There was no doubt about the excitement of the first community open air event being held for anyone to attend in Craig County. Spectators from Craig and surrounding counties arrived more than two hours early to get a good parking place or a prime seat on the bleachers.
The Craig County Fairgrounds Association held the well-known Demolition Derby on Saturday, August 22 and over 900 people poured into the gates for an evening of fun and excitement.
Mike Kendall had long lines from his Hot Dog House, awaiting their meals before the derby started. However, during the entire night, Kendall had lines awaiting his famous dogs.
There was an anticipation in the air the entire night, during the small car heats and then for the big car. “We’ve got more cars here tonight than we have had in a long time!” Huffman said.
Three heats were scheduled with six big cars in each. With all the previous rains, including the downpours that visited a couple hours earlier, the ring was nothing but a big mud pit, sinking every car four to six inches as each entered for their heat.
The drivers in the first big car heat were: Joey Minter – Pisstnbroke, Jeff Crosby – 716 Crash Crosby, Derek Dudding – 13, PJ Welch – 56, Nathan Kinsay – 24K and Josh Meadows – 38.
Sammy Huffman, emcee did the countdown as spectators joined in. The horn blew and he shouted, “go go go!”
Those big engines were loud and ferocious sounding. Hits were made, forward and reverse gears were tested to the max and bumpers put to the test in hard core strength.
Huffman announced that if anyone had screen protectors to get them out because, “There’s gonna be a lot of mud slinging going on!”
Linsay had good traction in the inches of mud and took Meadows for a spin. Dudding sped across the ring with a hit.
Meadows motor started smoking early in the heat, but he still seemed to be going a little faster than the others.
Welch held back, waiting for a hit.
Dudding went for Crash Crosby with force.
Minter was hitting forwards and backwards. It seemed he had no preference, just gun it and hit.
Linsay’s car was filled with so much smoke, he could barely see, but that didn’t stop him from ramming whomever he could reach.
Minter went after Crash Crosby, then Linsay and lastly Welch. The horn blew and the top three contenders for heat one was: Minter, Crosby and Welch.
The second heat drivers pulled in with motors revving and cars sliding in the depth of the muddy ring. They were: Brandon Haymire – 7x, Howard Mitchell – 88, Braden Morrison – 69, Donnie Wayne Fisher – 21, Jimmy Owen – 09 and Taylor Cadd – CADD.
The horn blew and CADD circled around to get his first hit in, hard and fast.
Morrison rammed Owen and several cars ended up in the middle of the ring hitting.
Owen then hit Mitchell and Mitchell went after Morrison while Fisher snuck in for a hit on Mitchell.
It seemed every driver was determined to get the ‘big hits’, and they did.
Huffman’s suggestion earlier was right to get the screens out, as mud clods were slung all around the ring, forty feet high and well into the spectators.
The tower where Huffman sat was pelted several times to where the floor became a mud slide itself. He was also sporting a few mud clods in his red beard.
Huffman shouted, “These guys are hitting!”
Owen crushed the rear of CADD but CADD kept going and with only three tires.
Fisher was going hard for the hits and slinging huge mud balls everywhere.
Finally, Owen gave a couple hard hits to Mitchell and the horn blew to make the top three winners of the heat, Mitchell, Morrison and Owen.
The last big car heat drivers included: Jerry Price – 30, Dustin Price – 50, Corie Trivette – 35, Matt Flinchum – 97 and Kyle Sloss – 302 and silver 69x.
It was around 10 p.m. and these guys were on ready, as they entered with fervor and duals coming out of most every manifold.
Flinchum floored it and seemed to just hit everyone in his way.
Jerry got sandwiched in the middle but hit Flinchum who pushed 69 out of his way.
Jerry went after Flinchum and then Trivett. Dustin was spinning.
Jerry didn’t want to leave anyone out, so he then rammed Sloss.
Trivette and Flinchum sandwiched 69x.
Dustin drove backwards into 69x and started smoking.
