My 2012 tractor race story could be subtitled: How to go from first to worst without even trying! But, thats for later...

After some morning showers, "mother nature" was kind to this years racers, spectators, and partiers alike, giving us nice weather for the afternoon and evening activities.  And, for the first time, my niece and nephew were able to join me for all the racing fun!

Ethan and Emily are ready to race with Uncle Craig!

While we listened to the race instructions, Emily kept asking me: "When are we gonna GO?!" Waiting for the starting flags to drop can be especially difficult when you're 5, I guess!

The race is ON! And your nj1015.com correspondent (and racer) is somewhere in the pack!

Did you notice the word "wet" in the title above? Water balloons and supersoakers are not only permitted, they're encouraged. And, if you're not thoroughly pelted  by your fellow racers, many spectators lining the race route  (especially the kids) lay in wait!

Tractor racing is "wet and wild fun" for all ages!

I'm not totally soaked yet...but the race is young! And my young race companions haven't realized yet that its great fun to soak Uncle Craig...

"DJ Craig Allen" is not last...not yet.

Last year, riding the "mower-cycle," there was no question that I would win...once I broke out of the pack, nobody could keep up. This year, "Cornershow Bob" who loaned me the tractor stated that it was slow...and if I could secure a faster race tractor, to "take it!"

Right up to the end, it was a competitive race...for last place!

In the end, I was "beaten by a nose." Within about the last 50 feet, Dave pulled ahead! But, you have to admit that "First To Worst" makes for a great story! Also, going into the race, I had no desire to win the trophy for a second year...I say, "share the wealth"...and the neighborhood "spotlight!"

I'm shutting off the engine...and I'm still fair game! Go figure!

Each year's trophy winner must sign the trophy...and add something new to it that reflects their personality. As a New Jersey 101.5 personality, I "DJ Craig Allen" added a microphone to the trophy (and a clip/magnet with the New Jersey 101.5 logo).

Congratulations "FedEx Pat!" (on the left).

And, it gave me great pleasure to hand the trophy (with assistance from Ethan and Emily) to 2012 race winner "FedEx Pat." Who. ironically, replaced his dead tractor with a brand new mower (the winning mower) that morning!

So,  look out, Pat...Ethan, Emily and Uncle Craig will be back next year!!