The community of Craig is use to the competitive edge that is always shown at the Craig Derby’s. “That’s why some won’t come to Craig to derby,” one driver shared. “We show no mercy.”
Richard Dudding and his sons haven’t shown any mercy towards one another with easy hits over the years. “That’s just what we do here,” Richard shared. “It’s a competition, but its friendly and sometimes a time of crashing and bashing.”
On the evening of Saturday, October 12, the Fall Demolition Derby was at its best, having compact, big car and powder puff heats. Announcer Sammy Huffman added to the event with comments, encouragements and little fun puns. “It’s what we like to do,” he said.
There were the usual hits that knocked off tires, bashed in rear ends until there didn’t look as though the car had one and of course the flames kicking from atop the car and spreading underneath.
Joey Minter’s car, a ‘newby’ from Danville, was almost a chariot of fire. The flames are always quickly extinguished by the local Craig County Fire Departments.
At the end of the day, the Big car winners were: Donnie Wayne Fisher – first, Matt Flinchum – second and Jay Law – third. Compact car winners were; Richard Brown – first, Daniel Givens – second, Charlie Foutz – third.
Fisher also took the Mad Dog award, however he gave it to Jay Law. “I felt like he deserved it,” he said. Huffman added: “Jay put on a good show with an old 1969 Plymouth Fury.”
The Powder Puff Derby for the young ladies is building each derby. There were five girls in the heat: Maddy Oliver, Makenzie Hutchison, Melia Hutton, Jaden Persinger and Jessica Wright.
Whoever said, “Girls don’t hit hard”, never came to a Craig County Powder Puff Derby. Multiple big hits were made and the cars left the ring quite different than they entered.
After all was said and done, Maddy Oliver took first place in the Girls Powder Puff Derby and took the Mad Dog Award as well. “Running derbies is a family tradition for our family; it is a legacy left from our children’s grandfather Jack Oliver,” Maddy’s mom, Teresa shared. “It’s more than just competing and more about spending time with their dad learning about how a car works.”
She added that their youngest twelve-year-old son Grant is learning to weld, use cutting torches and becoming more skillful on car maintenance. “Still, the time spent together is really the greatest thing to take away from running derby’s for us,” Teresa said.
Several years ago, B.J. Oliver and his dad Jack use to compete with a group of friends under the name ‘wrecking crew’. Maddy has decided that she and her friends are going to be that ‘next’ crew and painted on her car, “The New Generation WRECKING CREW”.
Everyone left the event smiling. “Ten dollars is a great deal for a whole evening of entertainment,” said one attendee. “You can’t even see a movie now for that and this was a hundred times better!” Even the donation 50/50 drawing was a whopping $615.
“Thanks to all the volunteers that make these derbies happen,” Huffman shared. “We appreciate everyone for coming out to watch the derbies this past year and we hope to see everyone in the spring.”