Flinchum went after Sloss hard.
Jerry rammed 69x into the wall and 69x caught fire.
Jerry spun through the mud hole, splattering the Johns Creek Fire Department, and throwing mud into the air.
Trivette drove backwards into Jerry and Jerry’s car started smoking as the driver started waving. B.J. Oliver immediately ran to check on the driver, but all was ok.
Trivette then rammed Dustin a couple of times while Jerry went after Flinchum with a hard hit.
The heat got hotter as Dustin went for Flinchum and Trivette gave Dustin a hard hello.
Sammy called the heat, and everyone heard a loud bam and Trivette’s car filled up with smoke.
The top three contenders were: Jerry Price, Dustin Price and Corie Trivette.
The top three winners from each of the three heats were in the finale and they were: Braden Morrison – 69, Jimmy Owen – 09, Howard Mitchell – 88, Jerry Price– 30, Dustin Price – 50, Joey Minter – Pisstnbroke, PJ Welch – 56, Corie Trivette – 21 and Jeff Crosby – Crosby Crash 716.
Each driver entered the ring with intentions to win, shown by their revved engines and spinning wheels.
When the horn blew the tires started spinning and metal crunched fast.
Trivett started by ramming Jerry and then Owen. Crosby and Trivette then went on a front bumper to bumper match. Crosby seemed to have the most power until Trivette pushed him into Welch and came back for another hit.
Crosby went for a hit on Owen whose car started smoking.
Trivette went on a ramming spree, hitting Dustin and Minter and went for Owen bumper to bumper.
Minter wanted in on the game and rammed Owen as Trivette and Owen were battling it out. Then he decided to be fair and rammed Trivett too.
Owen’s car caught fire and he jumped out, but it was quickly extinguished, and he jumped back in.
Owen pushed Morrison to the wall. Jerry got his hits in.
Crosby rammed Welch as Trivette rammed Dustin.
Welch hit Crosby and Jerry hit Welch, while Trivette came in hard on Dustin.
Jerry crunched Morrison and Owen went for Jerry as Minter looked like he was stuck in the middle of the match.
Jerry gave Dustin a good hit and Minter got out and rammed Jerry good.
Trivette got back in the game to hit Crosby and then Dustin and Crosby again.
Owen went for Morrison three times and Crosby rammed Morrison backwards.
Minter pushed Trivette in a power play but Trivette came back and hit Owen.
It was “on”, as Trivette and Minter went at it. Engines revved and smoke was billowing. Minter backed up and rammed Trivette, then again and again, a little easier each time it seemed. On his eighth hit, it was over, and Minter took the heat.
The Big Car finale winners were: 1st place – Joey Minter, 2nd place –Corie Trivette and 3rd went to Jimmy Owen.
The infamous Mad Dog Award went to Corie Trivette, who seemed really happy to receive it as he smiled, holding it up.
Though every driver gave their best with hard hits, the Craig County Demolition Derby is known to be a friendly competition. The drivers got out of their cars, congratulating one another and joking around, talking about what they could have done or will do next time.
Very nice trophies were awarded, and monies given to the top three winners.
Dennis White, member of the local VFW Post 4491 was selling chances on a big screen TV, to raise funds for their missions. The drawing is not until October, so Dennis encouraged people to contact their local VFW members to buy tickets.
There was a 50/50 drawing, to raise funds for the two little girls who lost their father in a recent car crash and $347.50 was donated to the family.
Huffman thanked all the fans for coming out in such great numbers to support the derby in the ‘not so perfect’ rainy and muddy night and gave a special thanks to the Rescue Squad and Johns Creek Volunteer Fire Department and all of the volunteers who helped put the derby on.
He added that the Johns Creek Volunteer Fire Department had scheduled their upcoming benefit carry-out spaghetti dinner on September 26 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and invited everyone to attend.
The next derby is scheduled for Saturday, October 10 and Huffman invited all the drivers back for another awesome match.