Hamm wins demo derby
Jason Hamm of Hillsboro sipped a cold Bud Light to commemorate his victory in what was a hot and hard-hitting demolition derby Saturday night at the county fair.
“It was a good derby, with good officiating and good driving,” said Hamm, drenched in sweat just after the final heat.
Temperatures hovered around 100 degrees toward the beginning of the event, and conditions were even warmer for drivers in the cockpits of their wrecking machines, with engines at 300 to 400 degrees.
For Hamm, who took home a trophy and $1,200 in prize money, the key to his victory was attitude.
“I’m in it to win it,” he said. “A lot of people don’t like us, because we hit ’em hard, but we’re just trying to put on a show for the fans.”
Fair officials estimated that in addition to increased overall fair attendance this year, the derby attendance was 1,000 to 1,200 despite sweltering conditions. By the time the sun had set, concessions booths had run out of most beverages.
Bill Foley had the hottest night of anyone, losing the main feature after violating a “two fires and you’re out” rule, as competition was paused twice to put out flames in his engine.
Hamm outlasted eight other drivers, including Foley, in the final heat after advancing through a qualifying heat earlier in the night. Weston Mizell placed second and Phillip Terrell placed third, for prizes of $800 and $500, respectively.
Top-three finishers advanced to the state championships in Abilene, along with the winner of the Mad Dog award, Scott Schultz, who placed fourth.
Other winners included Blake Stringer, who won the evening’s compact derby; Dean Suderman, who won its figure 8 race; and Tristen Hett, who won its junior figure 8 race.