Thousands turn out for DEF Demo Derby

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Thousands turn out for DEF Demo DerbyOne of the biggest draws for last weekend’s Desert Empire Fair was the return of the Demolition Derby — which drew about 2,000 attendees on Sunday evening.

“The Demo Derby was up almost 50 percent from last year — both in ticket sales and entries,” said DEF executive director Chip Holloway. He praised Debbi Benites and her team. “They did an incredible job, all in a volunteer capacity.”

“Everyone I have talked to thought it was a great show,” said Benites.

For years, the derby was one of the most popular attractions at the fair. After nearly a decade-long hiatus, the event returned to last year’s fair. Benites was among those who saw a call for support and decided to help.

Because she had derby experience in her background, she ended up coordinating the event.

“Last year we only had about a month to throw this together,” she called. This year they were able to attract more drivers, more spectators, and put on a great show.

Winners in the compact division were Steve Dyer (first), Steven Lowe (second) and Danny Koch (third).

Stock winners were Dillan Cartmell, Aaron Patin and Andrew Moore.

Truck winners were Tison Cartmell, Michael Franklin and D.J. Hill.

Other winners include Jessica Cross (Powder Puff), Chris Farine (Stock Hooligan) and Austin Jones (Truck Hooligan).

“Next year’s show is going to be even bigger,” Benites said. “I’ve already got people calling me about the rules to build cars for the next one.”

She added that next year, she expects a format change to break each of the divisions up into separate heats to accommodate the growing number of drivers.

She thanked Danny Quinn for promoting, Trona High School football players and cheerleaders for helping sell 50-50 tickets and all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the event happen.

Pictured: Drivers slosh through mud and vehicular contenders at the Demo Derby. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-10-25