Prairie Pulling League eager to make return trip to Prince Albert in 2020

Fans and drivers mingle in the pit area prior to the start of Thunder in the Pines on Saturday, Aug. 30. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Most Prairie Pulling League drivers weren’t sure what to expect from their inaugural event in Prince Albert.

The PPL staged their final event of the season at the exhibition grounds on Friday and Saturday, and by the end of it they agreed on one thing: the PPL needs to come back to Prince Albert.

“You’re in a long weekend and it’s the first time here, so no one knows what to expect,” PPL head Joe Hoffart said. “I thought for the first year, this is an awesome start to something that could be very big.”

“Loved it to death,” added Marty Sjogren of the Vanouck Pulling Team. “You guys had a great crowd and we had really incredible pulling units there. I’ve been in Prince Albert before years ago. I worked here for a bit, but this is the first time I’ve actually been at the fairgrounds … and the setup you’ve got here is pretty skookum. It is really nice, to be sure.”

Hoffart and Sjogren where two of the many drivers who took to the track on Friday and Saturday, and both came away with wins. Hoffart was a two-time victor, taking top spot in the Super Modified Tractor and Super Mini classes, while Sjogren won the Modified Tractor class.

Afterwards, however, both were eager to talk about the track and the atmosphere rather than their wins.

“This is the best track we’ve ever pulled on,” Hoffart said. “It’s the lowest maintenance track. It hooks hard, uses all the power we got, and it shows. You get good hooks, a good show for the crowd, good speeds, and it shuts down fast at the end, which is what we like to see.”

Saturday marked the final day of action in the 2019 PPL season. Hoffart said it’s been a successful one, largely due to fan response in new venues like Prince Albert.

Both he and Sjogren are eager to see the PPL return to the city in 2020 and build on this year’s success.

“Our goal is to make the show successful so the community can benefit,” Hoffart said. “That’s number one, and then give the fans a good show that they get to see. Coming into the new venues was awesome this year. The sport is growing. It’s awesome. Everything is just falling into place.”

Thunder in the Pines Saturday winners:

Antique/Stock Farm Tractor – Don Anderson

Stock Truck – Scott Larose

4WD – Untangled Two (driven by Barry Wiebe)

Micro Mini – Screamin Demon (driven by Dawson Wiebe)

Modified Mini – Ratified (driven by Brad Bloodoff)

Super Mini – Lethal Injection (driven by Joe Hoffart)

Smoker – Case of Addiction (driven by Tyler Penner)

2WD – Bad Nightmares (driven by Bob Wiebe)

Modified Tractor – Sorcerer (driven by Marty Sjogren)

Super Modified Tractor – Odds ‘n Ends (driven by Joe Hoffart)