Fair 2021: Derby adds minivan and powderpuff classes

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Though her car was filled with smoke after getting smashed multiple times, Devlin Lewis of De Graff still sought out working cars in the demolition derby arena at the 2019 event. This year’s fair derby is set for July 17.

(Posted July 15, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

For a long time running, the last night of fair week has been reserved for the demolition derby, and this year is no exception.

Once again, London resident Tim Clark, owner of Smash-it Demolition Derby, is hosting the crash-and-bash entertainment. The action starts at 7 p.m. July 17.

Anyone 16 or older is welcome to participate. The entry fee is $50. Those interested need only show up at the grandstand track at 5 p.m. and visit the Smash-it trailer to sign up.

Smash-it is running five heats this time around, two more than usual thanks to the addition of minivan and powder puff classes. Clark added the minivan class to his operation in 2019, but this is the first time he’s bringing it to the Madison County Fair. He added the powder puff class, for women only, at the request of some of the wives of the derby regulars. The other classes are pro stock, mini-car, and street stock.

Each heat comes with its own set of rules, but some general rules apply to all cars entered in the derby: all glass must be removed, the doors must be wired or welded shut, and the driver must wear a helmet and seatbelt.

Clark awards cash prizes and trophies to the top three in each heat: $1,000 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third.

Louis Croom of London hangs out before participating in the 2019 Smash-It Demolition Derby. Croom said the 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix was given to him by a friend’s father, who told him to “do what he wanted” with it.

There’s something for kids, too. The power wheels heat is for 5- to 10-year-olds running battery operated powerwheel vehicles. Every participant receives a trophy.

As for who typically enters the derby, Clark said, “It’s about 60 percent from Madison County and 40 percent from outside the county. For a lot of the drivers, it’s a very big hobby, so most of them come back every year. We get 60 to 100 cars.”

Smash-it has been in business since 1998, growing from eight local events to hosting more than 40 summer events in multiple states. The outfit also hosts a Bash For Cash at the Ross County Fairgrounds in May and the Blizzard Bash in Topeka, Kansas, in November.

For details, visit smashitderby.com or call Tim Clark at (740) 272-1188 or (740) 857-2033. For rules questions, call Billy Estep at (567) 203-3608.

General admission to the demolition derby is free with paid gate admission to the fair. Pit passes are an additional $10 per person.

The 2021 Madison County Fair runs through July 17. For a full schedule of events, visit Madison County Fair.

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