This year the demo derby brought in more cars and
contestants than it has in the past few years. A total of 54 entries
sometimes clogged the field like a New York traffic jam, but the
audience was excited and showed their support of the bigger and
better derby by making almost as much noise as the cars did.
Early in the show, which began at 4 p.m. again this year, the little
ones were out on the track in the Powerwheels Derby. There are no
winners or losers in this contest, just several minutes of miniature
crash and bang fun that was enjoyed by the contestants and the crowd
in the grandstand and along the track.
When the big boys and girls came on the track, the action kicked up
a notch with five class competitions this year as opposed to three
New this year at the derby, drivers were allowed to have a passenger
with them during the competition. For some of those drivers the
passenger was a ride-along, and for others he or she was a second
set of eyes on the competition.
Before the derby began, Logan County Fair Queen Meg Meeker was
interviewed by the Emcee for the night. He asked if she would be
willing to do a ride-along with one of the drivers and she instantly
said, “Yes!” However, her chaperone/guardian Bethany Rademaker
quickly vetoed the idea, for the safety of our queen, in spite of
the emcee offering to find a helmet and duct tape the queen’s crown
to the top of it.
Bone Stock Compact
The first heat of the night was the Bone Stock Compact Class.
Notable characters in this event included local attorney Jim
Grimaldi and the female duo of Michelle Hanson and Amy Robison, with
The trio fared well throughout the heat, managing to stay moving
almost to the very end.
A small fire in the Hanson vehicle sent Amy scurrying out the side
window, but Michelle stayed inside the car, holding her nose and the
wheel, with the hopes that she would be able to revive the engine
once the Lincoln Rural Fire Department extinguished the fire. With
the fire out Amy climbed back in, but Michelle was never able to get
the car moving. At the end of the heat a quick interview with the
pair revealed that they had a great time, and would hopefully be
back next year.
This heat also featured some strong drivers, men and women alike,
resulting in several minutes of crashing and banging before a winner
rose out of the smoke and debris.
This class also tested the barriers of the field, with more than an
occasion or two of cars plowing into the concrete barriers on the
north end of the field and ‘re-arranging’ if you will.
[to top of second column]
The Super Street was a new class for this year. The emcee defined it
as not quite stock and not quite modified, somewhere in between.
The heat featured only three vehicles, and for a while contestant
number three was doubtful, until he came roaring into the field….in
reverse! It turned out that the orange Drake-Scruggs car had no
steering control. He endured the entire heat and made more than a
few hearty strikes on his opponents.
Size Bone Stock
The Full Size Bone Stock was the largest class of the night with a
field jamming 21 cars entered.
Among the 21 cars was Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman. Goodman was
appearing for the first time in a demo derby, and at the end of the
night told the emcee said that it may not be his last time. Goodman
was tough competition throughout the evening, with seemingly no fear
of making and taking the hard hits.
With the large number of cars on the field, the gridlock was to be
expected, and as cars gave up the ghost on the field, navigating
through the carnage was almost a bigger challenge than avoiding hits
In this heat, the services of the Lincoln Rural Fire Department were
also required as a small fire was quickly extinguished and the heat
moved on with little time out.
While the drama of the previous heat was a driver
with no ability to steer his vehicle, in this heat halfway through,
a driver lost his steering wheel all together! In spite of the
obvious deterrent, the driver made his way through the track using
only the hub of the steering column in his car.
The Semi Stock was the last class of the night. Again it was an
exciting heat that ended, in a way, anti-climactic. At the same
time, the heat offered an excellent example of good sportsmanship,
though to a certain degree, it may have backfired on the driver in
When the heat was down to only two cars, the black and red 14, and
the 87J of George Johnson, Johnson was in a position to win the
heat, but opted to help out his competitor instead.
The number 14 was running and able to move, but was hung up and
cornered. The driver tried desperately to free himself, with no
luck. As the crowd booed the inevitable end to the heat, the driver
of the 97 shut off his car, climbed out, and went to try to help the
14 car out. After a few minutes and some help from the derby crew
and driver of the 97, the 14 car was freed and ready to roll. The 97
driver went back to his car and attempted to re-start his engine…and
that was all she wrote. The car wouldn’t fire up. The 14 car was
running and moving and became the winner of the heat.
While that did not end well for the 97, the driver’s unselfish
attitude in the heat did not go unnoticed, and will probably be
talked about among derby fans for a long time to come.
With the end of the Semi Stock, the evening was over. This year the
derby lasted about 4 hours, much longer than last year’s event, and
much better in the eyes of the crowds. Many left satisfied they had
gotten more than their money’s worth at the last official event of
the 81st Annual Logan County Fair.