Annual Derby brings in record numbers of cars and spectators

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

Craig County has always been known for its derbies and the intensity of the demolitions.

On October 12, at the Craig County Fairground’s Annual Fall Demolition Derby, spectators were not disappointed. “Where else can you go to have four hours of clean fun for only $10,” said one attendee. “It’s awesome.”

A record number of cars entered, and many heats filled the evening with excitement as the newest truck derby that has been added to the roster.

Emcee Sammy Huffman, the Johns Creek Fire Department and the four judges – Bub Ponton, Jesse Bradford, BJ Oliver and Mike Ashley – were all ready.

The first heat had three trucks: Troy Foutz – 38, Matt Huffman (Hurricane) – 88 and Austin Underwood – 75.

Huffman led the countdown, tires spun and within seconds, Foutz had rammed the bumper off Huffman. Underwood slammed into the side of Foutz, as Huffman hit Foutz. Huffman then pushed Underwood into Foutz, and the derby was on.

Underwood came back for Huffman with a hit. The wet mud caused them to slide around easily. Underwood lost reverse when he was pushed into the wall and was stuck there until Huffman knocked him free. Then Huffman came back and rammed Underwood into the wall and water spewed, but Huffman showed no mercy to Huffman as he hit him in the rear, but he came back and pulled up beside of Underwood to make sure he was ok. Both gave thumbs up to one another. Many feel that is the Derby at its best.

Huffman took first place, while second and third place honors went to Underwood and Foutz respectively.

Twenty-four small cars signed up for the derby which allowed four heats to take place.

The first heat included: Daniel Givens – 23, Tim Patterson – 28, Jacob Altizer – 66 ½, Eddie Foutz – 88, Michael Gailmard – 45 and Jacob Bevins -220.

Givens circled around with his Trump flag flowing and hit Foutz. Gailmard then hit Givens and multiple hits were given by all. “I believe you’re having a weenie-roast,” Huffman shouted out to Gailmard as fire shot out of his car.

Altizer got in the corner but came out with full force. Givens, Patterson and Altizer made top three.

The second heat was just as competitive as Paul Welch Sr – 55, Chad Ryan Jr – 44, Carter Lawrence – 14, Jason McAlwee – 40 and Ethan Brown – 15 started their derby.

Ryan hit McAlwee and Welch came through the middle and around to Lawrence. Brown then hit McAlwee and Welch. Welch rammed Brown hard but Brown gave it back until the radiator spewed.

McAlwee and Brown took top two positions.

The third small car heat drivers featured: Dylan McAllister -59, Aaron Smith – 425, Mason Smith – 35, Charlie Foutz – 69, Dennis Moses Jr – 88 and Brandon Gailmard – 54.

Smith started by ramming Foutz, but everyone quickly joined in on the fun. McAllister lost his bumper early. M. Smith rammed A. Smith into the wall but he pushed himself out, though he was deep in the mud. McAllister’s bumper cut a nice gash in the door of Gailmard as he pulled him around. Foutz rammed McAllister and Moses hit Gailmard. M. Smith spun and rammed Foutz while A. Smith put it in reverse to hit. Moses rode up the side of McAllister and then onto Gailmard. Gailmard and Moses and M. Smith took top three.

The last small car heat got heated. Some of the guys ganged up on the only female driver, Courtney Price – 5-0. The other drivers were: Brandon Haymore – 67x, Chris Boyd – Cancer Awareness (CA), Sam Dillon – 18, Troy Foutz – 38 and Dillon Pulliam – Buckwild.

CA started out hitting Price twice back to back. Dillon pushed CA into the corner, but Price came back and rammed Haymore in the wall. Price took some additional hits. Buckwild pushed Price into the muddy corner.

Price seemed to be the target. Oliver stopped the derby and hit the cars with the flag, seeming to warn them to also hit one another. More hits came. Price’s car was squished up and her tire was gone but she kept going. She smiled as she drove out of the ring while three others had to be towed. Buckwild, Haymore and Price took top three.

Sixteen big cars entered the derby and this year, they were teamed up by drawing names. “It’s the first time we’ve done this, and it was interesting,” Huffman said.

The first heat teams were: Jimmy Minter – PissnBroke(PB) with Jimmy Owens – 09, Donnie Fisher -21 with Brad Holt – 88 and Matt Flinchum – Old 97 with Howie Mitchell -5.

PB started with a ram into Holt. Flinchum pushed Holt into the wall.

Mitchell gave Holt three rams in a row. PB rammed Mitchell and Owens. Mitchell rammed Holt hard into the wall, but he came back out. Flinchum rammed Holt but Holt pushed back. Fisher was ramming whomever was in his way, forwards and in reverse. Flinchum hit Fisher hard but Fisher pushed him back. Fisher showed no mercy. Fisher and Holt took top position.

The second big car heat teams were: Josh Meadows – 38 with Braedon Morrison – 69 and Dustin Price – 50 with Derek Dudding – 13.

The horn blew and motors rushed as hard hits were immediately made. Mud was flinging 30-feet into the air from every car and the judges had to use their flags for protection. The crowd cheered.

Dudding rammed Morrison and then Meadows. Morrison hit Price and then again. Price and Meadows danced around Morrison in the middle. Meadows rammed Dudding into the corner but Dudding came out. Dudding and Morrison took top position.

The last big car heat teams were: Richard Brown – 51 with Bailey Holt – 000 and J. Welch – 56 with Corie Trivette – 35. Again, all tried a little intimidation as engines revved high as the horn blew.

It seemed that there were only little taps until Trivette pushed Holt into the muddy corner. Then Brown rammed Welch, Holt came out and pushed Welch to the wall. When Brown hit Welch into the wall twice, he was done. Trivette went after Holt and pushed him into the wall and then Brown and Trivette did a little dance in the middle of the ring. Trivette and Brown took the top positions.

The final heats brought no surprises with the hard hits and mudslinging. Cars looked like they were so smashed up that there was no way they could still be running. “That’s Craig County Derbying,” one man hollered as he raised his hat.

Small car winners were: first – Brandon Haymore, second– Dennis Moses Jr. and third went to Mason Smith. Mad Dog Award went to the only female driver, Courtney Price.

Big Car winning teams were; first – PJ Welch and Corie Trivette, second – Bailey Holt and Donnie Fisher and third – Dustin Price and Derek Dudding. Mad Dog Award went to Derek Dudding.

Oliver had to carry off many parts during the derby’s and had quite a collection on the side.

Huffman thanked McCoy’s Auto for donating $500 towards the derby winnings for the night.

The Craig County Fairgrounds wishes to thank everyone who makes the derby a great success, including the volunteers at the gate and concession, as well as all the drivers and their families. They welcome more vehicles for the spring derby.

more recommended stories