State fair demolition derby a bang-up time

HARRINGTON— Casey Calloway, 16, said there’s nothing he likes more than watching cars smash into each other.

“It’s really fun to watch,” Casey said.

The Manlove Auto Parts Demolition Derby continues to be a popular event during the Delaware State Fair.

The derby event consists of five or more drivers competing by deliberately ramming their vehicles into one another.

The last driver whose vehicle is still operational is awarded the victory.
Casey, who is from Philadelphia, said he hasn’t been to the derby in about five years, but looked forward to experience once again.

“I don’t remember too much of it when I was younger,” Casey said. “But this time around it’s a memory I can share with my family.”

Matt Parker said the experience is just as fun being a driver.

“I’ve been driving for about six years now,” Mr. Parker said. “The ultimate experience is when you’re sitting up there and they’re counting down.

“You get such an adrenaline rush. Last year it was great I was pumped up and then two hours later I started to feel everything, but the whole time you’re doing it it’s such a blast.”

That seemed to be the case amongst spectators during the first heat.

Spectators either screamed or clapped as drivers maliciously ran into each other.

John Macfarland, a builder and former driver said he gets a rush from knowing how long a car lasts.

“It’s awesome to build a car and watch how long it last out there,” Mr. Macfarland said.

“I like watching it get beat up. I like watching how much abuse it can take especially with all the welding. I want to see how well it will hold up.”

Mr. Macfarland said it took three days to build Mr. Parker’s car.

“It’s an abandoned car I got from the State Police,” Mr. Macfarland said. “We strip it out and weld it up and get it running right. We’re just having fun with it.”

He said it’s a learning experience every year.

“We ran last year’s car three different times,” Macfarland said. “We went through six tires.

“We try to do something different. There’s always a learning experience with these cars. This year we have a smaller car, which makes it easier to move around our here.”

Mr. Parker said driving in the derby is fun to him, but he strives to try his best every time he’s out there.

“Each year I try to do better than what I did before,” Mr. Parker said. I don’t train for this.

“I kind of wing it every year. Last year I placed either 6th or 7th and I was really happy about it, as it’s all fun to me.”

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