Demolition derby draws huge evening crowd to fairgrounds
|A head on, right in the middle of the arena.|
It's hard to say there were any losers or winners at this years Carbon County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Demolition Derby that was held last Saturday night at the Carbon County Fairgrounds.
While a huge crowd estimated at over 5,000 people watched as Ricky Sandoval's car was declared the last one moving in the final heat of the derby. The Adam's brothers, who had won it before, took second and third places.
The evening began with a traffic jam; while the construction entrance added to the confusion, just the sheer number of vehicles trying to get into the parking lots backed traffic up Fairgrounds Road toward the south and well past PRWID.Congestion was also on the road to the east spilling onto Westwood Boulevard in both directions.
"Toward the end we actually had to turn some people away," said Frank Pugliese, commander of the search and rescue unit. "We felt bad about that, but there just wasn't anywhere for people to sit anymore."
|Stuck together, but not forever.|
All the heats were exciting and the once a year spectacle was punctuated by some good crashes. Only twice did vehicles catch fire. At one point in the final round one car went up over another and they both were stuck. However, after much grinding of gears and burnt tires they got separated and continued.
A few cars in the final wipe out were amazing. Even though many seemed smashed beyond recognition in the first two heats and the finals, 36 cars showed up for the final wipe out.
One station wagon in particular just kept on going no matter how many times it was hit and how it was damaged. The crowd kept cheering the driver on, even when he could only limp around the track at a snail's pace.
The money raised by the admissions and the concessions go to help the unit operate and buy new equipment. The search and rescue unit is always on call to help people in distress, lost or hurt in the deserts and mountains around Carbon County.
"I haven't seen the dollar figures yet, but I think we did well this year," said Pugliese.