Demolition derby a smashing success

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One of this year’s demo car entries gets crushed on Friday night. (John Spytek photo)

Car crushing the Incredible Hulk would be jealous of was on full display at the Monroe County Fair Demolition Derby on Friday night.

With not enough cars to run separate heats — only 49 combined — all four events were winner-take-all.
Starting the night off was a power wheels derby for kids.

The adults followed with the bone-stock division. Don Dietz of Burksville won the event after sitting out of demolition derby action for 11 years.

“I said it’s too easy now, so I came back,” Dietz said.

His family has been involved with racing and demo derbies since he was a kid. Dietz said he’s been involved with the event in some capacity for about 30 years.

Chad Schmitz’s 1997 Lincoln engine shoots out fire as he crashes into runner-up Brad Womack in the No. 53 car of the modified feature event. Schmitz had the last car left standing.
(John Spytek photo)

Dietz had a simple strategy on winning: “Hold the hammer down and keep on trucking.”

Jake Allscheid finished in second and his father, Brian Allscheid, took third.

In the compact  car division, Dana Schwering and her 1990 Ford Lumina evaded 10 other cars for first place. Kaelan Mudd took second and Justin Huelsmann followed in third.

Schwering got involved with the derby because her boyfriend, Tony Brellinger, started doing it.
“He started doing this six years ago when we started dating. We’ve been together almost seven years now,” Schwering said. “I got in the first car last year and I love it. It’s an adrenaline rush.”

Alex Voelker of Waterloo demolished the rest of the 20-car field to win the semi-stock division. This is his 14th year of demolition derby participation and the first time he’s won. He was using a 1974 Oldsmobile 88 two-door.

“It’s all about taking the right shots and trying to conserve the front end until the end. There’s a lot of luck involved and you can’t get hung up,” Voelker said. “My brake pedal broke off about two hits in. I had no brakes the whole time. It was an adventure. It was kind of the luck of the draw. I’ve been down toward the end before, but I had never won.”

Tom Ervin finished second and Jacob Riebeling took third.

In the night’s final competition, Chad Schmitz’s 1997 Lincoln engine was the last one running to win the modified car division.

Schmitz said he won the event in 2013 and the key to victory is patience.

“I love it. It’s an adrenaline rush,” Schmitz said. “My dad did it for 20-something years and I picked it up when I turned 16.”

Brad Womack followed in second and Bryan Lehr placed third.

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