This Saturday evening, the sound of crunching metal will echo over the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. Steam will rise into the air as radiators are ruptured, and fenders and bumpers will be blasted off of the vehicles on which they belong.
Meanwhile, fans will gasp and cheer while taking in the sights and sounds of this year’s Montezuma County Fair’s Demolition Derby and Tough Truck and UTV race, which will take place at Fairgrounds Speedway beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“Take the funnest thing that you’ve ever done, and the derby is on top of that,” Cortez driver Duane Bradshaw said, describing his experience after the Demolition Derby at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in 2015. “There’s nothing quite like it.”
Figuring to highlight this year’s derby will be at least two preliminary heats that will pit cars of various makes and models together. Cars made since the 1960s will likely participate, and the last vehicle moving will walk away the winner.
After the preliminary heats, drivers and crew members will have an opportunity to resuscitate their cars and make any necessary repairs in anticipation of the final round, which will end with the crowing of the event’s ultimate winner.
“A big part of a derby is making repairs to keep things running,” said Durango resident Paul Krueger, while competing in the Demolition Derby in 2015. “We welded two sockets in the U-joint caps and basically put the transmission back together in about 15 minutes. We have duct tape holding the tail shaft on the transmission, and we’ll just have to see how long it lasts.”
During the lull between the preliminary heats and the final round, a Tough Truck and UTV race will take place along the infield of Fairgrounds Speedway. The event will require participants to complete laps around a dirt course that will include jumps, ditches and other obstacles that figure to push vehicle suspensions and drive trains to their limits.
A Calcutta auction will take place before the start of Demolition Derby competition, during which audience members will have the opportunity to bid on their favorite cars. The individual who purchases rights to the winning car will receive a portion of the money raised by the auction.
Because of the unpredictability of the Demolition Derby and the sheer force with which cars collide, audience members figure to be kept on the edge of their seats throughout an event that is annually remembered as one of the Montezuma County Fair’s most exciting.
“It was an adrenaline rush for sure,” Moab resident Conner Ainge said after competing in the Demolition Derby last year. “It’s not like riding a roller coaster or something like that. It’s a whole different level, and it’s just wild. I definitely enjoyed it, but I’ll tell you what, I’m going to be sore in the morning.”
Those interested in attending this year’s Demolition Derby can purchase tickets at the entrance of Fairgrounds Speedway prior to the event. General admission tickets will cost $15, senior citizens may gain admittance for $10, and children under the age of 6 get in for free.
If past years are any indication, fans and drivers who are lucky enough to attend this year’s event will be in for a smashing good time.