June 30, 2001

For Immediate Release
Contact person:  Bill Dailey (501) 315-7373
Email: purplehull@juno.com
Web site: www.purplehull.com

Results of the PurpleHull Pea Festival's World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, sponsored by our good friends at WILLAMETTE, with the two racing lanes sponsored by our good friends at  P & A MANAGEMENT and WOODWARD FORD LINCOLN MERCURY :

Frazier Wins Tiller Title in the Mud


   Mud is kind to Kenneth Frazier.

   For the second time in three years Frazier, 27, of Stephens, Arkansas, won the Willamette 200 World Championship Rotary Tiller Race under less than ideal conditions.

   The tiller race is the feature event of the Emerson, Arkansas PurpleHull Pea Festival, held each year on the last Saturday in June.

   Just as in 1999, when Frazier last won the title, rain plagued the festival and turned the tiller track into a stretch of plowed ground possessing a consistency roughly equivalent to that of peanut butter.

   In the three hours prior to the race, Emerson received 1.6 inches of rain, as measured by longtime local weather observer Alvie Sewell.  Earlier that morning race officials were describing the condition of the track as “perfect,” and there were high hopes for world record times in the afternoon contest.

   It was not to be.  In addition to the rain before the race, a little over an hour into the match another storm cloud approached bringing with it rain, wind, and lightning that sent racers, officials, and spectators alike scampering for cover.

   Commissioner of Tiller Racing Jimmy Otwell called a temporary halt to the race, then resumed the heats some 50 minutes later when rain had slowed to a drizzle.

   Meanwhile, during the delay, the track received approximately another half-inch of precipitation, and became muddier still.  The finish line – the low point of the track -  became covered by water, which would later result in dramatic finishes to several races as speedy garden tillers splashed across the finish line.

   Nevertheless, Frazier, racing his tiller named “Golden Package,” managed to till the 200-foot track in 8.12 seconds and took home the $250 prize.  His time was roughly nine-tenths of a second off the world record, 7.21 seconds, set by Frazier’s uncle, Ronnie Hughey.

   Hughey also raced Saturday using “Dirt Devil,” the same tiller with which he set the world record in 1998, but did not place this year.

   “I can’t keep up with [the tiller] anymore,” said Hughey, 36.  “Guess I’m getting too old.”

   Donny Cole of Three Creeks, Arkansas, placed second with the tiller “Wild Thang” in a time of 8.47 seconds.  Third place was Shane Waller of Three Creeks, piloting the tiller “Dirt Slinger.”  Both Wild Thang and Dirt Slinger are modified tillers owned by Wayne Waller of Three Creeks.

   In the Stock Tiller Division, Ranae Hughey of Stephens, Arkansas, out-tilled all competitors with a time of 18.22.  Ronnie Hughey of Stephens placed second, tilling the track in 19.87 seconds.  Trevelle Todd was third, with a time of 23.47 seconds. 

   It was a good day for Ranae Hughey, as she also won the Powder Puff Division.  Kathy Camp of Emerson placed second, and Chevela Hughey of Stephens was third.

   The Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race is held each year on the last Saturday in June in Emerson, Arkansas.

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