St. James hosts National Mini-Micro Tractor Pullers Super Pull

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

On Friday afternoon, the Watonwan County Fairgrounds hosted the annual National Mini-Micro Tractor Pullers Super Pull, with participants from all over the midwest making the trek to compete.

The vehicles, though small in stature (approximately 1/16 the size of an actual tractor), more than made up for their lack of size with roaring engines and squealing tires across the pulling tracks set up at the fairgrounds.

"Yeah, they don't run mufflers," said St. James native Ed Connell, who has been pulling since 1981.

Standard pulling tracks are 2'x24' and typically covered in polyurethane. Each vehicle that pulls gets measured for weight, tire size, and height of the hitch. Vehicles that aren't within the guidelines are disqualified.

Unlimited 6 lb. classes have fewer restrictions and are known to pull in excess of 600 lbs.

Following last year's cancellation due to COVID-19, both the 2019 Super Pull and 2020 Super Pull were held on Saturday. St. James last hosted a Super Pull in 2016.

"It's good because we have everybody within our club here who can make it here that we didn't see at all last year, said Coulter. "So it's nice to have everybody back and competing."

Competitors came from as far as Ohio, Kansas, and Nebraska—as well as other mid-western states— to participate in the pull.

"When I first started doing this, I was surprised at the distances people would travel," said National Micro-Mini Tractor Pullers Association (NMMTPA) President Todd Coulter. "But after doing it, it's just a bunch of crazy people doing it so they'll travel the distance. When I first started, I had a limit of two hours for how far I would go to do it. Then I branched out to three hours and now I have a limit of five hours."

Coulter has been president of the association for three years and has been a part of the organization for the last 16. 

"Everything is faster, we're pulling more on a longer track so it's more entertaining that way if there's a crowd watching and you. When I first started, things weren't nearly as fast. When they first started originally—they call them the creepy crawlers now—they would take 30 to 45 seconds to get down the track until they ran out of fuel or just stopped."

Coulter has seen different types of older sled types up to 1,000 pounds. New designs of sleds can pull up to 600-700 pounds.

Despite COVID-19, many pullers were able to get to the minimum required five sanctioned pulls to qualify for the Super Pull. Sanctioned pulls can have as little as two pullers, but typically see 20-30 pullers show up. 

"We've seen a lot more local pulls where guys will have it in their shop or shed or someplace close-by that it's easy to do and not have to worry about spectators," said Coulter. 

"In previous years, when someone wins the national points in a certain class, a lot of times if you look, its because they went to a lot of pulls. This last year, we had a couple of classes where the guys that were 1-2 in position for national points attended about the same number of pulls... if you go to a lot of pulls, you have a good chance of winning."

Those in the min-micro pulling community constantly looked over points to see the top point-getters battle back and forth.

In the Annual Meeting Pull, Brad Romer of Minnesota earned the most points in both the 5 lb. pro-stock and 4-4 truck pulls. First place in each category earned a puller 12 points. Ellen Jobe earned 12 points in the 3 lb. pro-stock. Mike Corey gained a full 12 points in the two-wheel-drive pull. Ross McGrew finished in both first and second place (11 points) in the unlimited category. Jim Adams won the super stock pull. 

 Connell placed first in the semi-truck pull. 

2019 Super Pull winners (weight pulled includes weight of sled- 50 lbs.):

3lb pro-stock (110 lbs pulled):

1. Jim Adams 13.958 ft.

2. Bill Vote 13.008 ft.

3. Gretchen Corey 12.497 ft.

4. Ellen Jobe 12.463 ft.

5. Duane Newman 11.639 ft.

5 lb pro-stock (170 lbs pulled):

1. Jim Adams 12.772 ft.

2. Jay Lerbs 12.713 ft.

3. Dave Jodrey 12.225 ft.

4. Mark Danielson 12.192 ft.

5. Steve Greil 12.101 ft.

2-wheel drive (250 lbs pulled):

1. Jim Adams 15.280 ft.

2. Dave Jodrey 15.087 ft.

3. Terry Corey 14.600 ft.

4. Duane Newman 12.726 ft.

5. Gary Jobe 12.466 ft.

5 lb. super stock (290 lbs pulled)

1. Warren McCann 14.890 ft.

2. Dave Jodrey 13.976 ft.

3. Jim Adams 12.879 ft.

4. Duane Newman 12.063 ft.

5. Steve Greil 11.566 ft.

4x4

1. Brad Romer 13.892 ft.

2. Rob Heinrich 13.602 ft.

3. Eric Rasmussen 13.303 ft.

4. Gretchen Corey 13.270 ft.

5. Jim Adams 12.996 ft.

Unlimited (355 lbs pulled):

1. Ross McGrew full pull

2. Duane Newman 17.957 ft.

3. Jim Adams 17.815 ft.

4. Dave Jodrey 17.345 ft.

5. Terry Corey 16.928 ft.

Semi (355 lbs, pull-off weight: 430 lbs)

