XENIA — The Xenia girl beat all the guys in the Modified Class demolition derby, and Saturday night’s capacity crowd in the Greene County Fair grandstands was loving every moment of it.
With the crowd cheering her on, Xenia native Lindsey Jenkins knocked the left front wheel of her pink and black modified machine on the final hit of Scott Zizelman’s car, but by then Zizelman’s black double-zero ride had lost power and couldn’t continue, earning Jenkins her second career win in the Greene County demolition derby.
She seemed kinda glad it was all over.
“The moment before I get out there, my stomach hurts and I’m all nervous. But now that it’s over, I’m fine. I think I can go out and eat now,” she laughed. With all the noise and commotion going on, she couldn’t hear the crowd cheering for her, but she was glad to know it.
“Were they? Good! That’s what you wanna see. That’s what I came for. That’s good to know. No, I couldn’t hear anything. I get in the car and I get tunnel vision. All I see and hear are the other cars, and I just do what I can to be the last one running. I’ve got that helmet on over my ears. I can’t hear a thing. I’m in my own world when I’m out there,” she said.
Jenkins now lives in Dayton, but she grew up in Xenia and the former Lindsey Shaffer graduated from Xenia High in the 1998.
“There were drivers from Celina, Lancaster and Dayton that I knew of. It was good to see that they’re coming from all around to do this. But Xenia is my home town, so it feels good to win here like this,” she said. “My steering started to get messed up towards the end there. That’s why I kept going back and forth, because I couldn’t get the car to go where I wanted it to go. My arm’s feeling it right now, too. It’ll probably hurt for the next few days.”
She pocketed $1,200 for roughly 20 minutes of metal bending and plenty of crashing. Zizelman earned $400 as the runner-up. He came back later in the evening to finish second in the stock finale to earn another $300 for his efforts.
Jesse Glass came out as the lone survivor in the Compact division event, earning $1,200 for his win, with Donnell Rutherford ($400) finishing second and Heath Hall ($100) third. In a very sporting gesture, Glass pulled up next to Rutherford’s driver-side window and the two battle-weary contestants shook hands after the race.
Owensville, Ohio driver Wayne Tarter won the stock event and the $500 first prize that came along with it.
“I’ve been doing this for about 30 years now,” Tarter said. “I love it. It’s a blast. I won the Clermont County Fair last week, so I decided to come up here and play some more. … It would’ve been better if we’d had more cars. The more cars the better, that always makes for a good derby.”
Due to low car counts, there were no elimination heats in any of the three car categories. The Compact field totaled four cars, Stock had two, and the Modified division consisted of six entrants. With a large crowd still trying to get into the grandstands when the event was originally set to begin at 8 p.m., the night’s first event was pushed back to an 8:30 p.m. start.
The three derby events, and one two-car modified division Figure-8 race, were all completed by 9:45 p.m.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.