By John Teagarden
Mound City’s Tyler Paddock is one of the fast-rising stars in the very competitive world of tractor pulling competition in the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association (OTTPA).
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 Paddock, just 17-years-old, is in his first full year of OTTPA competition with his Limited Pro Stock (LPS) tractor named In To Deep.
He is in serious contention for Rookie Driver of The Year for the OTTPA, according to veteran pull announcer Dave Bennett, Ninnekah, Oklahoma.
Tyler and In To 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 2,500 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 To Deep, for the past three years. This is the first year of competition with it. It has plenty of power,” Tyler insisted.
“Now we are fine tuning the weight distribution to keep the front end from bouncing. Hopefully, I can get my first win on it at Mound City. But I’ll have to beat Dad and 10-12 other good Limited Pro Stock tractors that will be at Mound City Aug 4th.”
Meanwhile, to say that 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 Providences, Australia twice and the invitation only National Pull at Louisville, Kentucky, 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,” Bennett insisted.
“However, despite his early successes, Tyler has remained very humble and appreciative of not only his family support but also that of his fellow competitors,” the veteran announcer credited. “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.”
When asked about the highlight of his pulling season so far, Tyler responded: “Definitely the Ravenna, Nebraska, pull June 14 and 15. Dad and mom stayed home to get the farming caught up due to all of the wet weather.
“At 17, I am not legal to drive a big rig. Our friend Cody Yarrick of the David Yarrick pulling family at Rich Hill, Missouri, drove our semi-truck with me and both tractors to Ravenna.
“I won first both nights on dad’s tractor Diggin Deep Deere as well as seventh and third with my tractor, In To Deep. Thanks to my uncle, Doug Paddock, who lives in Nebraska and the Yarrick’s who compete in a different class for helping me out.”
Tyler Paddock, a 2019 graduate of Jayhawk Linn High School, Mound City, will attend Kansas State University this fall with plans to major in agronomy. He is a recipient of an OTTPA scholastic scholarship.
He’ll be competing against drivers from five states in the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull at the 2019 Linn County Fair in Mound City on Sunday evening, Aug. 4, at 7 o’clock.
Information can be found at www.linncountyfair.org, and on Facebook.