, finished second in the 466 Hot Farm class with a pull of 303 feet, 23 inches. Andy Cartwright, Big Bend, won the Hot Farm class with a pull of 308.65. John Meier Sr., Juda was third (302.97), Lee Ruf, Darlington was fifth and Craig Whitaker, Monroe finished with a pull of 285.75.

"It means a lot," McDonald said of being in contention for the title. "We have a tremendous amount of competition in our class. We have been between three or four feet every pull."

McDonald said he was satisfied with his pull even though he didn't win the title.

"The Badger State group is an awesome group to be around," McDonald said. "First-class tractors and first-class people."

For John Anderson, Monroe, competing on his home track turned into a disaster when his engine blew up and he couldn't make it down the track in the Light Limited Super Stock class.

"Nothing lasts forever," Anderson said after his engine blew up.

The Anderson family pulling team includes a crew of 10 people including John's brother, Rich Anderson, his father, Ronnie Anderson and his two sons Jay and Brad Anderson.

"The tractor has 10 times the factory horsepower," John said. "The tractor is stressed. It's depressing anywhere because of the cost."

Mark Wyttenbach, Sauk City, won the Light Limited Super Stock with a pull of 301.75, which was 0.15 inches ahead of runner-up Danny Frey, Sauk City (301.60).

Larry Hawthorn, Monroe, who helps build the track for the pull has been involved in tractor pulling for 49 years.

Hawthorn, who has been involved with the pull at the Green County Fair for at least 30 years, said he couldn't pull this year since his tractor broke down.

"It's going to be hard sitting here and not pulling," Hawthorn said.

However, he still enjoys getting the track prepared for the pull.

"The most challenging aspect is to get the best biting track you can get," he said.

The tractor pull was cut short by the storm that rolled through Green County Thursday. Final results from other races were not available at press time.