It hits every summer: Derby Fever
One of the best attended events at the Harrison County Fair took place on Monday night, as thousands of fans braved the heat to take in the annual small-car demolition derby and a big-car cage match.
Tiffany Applegate, who was the only female driver in the derbies, started the night’s festivities by winning the Pretty Car Contest
In the first of two heat races, where the top two cars advanced to the feature, Patrick and Greg Wright emerged. Michael Rhoads was third, earning a trophy for his efforts.
The second heat saw Jason Morgan and Chris Stepro move on, along with the No. 1000 car of Tim McCouley (Morgan’s 39x was unable to compete).
To allow the mini-cars to complete repairs for a consolation race, an all-out, nearly-outlaw big car cage match was held.
Due to the wording on several advertisements ‘ which said the match was an invitation only event ‘ the ‘bash’ drew only six cars.
With the top prize being $800, and payouts going to the next three spots, fans were assured of plenty of action.
The drivers delivered, as Billy Myrick’s 1x4U machine emerged as champion.
Former Harrison Co. Fair big-car demo derby winner Bob Shewmaker was second in his No. 66 ride, while his son, Gibie Shewmaker in the 974 car, was third.
Six drivers and their machines from the consolation race ‘ Darryl Rankin, Rob Greer, Tony Kelly, Danny Perry, Lil Brown and 2005 champion Josh Stepro, advanced to the feature.
Action was slow-going to start the main event, but as the attrition rate increased, so did the hits.
At one point, Josh Stepro’s Volvo was tangled with another vehicle before a hit by his first-cousin, Chris, freed him.
After five cars were eliminated, Tony Kelly’s No. 3 Mustang was delivered a knockout blow for fifth place. Rankin’s No. 253 car was the next out for fourth.
Chris Stepro, in a nearly-new Volvo wagon, followed suit after sustaining a fatal blow to the suspension by the 66x car of Patrick Wright.
Josh Stepro was able to work around to make a half-track trip into the rear of Wright’s car. After 60 seconds, when Wright’s automobile failed to make contact with another car, officials declared Stepro, in the 384, the winner.