EAST AMWELL – Will there be a third-time winner in the Truck Pull at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair?
Marc Wirasnik, 27, of Franklin Township (Hunterdon) hopes so. He came in first at the 2017 fair, pulling the weighted sled just over 357 feet, well past the end of the 300-foot long clay track. He was also the 2015 winner using the same 2005 Chevy Duramax diesel.
Two other past winners are hoping they’ll be in the winner’s circle instead. Louis Sloboda of Buttzville, Warren County, was the 2016 winner and came in second last year with his 2008 Ford F-250. Alec Roberts, a friend and neighbor of Wirasnik, won the 2014 contest with his 2005 GMC Sierra 2500 and took third last year. All three are entered this year, with their same trucks.
A Raritan Township man, Tom Fratesi, came in fourth at Hunterdon last year, making it 312.8 feet.
Trying for his first win is Dylan Greene, 18, of Delaware Township. His 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 pulled the sled 299.2 feet for fifth last year. He took a fourth pulling July 31 at the Warren County Farmers Fair, while Wirasnik competed in two classes, placing second in both. Greene called Wirasnik and Roberts “tough competition” noting “they got 20 feet on me at Warren.”
The Hunterdon truck event will be held as part of the evening farm tractor pull on Aug. 22, the fair’s opening day. That pull is the only event of the fair with a separate fee, $5 a person to sit in the bleachers. All the other shows and contests, including the daytime tractor pull, are included in admission which is $10 per vehicle for parking. There is no per-person charge.
Wirasnik said he planned to pull at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, and probably at some events in Pennsylvania in September. It’s a great hobby but being handy with tools is essential because pulling puts a lot of stress on a trucks and parts often break.
His main endeavor is serving as the senior farm equipment operator and grounds manager at America’s Grow-a-Row, the nonprofit in Union Township that raises produce for area food banks serving the needy.