It hits every summer: Derby Fever
Few sounds on the planet can match the deep, throaty gobble of an American-made V-8 engine.
Mix that sound with the smell of burnt rubber and exhaust and the ante has been upped.
Mix the three with a dozen maniacs who love nothing more than to crunch cars, and you have pure bliss.
The annual big car demolition derby was held Thursday night in front of a packed grandstand at the 147th annual Harrison County Fair.
After Richard Jones won the Pretty Car Contest with his No. 284 machine, it was time for mahem.
After three heat matches that featured a dozen cars each, and a consolation battle, the big cars gave way to small cars for the rollover contest, which was sponsored by Harrison County REMC.
The action kicked off with Mealy Brown (aka Tin Man) puffing and smoking into the arena, and reached a crescendo later when Patrick Rankin sent his No. 37 car tumbling like a rag doll.
While there was no doubt that Rankin was the top dog in the event, it took a couple of extra attempts by defending, four-time champion Jerry Adair to snatch second place from the Grasshopper, Tater Lanham, who wound up third in the rollover rolloff.
In the night’s feature event, the No. 69 car of Cory Strode took a tumble, landing on its side. Earlier in the evening, Kevin Compton’s 10-4 heap was also sent on a 90-degree tip by the Impala of the night’s runner-up, Joel Freiberger.
Once the carnage resumed, hard hits abound, with beast after beast falling by the wayside.
In one of the night’s most controversial moves ‘ as evidenced by the boos that rained down from the crowd ‘ the 1x4U of Billy Myrick was disqualified for multiple hits against a pair of conjoined cars.
The field continued to taper off until just four machines were left.
The first to make an exit was the car of Kyle Nolot. Jimmy Pittman’s No. 99 wound up third, setting up a head-to-head battle between Corydon’s Freiberger and Scottsburg’s James Toler.
The duo played a brief game of cat and mouse before Toler was able to deliver a strong hit against his adversary, pinning the No. 437 car against the outer retaining wall to end the derby.
Toler took home the top prize of $1,000 for his efforts.