Demo Derby appeals to all ages

Dave Labonte (left) competes in the Derby Dog Productions demolition derby at the 2018 Ashtabula County Fair in Jefferson.

JEFFERSON — There were a lot of damaged cars and story lines aplenty in Jefferson on Wednesday night, a result of the Fair’s Demolition Derby, with more promised for tonight.

The grandstands were full for most of the two hour long event, which saw 70 cars competing in six heats.

The highlight of the night was the pro stock full size heat at the end of the night, which culminated with a 10-minute grudge match between the last two cars in the heat, before “Mad” Mike Difrischia defeated Austyn Richards of Madison.

Another hard-fought heat was the street stock full-size, with a number of station wagons hammering each other for quite some time.

Zach Fogaras, in a station wagon, was doing well in the street stock full-sized heat. In a one-on-one confrontation with Jesse Spangler of Jefferson, Fogaras’ car caught on fire twice, eliminating him and giving the match to Spangler.

There are rules in the demolition derby. All of the 77 vehicles in the derby had to be inspected before they could compete, with different rules for the different classes of car.

Each car had a bar near the driver’s side window. When the bar is broken off, a car is out. Additionally, if a car is immobilized for more than

a minute, it’s out, and the driver must take their bar off.

There were a few car fires on Wednesday, beyond those that eliminated Fogaras from the street stock full size heat.

There were also some fuel leaks that had to be cleaned up before the event could continue.

The method of cleaning the gas up?

Fire, of course.

Three fires cleaned up the gas, with the Jefferson fire department supervising the clean-up.

Perhaps the best story-line of the event was car No. 1326 with driver, Dean Clark Jr., and his son, Wesley, in 1326 Jr.

It was Dean Clark’s 100th demolition derby, and Wesley’s first.

The two competed in the street stock full size heat. Dean Clark finished fifth in the heat.

Browns fans also got a treat in the event, courtesy of Ken Rhodes of Conneaut.

His eco stock compact was decked out in Browns orange, and had the team name and division written on it.

Rhodes won his heat, and climbed out of his car, revealing the Browns jersey he was wearing.

The demolition derby will return at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Admission to the grandstand costs $5, and to the pits is $10.