(Posted June 4, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Danny Toops would have loved what his family has planned for June 12-13 at the Madison County Fairgrounds—a weekend packed with drag racing and truck pulls.
The 2nd Annual Danny Toops Memorial Truck Pull, presented as part of the Central Ohio Truck Pull Circuit, is set for June 13. New this year are dirt drags for four-wheel drive pickups, presented by KOI Drag Racing, on June 12.
“We try to keep building (the event) bigger each year,” said Dan Toops, Danny’s father. Thousands of people attended last year’s inaugural truck pull. Toops is hoping for thousands again this year.
Danny, a London resident, was a mechanic, business owner and truck puller known for his expertise in building high performance truck engines. He died in an auto accident in November 2013.
To honor his memory, the Toops family, Danny’s friends and pullers on the circuit work to make the Father’s Day weekend pull the circuit’s biggest when it comes to payouts. They collect sponsorships and sell t-shirts. All of the money goes back into prize money for the pullers.
“Danny always thought London had the best track for pulling,” his dad said. “And he always wanted big prize money for the guys who spend so much money and time building their trucks.”
The weekend starts June 12 with the dirt drags. Anyone with a four-wheel drive pickup truck is welcome to show up that day and enter. The entry fee is $20. Practice runs from 5 to 7 p.m., followed immediately by the actual racing. Admission for spectators is $10; children ages 10 and younger are admitted free.
“We’re hoping for over 100 trucks. It’s a new sport that’s really picking up in popularity,” Toops said. “If we have a lot of people show up, that will really help with next year.”
The Toops family will get 100 percent of the admission fees for the dirt drags, which they will put toward the 2016 event.
The schedule for June 13 starts with a show-and-shine for four-wheel drive pickups from 1 to 3 p.m. The cost to enter is $20. All entry fees go to prize payouts: 50 percent for first place and 25 percent each for second and third.
The truck pull starts at 6 p.m. The admission fee for spectators is $10. All gate receipts go to the fairgrounds. This year’s pull features seven classes, including the new 6,350-pound modified category.
“We had about 90 trucks participate last year,” said Dennis Long of the Central Ohio Truck Pull Circuit. “We had people in from Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania.”
The enhanced prize money is part of the draw, but the sentiment is the bigger reason people turn out.
“Everybody looks at the reason we’re having it and comes out and supports the family,” Long said.
The Toops family will sell t-shirts at both the dirt drags and truck pull. The shirts are $20. Also, food vendors will be on site both days.
The Madison County Fairgrounds is located at 205 Elm St., London. For details about the truck pull, go to www.cotpc.com. For details about the dirt drags, go to www.koidragracing.com.
To become a sponsor for the Danny Toops Memorial Truck Pull, contact Dan Toops at (740) 506-0880.