Crowds packed the grandstands last Wednesday night at the Monroe County Fair to witness cars drift around the track for the popular Figure 8 race.
With mud flying and engines smoking, the arena was more of a scrap yard for some drivers. Instead of riding around the arena in chariots like the Roman gladiators, drivers rode to victory in 1990s era stock cars.
Justin Scheibe, in his 11th year of racing, proved to be victorious in the small car category.
“It’s such a rush. It’s an unbelievable feeling when you get out there with everyone else,” Scheibe said. “It’s just a good time.”
In the 25-lap feature event, 16 cars started the race. Many did not finish.
Scheibe and his 1995 Chevy Cavalier were able to escape the congestion and loop around the track the fastest to win. Rich Harsey took second and Andrew Mercer followed in third place.
“I’ve been in the running for the past few years and have never quite done it,” Scheibe said. “I really wanted to get out and win this year, like every year. But, the main thing is to come out to support the fair and have fun.”
In the large car feature race, there were nine competitors. Instead of bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, this race was much more free flowing. Eric Smith of Valmeyer took the checkered flag.
“I feel like a million dollars right now,” Smith said.
Jeremy Roberts followed in second place and Chad Everett took third.
Smith said he would be back next year if he could get another car. He drove a 1995 Buick LeSabre this year.
The Seymour name is synonymous with the Figure 8 and demo derby events at the fair. So, without much surprise, a Seymour won the truck demo derby.
This year, it went to Shawn Seymour, who had the last vehicle standing.
“It’s a grudge. We go back-and-forth,” Seymour said, referring to his brothers Pat and Mike.
“It’s a just a family thing,” Seymour added. “My mom used to do it when she was younger and so did our uncle. They got us into it and stock car racing.”