Are you ready for a night of pure car-nage? The Demolition Derby & ATV Barrel Race returns to the Delta County Fairgrounds and will close out the 113th annual Delta County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 11.
For 17 years the derby was a smashing success at the fair. But four years ago it was canceled due to a lack of entries. Following a three-year hiatus, the derby shattered expectations in 2017, drawing an estimated crowd of 3,000 spectators, making it the best-attended event of the fair.
Derby teams are made up of a driver 18 or older, a pit crew member, and a vehicle. Derby drivers tend to be male, and derby cars are generally older models from the 1970s -- the Ford LTDs and Crown Victorias, Chevy Impalas, Cadillacs and other models with heavy-duty, solid-steel frames.
Last year, Hotchkiss resident Madison Milner broke all the stereotypes, winning the derby in her 1996 Subaru Outback decked out as a Minion from the "Despicable Me" movies. She also became the first female to win the Delta County Fair derby. At one point her little Subaru was stuck in the mud following a thunderstorm that almost canceled the championship heat.
And while it's each driver for himself or herself, drivers must abide by several rules, among them, no one is allowed to charge a car head-on, or hit the driver's side door. (Rules are available on the Delta County Fair website, deltacountyfair.com.)
The grandstands open at 6 p.m., and preliminary heats begin at 7 p.m. This year's grand prize payout totals $3,500.
Cash prizes will also be awarded for first and second place in the ATV Barrel Race, equal to 100 percent of entry fees. Pre-registration is required and riders must be at least 16 years old as of Aug. 1 (riders under 18 must have a liability waiver signed by a parent or guardian). Entry is limited to the first 20 contestants and is $20 per rider.
Entry fee is $67 per car and includes the driver and one pit crew member. Alternate drivers and pit crew members must pre-register; cost is $10 per member. While pre-registration is encouraged, same-day registration will be accepted up to the afternoon of the event. Registration forms, rules and more information are available at DeltaCounty Fair.com/derby.html.