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Car show and rough truck contest draws large crowd

| July 23, 2018

COSHOCTON – Despite the threat of rain all day, the 21st Annual Car Show and Rough Truck Contest pulled a huge crowd to the county fairgrounds on July 21.  The event is an annual fundraiser for Three Rivers Fire District.

Rusty Dreher, assistant fire chief of Three Rivers, said almost 60 cars had registered for the car show and they had 40 trophies sponsored by local businesses/people to hand out. “We also have a kids’ choice trophy and a firefighter’s choice trophy, too. All the kids and firefighters pick their favorite for those special trophies.” Dreher said that all the money they make will go to purchase communication equipment for the department.

“We have 15-20 door prizes for the car owners. We always want this to be a family event – we bring our kids and they help draw numbers for prizes. We just really want to thank everyone for their support – the community, the families. And really say thanks to Jimmy and Seth Albert for building our track for tonight.”

One of the car show participants was Roger Thomas, Sr. of Coshocton. He brought his 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck. He bought it in 2009 and it took him and his son, Roger Thomas, Jr., four years to restore it. “My son kept saying what color he was going to paint it (synergy green) and I didn’t think I would like it at all, but when it was done, I really liked it. Lots of people comment about the color,” said Thomas. He said he usually goes to several shows a year and doesn’t take the truck out in bad weather.

It took Randall Larr of Coshocton four years to find his dream car. “I had one like it when I got out of the service (Army) and I wanted another one.” He has only had the 1970 Ford Tornia Cobrajack for three months. “I did a bunch of searching and finally found one in New York. I put it up on a hoist and made sure every number matched and it was all original. I thought I would never find it, but it was even the right color – Richard Petty Blue.”

Outlaw Dreams Garage brought one of the projects they are working on to the car show. Friends, Colin Almack, Cory Brenly and Phil Cochran, started the group.  “It’s a great reason for friends to get back into a garage together,” said Brenly.  “Starting the Facebook page is a fun way to share our projects with everyone and for us to get to hang out together,” said Cochran. They were showing a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am.

Winner of the kids’ choice trophy was Dave and Danielle Smith. The firefighter’s choice went to Randall Larr.

The rough truck show was slightly delayed as the track had to be modified and wet down by the Three Rivers Fire Department. Cheavis Webb of Coshocton has been driving in rough truck contests for about eight years. “I started at first cause I wanted to beat up on stuff,” said Webb. “My brother did it and my buddy and I wanted to try, so when we turned 18, we did.” He said keeping a level head is the hardest part of driving and that he is usually scared until he hits the first jump, then he just has fun. It took him about eight months to build the truck he would be driving that night.

His mother, Gennie Webb, was going to compete for the first time that night. “I’m an adrenaline junkie like my boys and wanted to try this. Driving tonight is my Mother’s Day present from him (Cheavis). My goal is to hit the gas and go – to have fun and finish the race.”

Another driver, Dustin Jenkins, has been competing for about seven years. “My dad, uncle and buddies did it. It gets addicting.” He said he is calm until the race is over, then his adrenaline rush hits. “The hardest part is knowing how hard to hit the jumps.” He also built his truck and continually adds to it as ideas come to him.

For many people, the highlight of the evening was to see Midnight Runner, a monster truck from Illinois, do several stunts and crush stacks of cars. Tom Hertzog built the truck from scratch and it took about four and a half years. “I work at Concussion Motor Sports, so when we got slow there, we would work on my truck.” He said he loved monster trucks as a kid and just never lost that love. “I’m a kid that never grew up. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to start on a crew and decide I wanted one of my own.”

Hertzog said he has been scared many times. “The first time I drove the guy that owned the truck asked if I was nervous and I said yes. He said you should always be nervous before a run because if you aren’t, you have become complacent and you will get hurt. It’s time to quit, then.” So far, he has never been seriously injured.

His girlfriend, Ashley Freeman, said she isn’t worried about watching him in the monster truck. “He has so much safety gear. He’s safer in that truck that in a regular car.” Freeman also holds onto a RII (remote ignition interrupter) so that if something should happen and Hertzog is hurt, she can shut the truck off.

Hertzog said he planned to put on a great show that night. “We’re gonna crush some cars and do some tricks.  It’s an opportunity to play around and have fun.”

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