Start your engines: Truck pull brings in the spectators at fair

Trucks line up Friday to compete in the 4-Wheel Drive Outlaw Gas Truck Pull at the Fonda Fair track. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

FONDA — Brute power was on display, as vehicles from throughout the region competed twice Friday in the 4-Wheel Drive Outlaw Gas Truck Pull during the afternoon and evening at the Fonda Fair.

The Track of Champions was home to two pull competitions, which were expected to attract hundreds to the events, as well as the 177th Fonda Fair.

“It’s a contest to see who can pull the sled the furthest,” truck pull organizer Billy Yurkewicz said during Friday afternoon’s pull. “We expect more here tonight.”

Yurkewicz said some trucks come from businesses, and others are just owned by private citizens showing off the might of their personal vehicles.

“It’s awesome to see,” 13-year-old Joey Ralston said of the pull. “Some of these trucks are really neat and some of them must be pretty expensive.”

Tony Cruz of Little Falls in his 2001 Dodge Ram begins his pull in the Stock Class during the 4-Wheel Drive Outlaw Gas Truck Pull Friday afternoon at the Fonda Fair track. He ended up pulling the sled 305 feet. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The 4-Wheel Drive Outlaw Gas Truck Pull events Friday at the fair were sponsored by High Country Hardscape, Apollo Northeast, and 4 Sight.

Yurkewicz said the truck pulls have been part of the Fonda Fair for the past 20 years. He said they are a lot of fun, as the announcer called out the trucks and their owners who took turns pulling the sled down the track 300 feet or more.

Friday afternoon’s truck pull had three classes on the card — stock, street mods and enhanced. The crowd was asked to cheer for their favorite types of trucks, for example, Fords or Chevys.

Those who pulled the furthest won trophies for coming in first, second and third.

Eleven pickup trucks — some weighing more than 6,500 pounds — competed in Friday’s afternoon event. Motors revved up, as the trucks got in line to wait their turns. Then it was all about a different kind of pure weight. Truck engines were pushed to the max as they pulled sleds down the dirt tracks.

The midway of the Fonda Fair is seen Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Truck and tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a motorsport competition that has become increasingly popular in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Brazil, and New Zealand which requires modified tractors to pull a heavy sled along a 35-foot wide, 3300-foot long track.

More vehicles are due to be on display today at the Fonda Fair, especially with the fair’s annual Demolition Derby. The mayhem begins at noon today with a Large Car Heat.

Other attractions today at the fair include: Fonda Fair Mud Run: Dirty Monty; Open Hunt Seat Horse Show; 4-H Sheep Show & Meat & Fiber Goat Show; 4-H Dairy Judging Contest; Rabbit Hopping Contest; Baby Contest: 3 & 4 year olds; Farm Bureau Giant Ice Cream Sundae; Open Sheep Show & Meat & Fiber Goat Show; Monster Truck Rides; Monster Truck Meet & Greet; Monster Trucks; and fireworks at 9 p.m.

Today’s fair offers a $25 unlimited ride wristband that is good until closing. The midway opens at noon.

The fair runs through Labor Day on Monday.

A full schedule of fair events and daily attractions can be found online at

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at