Demolition derby a smashing success


By Oliver Sanders - osanders@civitasmedia.com



Compact demolition derby winner Junior Hull displays his victory trophy with his grandchildren.


A pile of modified kicker car are smashing each other to bits at the demolition derby.


Modified kicker car “Pugh” suffers radiator damage as smoke billows from the vehicle.


EATON — For a grand finale on Saturday, Aug. 6, the Preble County Fair hosted its second demolition derby of the week. A full house in the stands watched four hours (eight heats) of vehicles in seven categories trying to demolish each other.

A total of 175 participants took part in turning operational vehicles into scrap heaps.

Some serious competition occurred in the demolition pit, but for the most part it was all in fun. Thankfully, no drivers were hurt in any of the heats. Many drivers are locals who are close friends.

One example — Nick Hibbard and Brenden Whisman — finished first and second in the Youth Lawn Mower demolition. “There isn’t much to tell really,” said Whisman after the event. “Me and my best friend, Nick, have done this for three years, and he finally won this time.”

“There’s some rivalry, but it’s all cool,” Hibbard said of the competition with his friend.

There were other winners who took their victory to heart. Junior Hull is a driver who has participated in demolition derbies for 34 years. This was his first win in many years.

“First time in a long time. I’m 52 years old, and it feels great. I plan on going for another 20 years at least. It’s not just a young man’s game.”

His granddaughter, Adora, was on hand with her grandfather. “I’m really super proud of my granddaddy!” she enthused.

Not only is the sport open to people of all ages, but to women as well.

Bobbie Jo Dalton is known in the region as one of the best demolition drivers. She won the first Stock Front Wheel Drive event.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years,” she said. “First time in 10 years I ran in Ohio. My daddy used to do this — he can’t do it anymore, so I do it for him. I’ve been in 95 shows and have about 70-plus trophies. It’s not just another day in the park, because these younger drivers will give anyone a run for the money. But experience really counts.”

The feature event was the final show of the Modified Kicker Class. These are the biggest and fastest cars in the demolition event. The collisions were hard and the sounds were thunderous. When the dust cleared and the pieces stopped falling, Shannon Pugh emerged victorious in an awesome display of demolition and determination. Between him and the second place winner, Richard Davis, there were several instances where both vehicles stalled out and each was dangerously close of being disqualified. But both drivers managed to restart their cars several times to continue the contest until Davis’ vehicle couldn’t go on.

“We got lucky in kicking in the engines on that last stretch,” Pugh said. “But Richard and I are best friends. It’s all about smashing things up and shaking hands when it’s all over.”

Results for the derby included:

Youth lawn mower 11 entries

1st: Nick Hibbard

2nd: Brenden Whisman

3rd: Collin Garnett

Adult lawn mower 8 entries

1st: Shanon Rader

2nd: Lonnie Sims

3rd: Charlie Edward

Mild weld class 3 entries

1st: Matteau House

Compact 20 entries

1st: Junior Mull

2nd: David Tillery

3rd: Wade Butler

Stock front wheel drive #1/ 21 entries

1st: Bobbie Jo Dalton

2nd: Brad Sorrell

3rd: Mark Schaffer

Stock front wheel drive #2/ 21 entries

1st: Randy Hampton

2nd: Gary Noble

3rd: Dylan Hemp

Stock rear wheel drive 27 entries

1st: Jeremy Creech

2nd: Mike Hensley

3rd: Kalab Allen

Modified kicker class 13 entries

1st: Shannon Pugh

2nd: Richard Davis

3rd: Wes Monebrake

4th: Brett Petro

Compact demolition derby winner Junior Hull displays his victory trophy with his grandchildren.
http://registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_demolition-compact-winner.jpgCompact demolition derby winner Junior Hull displays his victory trophy with his grandchildren.

A pile of modified kicker car are smashing each other to bits at the demolition derby.
http://registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_demolition-modified.jpgA pile of modified kicker car are smashing each other to bits at the demolition derby.

Modified kicker car “Pugh” suffers radiator damage as smoke billows from the vehicle.
http://registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_demolition-pugh-car.jpgModified kicker car “Pugh” suffers radiator damage as smoke billows from the vehicle.

By Oliver Sanders

osanders@civitasmedia.com

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH

Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH

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