Toops Memorial this weekend

The staff of Toops Performance gather around the late Danny Toops original truck, The Instigator. Plans are to rebuild it in Danny’s memory. From left: Josh Mink, owner, Ashley Toops, office manager, technicians Clay Halterman and Bryan Rittenhouse. They will attend the two-day Danny Toops Dirt Drags/Memorial Pull event over the weekend at the Madison County fairgrounds.

Memorial for Daniel Toops at Kirkwood Cemetery

Smoke, dust and loud exhaust will engulf the Madison County Fairgrounds this weekend during motor sports events on Friday and Saturday.

The second-annual Danny Toops Memorial Truck Pull is scheduled for Saturday. Toops was a skilled diesel engine technician with a growing reputation before he lost his life in an automobile accident in November 2013.

The June truck pull is a regular event on the Central Ohio Truck Pull Circuit (COTPC). It was named in Toops’ honor last year.

“We wanted to honor him (Toops) for what he accomplished,” said Dennis Long, spokesman for the COTPC. “It’s been a regular event on the circuit for seven years.”

Toops’ father, Dan, said the turnout was big last year.

“They were standing three-deep around the track,” Toops said.

He expects the turnout to be even bigger this year.

The draw will depend on the weather, Long said.

This year’s event adds dirt drag racing on Friday evening. KOI Drag Racing of Kentucky will oversee that competition.

KOI owner Lewis Cleaver said his organization runs events in Ohio and was asked to join this one. It runs ATV and truck racing on a 200-foot dirt track. Racers run side by side and launch on the green light of the “Christmas tree” signal as in drag racing on pavement.

Cleaver said participants’ entry fees are channeled into purses for their particular classes. For example, if five trucks enter one class and the fee is $20 per truck, all $100 will be awarded to the two top places in the class — $60 for first, $40 for second.

Gate receipts for Friday’s event will flow into purses for the 2016 Toops memorial event. Admission will be $10 for Friday evening, with racing starting at 7 p.m.

There are four truck classes plus events for ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and open vehicles.

Admission fee on Saturday is also $10. That money will be used to enhance the fairgrounds and next year’s event.

Gates will open at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday with a show and shine.

Drivers in the Toops memorial pull will meet at 5 p.m. A ceremony is set for 5:45 p.m. The pull starts at 6 p.m. with seven classes of trucks powered by gasoline or diesel engines.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.