Drivers in this year?s Marion County Fair Demolition Derby on Saturday, July 31, will have extra motivation to have the last car running.
The derby, for years the fair?s top attraction and grand finale, has joined the newly formed Cham?pionship Demoli?tion Derby Association. As a result, the top two finishers at this year?s fair derby will automatically qualify for a state-championship derby in October.
Lloyd Anderson, one of the organizers for the MCF derby, said the CDDA is a privately run effort that replaces the former system operated by the state.
?You have to qualify in a county derby in order to go to this other (state championship) derby, like it used t be with the state,? he said.
Joining the CDDA should have some advantages for the local event, he added.
?It gets other drivers interested in coming to our derby, since we can qualify,? he said. ?The county will pay their entry fees for that derby?that?s another advantage. The first and second-place winners can advance.?
As of April, an Internet posting listed 23 derbies across the state that have joined the CDDA, with more anticipated.
The CDDA is not limited to Kansas drivers, the site reported. The organization was working with about $3,000 in prize money at that time.
The CDDA championship derby will have inspectors from across the state in an effort to make the event fair and unbiased.
Anderson said the fair board approached the derby committee about joining the CDDA.
?We thought it was a good idea,? Anderson said.
Serving with Anderson on the committee are Dean Suderman, Joe Alvarez and Mike Duerksen.
Anderson said it was too early to know if the connection with the CDDA will actually increase entries.
?But I would say it will generate more interest in our county fair, statewide,? he said.
At the 2009 derby, Jesse Hamm outlasted Jason Hamm for first place. Jason Hamm won the first preliminary heat to reach the final, and Jesse emerged from the second preliminary heat.
Scott Schultz and Tony Hett advanced from the fourth heat and placed third and fourth, respectively. Thayne Meier placed fifth in the final.
Seven others competed in the final: John Smith, Levi Wiggins, Jason Bernhardt, Jacob Daniels, Greg Schmalzried, Darrin Hajek and Lance Diepenbrock.
In the compact cars division, Darcy Unruh placed first, Lloyd Anderson placed second, Cory Hiebert placed third and Scott Alcorn placed fourth.
The evening?s prize money totaled $4,750: 12 finalists with $100 apiece plus an additional $1,000 for first place, $700 for second, $400 for third, $250 for fourth and $150 for fifth.
Schultz won the $100 ?Mad Dog? award for the most aggressive driver, and a total of $950 was awarded to the top placers in the compact cars division.
This year?s event will include four initial heats, with the top two placers earning $100 and a spot in the finals. Non-qualifiers will get a second chance by competing in one, possibly two, consolation heats; the two winners will receive $100 each and advance.
In the championship heat, the winner will earn $1,000, second place $700, third place $400, fourth place $250 and fifth place $150. Trophies, provided by Midway Motors and Hillsboro Ford, will be awarded to the top three finishers.
The MCF Derby also will bring back the compact-car heats, with the top four finishers earning $350, $250, $150 and $100, respectively.
The derby will begin at 7 p.m. in the fairgrounds arena. Ticket prices this year are: adults $8, children age 6-12 $6, age 5 and under free.
For more information about the derby, contact the fair office at 620-381-0109 or by e-mail at MNCoFairManager@yahoo.com.