1. Brad Romer full pull (pull-off: full pull)

2. Dave Jodrey full pull ( pull-off: 16.769 ft.)

3. Jim Adams full pull (pull-off: 15.977)

4. Warren McCann 17.065

5. Duane Newman 15.880

2020 Super Pull winners:

3lb pro-stock (110 lbs pulled):

1. Duane Newman 15.274 ft.

2. Jim Adams 14.715 ft.

3. Bill Vote 13.927 ft.

4. Ellen Jobe 13.121 ft.

5. Dave Jodrey 13.105 ft.

5 lb pro-stock (100 lbs., pull-off weight 125):

1. Eric Rasmussen full pull (pull-off 15.469 ft.)

2. Duane Newman full pull (pull-off 15.445 ft.)

3. Jim Adams full pull (pull-off 15.371)

4. Gary Jobe 17.424 ft.

5. Mark Danielson 17.219 ft.

2-wheel drive (250 lbs pulled):

1. Terry Corey 14.737 ft.

2. Jim Adams 14.348 ft.

3. Duane Newman 13.735 ft.

4. Dave Jodrey 13.681 ft.

5. Steve Greil 13.514 ft.

5 lb. super stock (300 lbs pulled)

1. Terry Corey 15.757 ft.

2. Kevin Keech 14.515 ft.

3. Jim Adams 14.333 ft.

4. Jay Lerbs 13.908 ft.

5. Dave Jodrey 13.805 ft.

4x4 (310 lbs. pulled)

1. Brad Romer 15.181 ft.

2. Frank Andrew 13.241 ft.

3. Dave Jodrey 12.713 ft.

4. Alan Reed 12.654 ft.

5. Brad Heinrich 12.468 ft.

Unlimited (360 lbs pulled, pull-off weight: 470):

1. Ross McGrew full pull (pull-off 15.217 ft.)

2. Mike Corey full pull (pull-off 14.383 ft.

3. Dave Jodrey full pull (pull-off 14.292 ft.

4. Duane Newman full pull (pull-off 13.624 ft.)

5. Kevin Keech full pull (pull-off 13.381 ft.)

Semi (520 lbs)

1. Jim Adams 14.679 ft.

2. Warren McCann 13.359 ft.

3. Eric Rasmussen 13.019 ft.

4. Duane Newman 12.126 ft.

5. Duane Newman 11.373 ft.

2021 AMP Winners:

3 lb. pro-stock (110 lbs.)

1. Ellen Jobe (12 pts) 13.030 ft.

2. Jim Adams (11 pts) 12.880 ft.

3. Brad Romer (10 pts) 12.830 ft.

4. Duane Newman (9 pts) 12.480 ft.

5. Mark Danielson (8 pts) 11.970 ft.

5 lb. pro stock (190 lbs)

1. Brad Romer (12 pts) 17.071 ft.

2. Jay Lerbs (11 pts) 15.793 ft.

3. Duane Newman (10 pts) 15.538 ft.

4. Jim Adams (9 pts) 15.536 ft.

5. Steve Greil (8 pts) 15.435

two-wheel-drive (250 lbs)

1. Mike Corey (12 pts) 13.890 ft.

2. Jim Adams (11 pts) 13.210 ft.

3. David Jodrey (10 pts) 12.410 ft.

4. Mike Corey (9 pts) 12.330 ft.

5. Todd Coulter (8 pts) 12.040 ft.

super-stock tractor ( 250 lbs)

1. Jim Adams (12 pts) 13.370 ft.

2. Warren McCann (11 pts) 13.540 ft.

3. Kevin Keech (10 pts) 13.070 ft.

4. Terry Corey (9 pts) 13.040 ft.

5. Cheryl Cooper (8 pts) 12.840 ft.

4x4 trucks (320 lbs)

1. Brad Romer (12 pts) 15.339 ft. 

2. Eric Rasmussen (11 pts) 15.180 ft.

3. Matt Clark (10 pts) 15.037 ft.

4. Brad Heinrich (9 pts) 14.596 ft.

5, David Jodrey (8 pts) 14.392 ft.

Unlimited (355 lbs) (pull-off weight 455)

1. Ross McGrew (12 pts) full pull (pull-off 16.443 ft.)

2. Ross McGrew (11 pts) full pull (pull-off 14.096 ft.)

3. Steve Greil (10 pts) full pull (pull-off 13.738 ft.)

4. Mike Corey (9 pts) full pull (pull-off 12.687 ft.)

5. Kevin Keech (8 pts) full pull (pull-off 1.366 ft.)

semi-truck (505 lbs)

1. Ed Connell (12 pts) 16.507 ft.

2. Brad Romer (11 pts) 16.095 ft.

3. Terry Corey (10 pts) 15.348 ft.

4. David Jodrey (9 pts) 14.576 ft.

5, Jay Lerbs (8 pts) 14.574 ft.