SAUK RAPIDS -- The tractor pull pulled in quite the crowd at the Benton County Fair on Friday night.

Hundreds packed the grandstands to see souped-up tractors pull 40,000 to 80,000 pounds as far as they can.

It was a big night for Sauk Rapids native Mark Helgeson, of the Central Minnesota Pullers.

"It's fun and loud," says Helgeson, who installed a WWII airplane engine into his tractor.

"I enjoy working on it, fixing it so it keeps running, but I enjoy twisting the throttle."

Helgeson's teammate, Kevin Mielke of Rice, parlayed his lifelong love of working on cars to working on tractors and has been competing in events for almost 40 years.

"My wife says it's really bad that [my] work and [my] hobby is the same thing," Mielke says, laughing.

"It's a thrill, it really is."

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON