This is one of those stories that I quite frankly admit that I didn’t care to have to write, but it was time to do it. After recent events at a pull I attended, the issue had to be explored, had to come to light.
Let me preface this story with this comment: The activities of a few should NEVER cast a shadow upon an event, promoter or the other pullers that had nothing to do with the activity. It is however the activities of the few that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth from top to bottom and it should be directly attributed to the person who committed the crime, and no one else.
The first time I was ever around a tractor that had been tampered with was owned by grandfather’s mechanic some 25 years ago. The mechanic, owning a very stout 88 Oliver, had done well in his early classes but at some point in the evening someone had found means to put sugar in his fuel tank. In his own words “The S.O.B. ran good ‘til I got sabotaged.” For whatever reason I remember that as clear as day, probably because I added S.O.B. to my vocabulary that day, and my dad soon removed it. Moving on...
Tampering comes in many forms, from something as simple as messing with tire pressure to pulling wires off a tractor. One puller recently told me that his chains and boomers were taken off his trailer, which is just a higher lever of tampering in outright theft. There are any number of scenarios, and none of them are good. Most everyone reading this has heard of something sabotaged or has had it done to them.
What lies underneath this is the current is someone putting a chink in the armor of what is one of the last few sportsmanlike of motorsports. From drag racing to dirt tracks to Sprint Cup, you have to watch your back. Pulling has largely avoided that stigma, especially at those events we cover here at The HOOK. I don’t think that is the case now, but in my own estimation you have to speak out about misuse and abuse early to get it stopped before it runs rampant.
I don’t know what possesses folks to do something like this, but it is pretty obvious: tampering with a vehicle is the highest level of cowardice in motorsports, period. My advice to them is simply, sell your tractor, and don’t come back. Your brand of kicks is unwanted and unneeded in this or any other motorsport. If you are afraid of getting beat, then take your licks and find some means to get better. Become a better driver, a better track reader, do something other than messing with other people’s stuff. A victory gained by those means is not a victory at all; it is a farce.