Demolition Derby brings in large crowd

Cala Smoldt/Staff Reporter
Weld Class, 168, Kurt Kelly

Grandstands were filled to capacity Saturday night in anticipation of the demolition derby. There were 5 separate classes of demos: Rookie Class, 80's/Newer Wire Class, Compact Class, Weld Class, and Open Wire Class. The names of each class usually refer to the type of cars entered. 80's/Newer Wire, means the car had to have been made in 1980 or newer and is held together by wire with only a welded bar in the interior for safety. Weld Class refers to cars that are welded together and subsequently take longer to stop running. Open Wire is open to all cars, held together only by wire.

Before the destruction of vehicles commenced, 5 cars entered the 'Best of Show' contest. Each car rolled out and lined up facing the audience. Every driver stood on top of his vehicle. The announcer, 'Junior', told those attending who the drivers were and the crowd applauded and whooped for each one. The winner was chosen based on the loudest crowd response. One driver proudly held up a baby on top of his light blue car sporting Mickey Mouse on the side with a note that said, "Happy first Birthday Karson Hedger". The crowd cheered the loudest for his vehicle making TJ Hedger #67, the winner of 'Best of Show'. The prize was $200.

The Aledo Fire Department was present and put out a few fires in the engines of smashed cars. Cars chased each other around the arena. The final class, Open Wire, ended with the last two vehicles, #124 and #154, going head to head waving the fellow driver to back up in order to barrel into each other at a running start.

Driver's have the equivalent of a yard stick duck-taped to their car by the drivers side window. When they are officially unable to move or are 'out' they reach out and break their stick.

Every now and then a few sprinkles cooled down the spectators. But once the RPM's of angry engines died out after the Compact Class, the same could be heard from the thunder of the summer storm that rolled in from the west. Lightning and heavy rain delayed the derby for about 45 minutes. The announcer, "Junior" informed the audience, "Thunder and lighting? We're gonna Demo!"

The drivers and crews put on quite a show Saturday night, the audience never waned, despite the rain delay. Starting back up after the delay, the Weld Class slid around the arena in the wet and muddy terrain. Spinning wheels, unable to get a grip, splattered the audience and announcers in the pit with huge, sometimes painful, chunks of mud. After almost 4 hours, fair goers were sorry to see it end.

Results for Mercer County Fair Demolition Derby 2014 are:

Rookie Class - 5 cars participated

1st place- $300 Lucas Nimrick #38 , Andover, 2nd place- $200 Danielle Anderson #1313, Aledo, 3rd place- $100 Sean Baker #93, Aledo

80's/Newer Wire - 15 cars participated

1st place- $1,000 Dave Olson #116, 2nd place- $500 Jamie Hixson #181, 3rd place- $250 Joe Schisler #133

Compact Class- 19 cars participated

1st- $350 Brian Whitt #169, Cambridge, 2nd- $200 Treyton Whitmire #11, Joy, 3rd place- $125 Cassidy Staker #35, Aledo

Weld Class- 5 cars participated

1st- $500 Kurt Kelly #168, 2nd- $300 Brandon Moulden #20, 3rd- $200 C.J. Ravel #20

Open Wire Class- 9 cars participated

1st- $1,000 Brad Beem #154, 2nd- $500 Josh Hutchinson #124, 3rd- $250 Mike English #13

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