Drag racing gains speed at fair

Katlyn Page of Middlefield has been riding her Suzuki four-wheeler for about a year. She won the 400 and below knobby race, sponsored by KOI Drag Racing at the Trumbull County Fair on Wednesday. Tribune Chronicle photos / Beth Shiller

BAZETTA — The Trumbull County Fair welcomed the Cleaver family from northern Kentucky to run a new drag-racing event Wednesday night.

Heather Cleaver and her children, Scott and Alexis, of KOI Drag Racing in Owenton, Ky., hosted the side-by-side event at the grandstand race track.

“We travel all over to fairs and dirt drag shows,” Scott Cleaver said. “We’ve been to over 100 events so far this year. We’ve been in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, and we added a couple in Tennessee, too.”

Entries for the race were $10 per class, $20 for the diesel classes, and the winner of each class received 100 percent payback. The racers in each class went head-to-head with another racer down the quarter-mile track and the best time won the class.

“We allow any vehicle to race, any vehicle with a motor. Just sign and ride,” said Cleaver. “We use the same system as the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association). It’s the same as asphalt drag, we just put it on dirt.”

The event included more than two dozen drivers in all kinds of vehicles, from dirt bikes and ATVs to modified diesel pickup trucks and even a stretch limousine.

Four-wheelers and diesel trucks were popular vehicles for the race and a total of 14 classes competed. Classes included two children’s races, dirt bike and ATV; four knobby (off-road tires) classes; two modified vehicles; and two open classes.

Cleaver said the craziest vehicle he’s ever encountered in a race was a vehicle in Lake County that was modified with two engines — one in the front and one in the back.

“This is my first race,” said Dan Currence of Bazetta. “I ride my four-wheeler all the time, and this race looked cool. I’ll be in the stock class because I didn’t put any mods on my Yamaha Raptor 660.”

This race was a first for a lot of Trumbull County racers. Tad Hodgekiss of Farmdale said he was excited to enter his first race.

“I’m excited to see what it is all about, to have fun and see some cool bikes,” Hodgekiss said.

Curtis Keystone, 7, of Warren, was the youngest racer on the track. He had been riding his dirt bike for about a year but has been riding his four-wheeler since he was 5. He held his own against the other racers as he came in second in his class.

KOI Drag Racing organizers said the Trumbull County Fair brought a good crowd and said they would be back to the fairgrounds for more races, including the Bad Donkey Dirt Nationals in late September.


Today at the fair

Kids Day — Free admission for children 14 and younger (does not include rides)

9 a.m. — Junior fair cat / reptile / poultry show, 4-H area

9 a.m. — Junior fair saddle horse Western Pleasure horse show, Sawyer ring

9:30 a.m. — Junior fair pocket pets exhibition / junior fair dairy show, Universal show ring

10 a.m. — Junior fair cavy show and small animal dressup

1 p.m. — Spelling bee sponsored by the Trumbull Retired Teachers Association (registration deadline 12:45 p.m.), historical stage

1 to 5 p.m. — Rides open

2:30 p.m. — Junior fair beef showmanship

4:30 p.m. — Junior fair board reunion, historical stage

5 p.m. — Pedal tractor pull, Junior fair area

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Dream Catcher DJ / karaoke, historical stage

6 p.m. — BRP Modified Touring & Rush Sportsman Mob, grandstand

6 p.m. — Junior fair beef show

6 to 8 p.m. — Denise Starr, Bicentennial stage

6 to 11 p.m. — Rides open