Longtime voice behind tractor pull at National Farm Machinery Show plans to retire | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Championship Tractor Pull kicks off Wednesday night inside Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center. It’s one of the signature events of the National Farm Machinery Show.

The show began back in the 1960s. Since then, there have only been nine announcers for the tractor pulls.

The show’s current announcer is Oklahoma resident Dave Bennett, who has been the voice behind the Championship Tractor Pull since 2008.

“Being number nine, that’s a notch nobody can take away from me,” said Bennett. “That’s a spot nobody can take and it’s very, very meaningful to me.”

Bennett said he was shocked when he got the call more than a decade ago from the Kentucky State Fair Board asking him to become the announcer for the pulls in Louisville.

“It was hard to control my emotions,” he said.

Over the years, Bennett has announced competitors, kept the crowds excited, and been the voice that breaks up all the noise of the loud machines that fill Freedom Hall.

“There’s nothing scripted about this show. This show is 1,000% competition,” he said.

Bennett has been around the sport since 1976 and said Louisville is the big show everyone looks forward to.

“This is the Super Bowl. There’s no other rungs on the latter,” he said. “I’ve toured Australia, I’ve done shows in every state in the continental United States, but this is Louisville. I’m doing the Super Bowl.”

He said it takes him about one month to prepare, once he gets the list of participants from the National Farm Machinery Show. But this time around, he said could be his last, as he phases into retirement.

Dave Bennett, Championship Tractor Pulls

“I have made that announcement, but I’ve been told by the powers that be that we’ll have a discussion at the end of the week,” Bennett said. “But I do plan on this being my last show but I ain’t making it official until I talk to the powers that be.”

He said it’s been a good run, and he wants to end it on a high note.

“I do want to go out on top. I don’t want to be faltering when I do step aside and I do feel like I’m on top,” he said.

Other announcers will be with him at this show, with plans to take over in future years. Bennett says he’ll continue coming back, but just taking on the role of a fan.

“My plan is sitting in those seats next year and just seeing how the new young guns do this,” he said.

Bennett is also dedicated to inspiring young pullers, turning it over to the next generation to keep the history of the sport running.

“There’s going to be pullers pulling here that are 70, almost 80 years old that are still king of the hill,” he said. “But they’re not going to be king of the hill forever. It’s got to be, what I refer to, as the young guns.”

The National Farm Machinery Show runs Feb. 16-19 at the Kentucky Expo Center. For event information, click here.

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