Photos: Kids compete in first junior tractor pull of 2024

Kids starred in the Long Island Antique Power Association’s first junior tractor pull of 2024 on the organization’s grounds on Sound Ave. in Riverhead Sunday. Despite a dry track making traction tricky, the winner, Michael Barry of Patchogue crossed the line pulling 1,875 pounds.

At 12 years old, he’s already an accomplished driver, having been behind the wheel since the age of 5. His mother, Adriana Barry, said he also drives an ’87 Mac Steelnose in the truck pulls and races with the Bandoleros at the Riverhead Raceway.

Michael Barry goes ‘wheels up’ in his junior tractor pull win Sunday. (Daniel Franc photo)

“Tractors are nice because it takes more work, less skill,” Michael said. “You have to win in the garage before you show up.”

Coming in second on his 1985 John Deere 318 — technically his step-sister Dakota’s — was 7-year-old Jason Yeager of Aquebogue. Dad Brad Yeager said his son has been driving since he was 4 and “he loves his video games, but is definitely a tractor kid.” He said Jason’s been bugging him to drive their big tractor in an upcoming parade.

Photos by Daniel Franc

After finishing his announcer duties, President of Long Island Antique Power Association, Ed Yeager, said this is the second year of the junior pulling league. The league plans to run kids tractor pulls once a month with dates set for July 28, Aug. 10 and Sept. 22. Mr. Yeager said the big event for the kids is in August, which takes place at night under the lights, where he lines the kids up with their tractors and announces them all individually before they line up for the pull.

The next LIAPA event is a truck pull set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 28.