The Tiller Thriller

The Race

If there is one thing the PurpleHull Pea Festival is known for – besides peas – it’s the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race. is our sponsor of the race this year, it’s year 4 with the great people of The track is 200 feet in length. Begun as a lark at the very first PurpleHull Pea Festival in 1990, it has evolved into a monster.

There simply is no other event like it. Unique among motor sports, we like to say it is the highlight of the tiller racing season.

‘Course, to the best of our knowledge, our one-day event is the tiller racing season.

Souped-up garden tillers from near and far come to compete in the world’s premiere tiller racing event.


Rick Waller of Emerson, Arkansas,

Rick was one of the pioneers of the sport of garden tiller racing. Here he is seen in a photo from 1994 with his alcohol-burning tiller “Digger II,” which, at one time, was the world’s fastest garden tiller.

The Rules

There are several racing categories.

There are also some rules which have become a necessity. In fact, after the Great Tiller Racing Controversy of ’93, the festival created the World Tiller Racing Federation specifically to address the issue of rules and proper running of the race.

For instance, an officially sanctioned tiller track is 200 feet in length. Runners – or tiller pilots, as they are sometimes called – must wear shoes. (Yes, some weren’t.)

The 2022 tiller race rules have changed just a bit, they can be viewed by clicking on Tiller Race Rules.

The 2022 application is now online. Download the 2022 Tiller Race application by clicking here.

Check the rules for specifics on each category.

Interested in racing? Download the Tiller Race Application, as well as the rules, and come to Emerson on June 25.

If you want to see a motor race you’ll never forget, be sure to be in Emerson, Arkansas, June 25, 2022.

You won’t regret it. See you there!

2022 Tiller Race application (PDF)

Event Schedule

Other Tiller Info

We have other attractions at the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race. Check out the Tiller Girls.

Click on tiller audio to hear an audio wav file of KZHE’s Dave Sehon calling a previous World Championship Rotary Tiller Race (362K).

We became a true “world” championship race in 1995. Read about our first international tiller racer, Dominique Niessen, of Holland.

2020 Tiller Race Rules

Dominique Niessen


Photo Gallery


PurpleHull Pea Festival
& World Championship Rotary Tiller Race

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