A beautiful car, an enthusiastic driver and one mean Dodge: The 2014 Demolition Derby, held July 26 at Fairgrounds Speedway, had it all.
Here are three stories from the track.
The ‘Pickle’ pickles out
Pulling up to Fairgrounds Speedway a few hours early, Cortez resident Nolan George figured he had a chance to win.
To emerge victorious, George needed a special performance from his 1978 Chevy, known as “The Pickle.”
Colorfully painted a shade of green that would make even the envious proud, “The Pickle” certainly stood out, as did the enthusiasm of its driver.
“I’m excited,” said George prior to the event. “It’s an adrenaline rush, getting to wreck a car and not getting in trouble for it.”
Unfortunately, neither George’s enthusiasm nor his green car was enough to take him to victory however.
Competing in the Derby’s first heat, “The Pickle” was rear end was smashed by defending champion Danny Ainge. Although “The Pickle” returned for the final heat, its rear end damage rendered a victory impossible.
On the bright side however, George got to partake in his fair share of smashing and remained a free man.
The ‘Bumblebee’ buzzes
Sitting not far from “The Pickle” in the parking area, Cortez resident Duane Bradshaw’s car was a site to behold.
Painted florescent yellow and containing hardly a scratch, the 1966 Ford looked as if it should have been cruising Main Street rather than preparing for its final drive.
Coined “The Bumblebee” and voted the prettiest car by a crowd of more than 650 fans, Bradshaw’s car appeared as if it could smash its way to victory.
A front-end shot in the championship heat from Ted Neergaard’s 1969 Plymouth ended “The Bumblebee’s” hopes however and the “Bumblebee” buzzed its final buzz.
Bradshaw couldn’t help but cherish his Derby experience however, which he described as second to none.
“Take the funnest thing you’ve ever done and Derby is on top of that,” said Bradshaw.
The ‘916’ scores victory
Flying under the radar in the hour leading up to the Derby, Kent Newkirk’s 1968 Dodge Station Wagon did not look like much.
After all, the dark blue beast was competing in its third Demolition Derby and according to Newkirk, needed to be “finished off.”
Running with the heart of a champion however, the hefty station wagon adorned with the number “916” not only refused to die, but brought about the death of several competitors.
Smashing its way through a preliminary heat before demolishing “The Green Pickle,” “The Bumblebee” and two other cars in the championship, the “916” left little doubt as to its supremacy.
“I had a blast,” said Newkirk after the event. “This is a tough old car.”