Cornering speed: Barrel races turn 4-wheelers into 2-wheelers at Becker County Fair on July 29
Racers across three different classes put their speed and cornering ability to the test during the motorized barrel racing event at the Becker County Fair in Detroit Lakes on Friday.
DETROIT LAKES — Cars, trucks and ATV side-by-sides raced around the tight corners of the automotive barrel racing event at the Becker County Fair on July 29.
Spectators packed the grandstand on Friday to watch racers maneuver their vehicles around three barrels in a tight racing course at the county fairgrounds.
The vehicles took between 20 seconds-1 minute to complete the three, 360-degree corners and exit the course.
Jake Sherbrooke, winner of the car class during the event, finished the course in 23 seconds and decided a lighter vehicle would perform better around the tight turns.
"Last year I got whooped because I was in a truck, so I thought this year, I'd do cars and it was a lot easier," said Sherbrooke. "It was a blast."
He said he stripped down the car to the skeleton, bolted on some tires, installed an exhaust and drove the lightweight vehicle to the fairgrounds from Cormorant on Friday morning.
"You can slide around," he said. "So you don't have to turn in and out (of the corners), you just slide it around like a little go-cart."
Sherbrooke is also one of the co-owners of Turf Wars Racing, which has been using the fairgrounds for their motorized drag racing events throughout the year.
Brant Bigger, a member of the Becker County Fair Board, worked the event as a barrel wrangler and replaced dented, or toppled, barrels throughout the race. He said barrel races were one of the best events at the fair because anything can happen and anyone can enter.
"With derby cars, it takes a little bit of work to get those going, but anybody can take their car off the street, or their side-be-side, and run it here and have some fun," said Bigger. "The crowd loves it."
He also said the packed grandstand shows that motorized barrel races will continue to be a fair mainstay for years to come.
"It was just kind of a quirk thing that we started a few years ago and it's really starting to take off," said Bigger. "The fair is a great event for everybody in the community. It's a free gate, so anybody can come here. If you don't have a pocket full of cash, it's alright. You can still come and have a great time."