HARTINGTON - This Sunday marked the sixth annual Demolition Derby at the Cedar County Fair, and it featured some local newcomers.
Three Hartington men competed in the 90s and newer class. Chris Brummels has been a part of the derby all six years it has been here, while Carter Lammers and Tristan Albers decided to give it a go this year.
“My dad has been talking about it for years about when he did it in high school so I thought I’d give it a try,” said Tristan Albers, the son of Todd Albers.
Tristan is good friends with Carter Lammers, and the two decided together last year at the derby that they wanted to be a part of it in 2018. Each bought a car shortly after last year’s derby, and slowly worked on it throughout the year, getting advice from each of their fathers. Once they each got into the pit, it was time for a show.
“It was definitely everything I thought it was going to be,” said Lammers. “Me and [Tristan] just came to the local derby [last year] and thought man it would be a lot of fun. His dad did it in high school and we got some pointers from him and my dad as well. We went from there and got a car and did what we could after that.”
Lammers and Albers had quite a different night in the pits. Albers was the first person out after losing a gear early on, while Lammers finished in third place and walked home with a $300 prize.
Lammers drove in car 08c sponsored by H&N Repair, and Tristan Albers drove in a yellow 80t car sponsored by Christensen Well. Brummels’ 778 station wagon was sponsored by Marcy’s Main Street Bar.
Brummels came in seventh trying to defend his title after winning last years 90s and newer class. Him and Lammers had an interesting collision early on when Lammers came to hit Brummels from behind and ended up clipping the driver side of the station wagon. Lammers soon found himself flipped onto his driverside just two minutes into the derby.
“I didn’t really expect it. I thought well this is interesting and I ended up driving out of that one. I ended up getting flipped again and that one I needed to get flipped over by the fire crew which really helped me out. That one had me a little shook up but it was a lot of fun.”
Yes, Lammers did get flipped again, but this time the Hartington fire crew was quick to push his car back onto all fours.
the 90s and newer class had a bit of everything with Lammers flipping onto his driver’s side twice, and an extended timeout needing to be taken for the firefighters to burn off gas that leaked onto the track.
Albers and Lammers worked on their cars in the same garage, and were both supportive of each other on the track.
“He did amazing. He survived on his side twice. That was insane. Wish I could have been with him though but maybe next year.”
Both Lammers and Albers say their cars are done for the year, but that they expect to get another car to compete in the Demolition Derby next year. As for Chris Brummels, he says his station wagon should be ready for the Dixon County Fair on Thursday, August 2 at 7:30pm.
While the compact cars in the first round and the 90s and newer cars in the second round both were able to drive around with ease, the limited weld class had a great deal of trouble with the track conditions. Tom Wiebelhaus announced the Demolition Derby for the sixth consecutive year and said this year conditions were quite different.
“This year the fair has come in July when usually we are very dry, and this year we have probably received 15-20 inches of moisture from the first of May until now,” said Wiebelhaus. “The demolition derby is based in a six foot pit so all of a sudden the water rains in that pit and it just turns into a containment basin. They couldn’t get rid of the water, so they got pumps in there and pumped it out. Then they thought they would get a heavy-ripper in there that goes down in the ground 30 inches or so to rip it up, but then we got more rain and that just made it really soft and squishy almost like a marshmallow out there. The cars had trouble getting around. It was dry on top and muddy underneath so it was a tough track this year.”
Wiebelhaus also said that the three Hartington drivers in the Demo Derby helped pack the stands on Sunday night with friends and family. He also mentioned Jay Mathiason’s great job donating trophies again this year, including a 6’3” hardest hit trophy that stood taller than Wiebelhaus.
“That hardest hit trophy at six foot three, I have never seen a trophy like it, and it would be hard to receive a trophy of that size because you would need a shop to put the darn thing in because it wouldn’t fit inside the house unless you put it next to the kitchen sink and used it for a towel rack. It’s an unbelievable trophy that is just super awesome and Jay has done an unbelievable job with those trophies ever since the demolition derby has come back.”
The crowd seemed satisfied with the three Derby classes, and Lammers and Albers already cannot wait until next year when they can do it again. All in all, it was a great ending to a successful Cedar County Fair.