BARTON – The Orleans County Fair ended with a battle to the death during the long-anticipated Demolition Derby Sunday. Fans cheered while mud, dust, smoke and the sound of crunching metal filled the air.
This year’s Demo Derby fielded 96 cars: 59 four cylinders and 37 six and eight cylinders. The drivers of the four cylinders faced off against each other as did the drivers of the six and eight cylinders.
One by one, the drivers lined their cars against the grandstand with ambitions to make it from the trials to the main event before sending their colorfully decorated cars to automotive heaven.
Some of the cars had flashing lights, political signs and one had a plastic toy John Deere tractor mounted to the roof.
At the end of the night the cars that once lined the lots of new car dealerships looked like nothing but heaps of scrap metal.
Promoter Dick Therrien, of Canaan Dirt Speedways, acted as the announcer and commentator. Therrien, who between heats joked with the audience and dared several individuals wearing white to roll around in the track of mud for cash, took the derby itself very seriously and wasn’t afraid to kick out anyone who broke the rules.
Therrien, during a phone interview Monday, said he was pleased with the derby. He said scrap metal dealers are paying big bucks for the cars even before the drivers could get to smash and win.
The cars in the derby took a lot of hard hits, said Therrien, and lasted longer than in the past, which meant the crews put a lot of time into them. He also spoke highly of fair officials and J.P. Sicard, who helped with logistics.
Area firefighters and ambulance personnel stood at the ready - just in case.
In the end, Stacey Mayhew of Newport Center won first place in the four cylinder category followed by Maurice Richardson of Brownington and Seth Cartee of Albany.
Tim Hunt of Derby Line won first place in the six and eight cylinder category followed by Joe Hoadley of Evansville and Jason Rogers of Glover.