MOUND CITY — Tyler Paddock, 17, of Mound City, is one of the fast-rising stars in the very competitive world of tractor pulling competition in the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association.
The OTTPA is the largest of three national sanctioned tractor pulling associations with 70 events scheduled in 50 cities from Texas to South Dakota annually. More than 350 vehicles are competing in the 16 different truck and tractor classes for 2019.
Tyler is in his first full year of OTTPA competition with his Limited Pro Stock (LPS) tractor In Too Deep. He is in serious contention for Rookie Driver of The Year for the OTTPA, according to veteran pull announcer Dave Bennett of Ninnekah, Okla. Tyler and In Too Deep are currently in third place in the LPS standings at the half way mark for the pulling season.
Brent and Tyler, the father and son Paddock Farms Pulling Team, are campaigning two Limited Pro Stock tractors, each cranking out over 2500 horsepower. (Most farm tractors would develop less than 300 horsepower).
Brent is currently ranked first in the OTTPA with Diggin Deep Deere.
“We have pulled Diggin Deep Deere for four years and have the “bugs” worked out and the tractor is really dialed in,” Tyler said. “We have been building my tractor, In Too Deep, for the past three years. This is the first year of completion with it. It has plenty of power.
“Now we are fine-tuning the weight distribution to keep the front end from bouncing,” he said. “Hopefully I can get my first win on it at Mound City. But I’ll have to beat Dad and 10 to 12 other good Limited Pro Stock tractors that will be here Aug. 4th.”
To say Dave Bennett is a fan of young Tyler Paddock would be an understatement. Bennett began announcing tractor pulls in 1980 and has announced events in 46 of the 48 states, all four Canadian Provinces, Australia twice and the invitation only National Pull at Louisville, Ky., the Super Bowl of truck and tractor pulls.
“I watched Tyler make his first pull three years ago. Since then he has honed his skills in smaller competitions and can definitely drive with the ‘Big Dogs’ of the pulling world,” Bennett said. “Tyler has mastered handling the clutch slippage and the throttle at the so important start of the pull. Once he gets rolling down the track, he has only one thing on his mind. That’s pulling the sled out the gate.”
Despite his early success, Tyler remains very humble and appreciative of not only his family’s support but that of his fellow competitors, Bennett said.
“It takes a small village behind the scene to succeed in most any endeavor in life. Tyler Paddock gets that and that makes me happy,” the veteran announcer said.
When asked about the highlight of his pulling season so far, Tyler responded “Definitely the Ravenna, Neb., pull June 14 and 15. Dad and Mom (Brent and Lori) stayed home to get the farming caught up due to all the wet weather.
“At 17, I am not legal to drive a big rig. Our friend Cody Yarrick (of the David Yarrick pulling family, Rich Hill, Mo.) drove our semi-truck with me and both tractors to Ravenna,” Tyler said. “I won first both nights on Dad’s tractor Diggin Deep Deere and seventh and third on my tractor, In Too Deep. Thanks to my uncle, Doug Paddock, who lives in Nebraska and the Yarricks (who compete in a different class) that helped me out.”
Tyler, a 2019 graduate of Jayhawk Linn High School in Mound City, will attend Kansas State University in the fall with plans to major in agronomy. He is a recipient of an OTTPA scholastic scholarship.
Make plans to attend the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the 2019 Linn County Fairgrounds to watch hometown pullers Tyler and Brent Paddock compete against drivers from five states.
For more information, go to www.linn countyfair.org or Linn County Fair and Rodeo on Facebook.