XENIA — The noise from the 572 cubic inch engine would kickstart anybody’s heart, but Xenia truck and tractor pull veteran Marshall Foiles drives his “Kickstart My Heart” pulling truck for another reason.
“I had a heart attack four years ago, and they had to resuscitate me twice to bring me back,” Foiles said. He’d just finished his run in Friday night’s Two Wheel Drive division of the Greene County Fair Truck and Tractor Pull.
Foiles, 56, wrestled his truck 266 feet - 6 inches to finish ninth in the division, but the co-owner of Buckminn’s D&D Harley-Davidson was still smiling with his wife, Michelle, and several friends and family members after the competition. His kids named his truck and designed the logo that fans see on the truck’s side panels.
“For me, the best part of it is that I’m out here with all my friends who enjoy doing this, too,” Foiles said. “I’ve been struggling with some mechanical issues, so that’s not a typical run for us. We’ll fix it eventually and get back to pulling where we should be.”
Foiles has been involved in truck and tractor pulls for 22 years, but after his heart attack, he decided to put together a Bucket List.
“Race With the Big Boys” was on of the first items he wrote on the list, and the Two Wheel Drive Division has plenty of them.
Defending Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association champion and former national champion Jeff Writsel was on hand, as was his dad, Ryan, another OSTPA champion and national title holder. Foiles said the Writsel family has three national titles to their credit, Dick McPherson, a Circleville driver who finished just ahead of Foiles, has two national titles to his credit, and the fifth-place finishing Shawn Williams, of Croton, is also a national champ.
“These truly are some of the nation’s best, right here in Ohio. And this tractor pull event has plenty of talent right here,” Foiles said. “The Writsels — with their Lucky Stryke, and At It Again trucks — are currently ranked fourth and seventh in the country. So, to race in this tractor pull, you’re truly racing against some of the country’s best.
“I just really enjoy being a part of it all.”
Jeff Writsel currently leads the OSTPA Two Wheel Drive points standings. Current points runner up Russell Nichols, of Lore City, won Friday’s Two Wheel Drive event with a 318 foot-4 inch pull. The Writsels, of Orient, finished second and third.
The competition pulls for the Light-Limited Pro Stock, Pro Stock, and Modified classes had yet to finish, as of presstime, but Magnolia, Ohio’s Jeremy Lee had piloted his “Disposable Income” tractor to a 320-ft. pull to grab the early lead in that division.
Results will run in this paper as soon as they become available.
The Greene County Fair Pull is the OSTPA Series’ 18th event of a 35-pull schedule that runs through September. Most all of the Greene County competitors were expected to be pulling at the Medina County Fair pull, in Medina, Ohio today.
John Bombatch is the sports editor for Greene County Newspapers. He can be reached at 372-4444 ext. 131.