July 1, 2016


County fair: Demo derbies, motocross and Rough Trucks are big draws

Popular sporting events like Rough Truck, above, and motocross, below, return to the Medina County Fairgrounds next week. Last year, Adam Kisilewicz of Seville, above, plowed through the mud in the Rough Truck competition. Justin Russell of Medina, below, takes off for a jump during last year’s motocross. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

MEDINA — They’re consistent, familiar, affordable and entertaining.

That’s always the best way to describe the motorsports events at the Medina County Fair, which opens Monday.

“It just seems like we’re a motorsports county,” said Mike Frantz, who is in his 10th year as a fair board director. “We draw well with those events and we always have.

“It’s excellent family entertainment. People enjoy going to these things. They’re always packed.”

Whether it’s one of the two demolition derbies, motocross, Rough Truck Contest or truck and tractor pull, tickets remain between $6 and $8. Pit passes are also available for between $10 and $12 for those who want a real up-close view.

“The prices haven’t changed much over the years,” 28-year fair board member Bob Bauman said. “The fair belongs to the people. We just have the privilege of running it. We want to keep it as cost effective as possible and still be able to pay the bills.”

Motorsports action begins Monday evening with the 80s and Newer Demolition Derby, with the Old Iron competition slated for Friday.

“The demo derbies are just exciting,” Frantz said. “People love to see the cars get crumpled.”

Several years ago, the fair board started having drivers make repairs on their cars just outside the grandstand, which has allowed the public to get a firsthand look at all the work involved.

“The derbies are premier,” Bauman said. “They go back more than 30 years. People like seeing cars get smashed up. These guys start hitting and people are standing up in the grandstand yelling. There’s a lot of enthusiasm.”

The annual motocross event will once again be held Tuesday. Competitors often range from 5 to 50 — or even 60 — years old.

There are dozens and dozens of heats, with riders compiling points in what is part of a statewide fair circuit.

“What that does is draw people from not only Medina County, but riders that go to each of the fairs in the circuit vying for points,” Bauman said. “That’s what drives that event. It draws a lot of spectators and families.”

Wednesday will bring the Rough Truck Contest, which has become so popular that 60 to 80 vehicles are expected to compete.

“That draws a big crowd,” Frantz said. “People are waiting for the trucks and cars to flip over and have parts fall off them. They like seeing the older cars come out there.”

The OSTPA Modified Truck and Tractor Pull, which creates noise and excitement in equal doses, will be Saturday.

“Ohio is blessed with some of the best pulling machines in the nation,” Bauman said.

Combined, the events should add up to another successful and entertaining week at the Medina County Fair.

“The people in charge really know how to run the events and keep them safe,” Frantz said. “We very seldom have issues with rowdy people. It’s good family entertainment.”

Better still, that entertainment involves competitors who usually have friends and family members in attendance.

“The biggest thing about the fair is it involves local people,” Bauman said. “From livestock to grandstand events, the fair is about local folks.

“It’s the biggest event that happens in Medina County every year. People have a chance to go to one place to see whatever motorsports event they want to see. And they’re watching people they know. That gives it local color.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.