For The Tribune
For Nicholas Tatlock and his children, demolition derbies have become a family affair.
It was no surprise the Crothersville family was found at the Jackson County 4-H Fair grandstand Tuesday evening for the annual derby.
Tatlock’s children, Triston Tatlock, 9, Jaylyn Browning, 8, and Carlie Turner, 7, were not there as spectators, but as participants.
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The three have taken up an interest in demolition derbies through their father, who used to participate in them.
“I used to run derby cars in my past and my uncle ran them for 20 years, so it kind of runs in the family,” Nicholas said.
Even though Tatlock hasn’t participated in an event in a number of years, he said he enjoys setting up the cars for his kids.
“Getting the cars together for the kids and spending time with them is great,” he said.
The Jackson County 4-H Fair added a children’s event three years ago, and with his children’s recent interest in the sport, Tatlock signed them up.
The three kids already have participated in three children’s demolition derbies, one in Scottsburg and another in Madison in addition to the Brownstown derby.
In children’s derbies, the drivers don’t drive fully stocked cars with sheet metal but instead bring their battery-powered Power Wheels toy cars.
Triston, who drove a black Cadillac model, placed first in the derby and smiled from ear-to-ear as he pulled into the Brownstown Speedway Victory Lane.
Tatlock said the hobby started when he saw advertisements for the Power Wheels derbies and decided to see if his children would participant. They seemed to be thrilled, he said.
“I brought the idea up, and they loved the idea of it,” he said. “We built them up, but that’s really only putting the higher grade switches on and a lawn mower battery.”
It’s special for Tatlock because he sees the joy it brings them when they participate and do well.
“It’s really special because they really love it,” he said. “I like seeing them get excited about it and getting their trophies, and getting out there and banging up and having fun.”
Those are essential, he said, because the little cars run in mud and don’t have enough power to make it through effectively.
Tatlock said the children are so excited to participate in the events, they practice as much as they can in the front yard.
“Every chance they get, they go out and practice it seems,” he said. “It’s a good thing these things are lasting.”
The reasons for enjoying the sport are simple.
All three confirmed their favorite part of participating is running straight into the competition.
“I like it because I get to crash cars and I really like crashing stuff,” Triston said. “I like running into my sisters, and I like my car because it’s strong and powerful.”
His sisters share the same opinion, but Carlie does have a need for speed.
“I like doing this, and I like my car because it goes really fast and I like going fast when I do this,” she said. “It’s really cool. I like my car because it has blue on it.”
This was the first time Carlie participated in a derby.
“I’m excited because this is my first one,” she said.
Jaylyn enjoys crashing into people, but also enjoys the paint scheme on her car.
“I like that my car is pink,” she said of her model Cadillac. “But I do love crashing into people.”
Tatlock admitted that demolition derbies tend to not be the No. 1 interest of girls in his daughters’ age range, but said he is happy that they are doing what they like to do.
“It is a boy’s dominated sport, but my girls get out there and hit just as hard,” he said. “I think that’s pretty cool, and they may be a little slower out of the gate, but when they get with it, they will hit as hard as those boys.”
People may think that the demolition derbies are male-dominating, but that’s not really the case in Jackson County.
Joey Piercefield attended the event with his wife, Katherine, and daughter, Peyton.
While he enjoys seeing the cars crash into each other, it’s really Katherine that is the big fan.
“I like seeing the massive hits and sometimes seeing the minivans when they do that,” he said. “But my wife is the one that is obsessed with it.”
The family has been coming for the past several years and Katherine looks forward to their visit each year.
“I love the loud noise and the hitting,” she said before finding a seat. “I like to see what all they have new each year too or if they have something different.”
Both said they were looking forward to the Power Wheels portion of the event, too.
The family is not alone either. The grandstands were significantly filling 45 minutes prior to the event.
Two lengthy lines that extended down in front of the grandstand formed about 25 minutes before.
So what’s next on the list of things to do in the children’s demolition derby for these kids? Tatlock said they’re considering a big one.
“We’re discussing going to the Indiana State Fair,” he said.
With as much practice as these kids seem to get, their chances of winning appear to be good.
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”2017 Jackson County Fair Demo Results” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
2017 Jackson County Fair Demo
Kids Power Wheels (32 Entries)
Tristan Tatlock, Crothersville.
Mini Vans (2 Entries)
Chase Williams, Vallonia; Chris Allman, Brownstown.
Mini Cars (20 Entries)
Scott Deaton, Scottsburg; Brandon Carr, Scottsburg; Derek Clegg, Naab; Shane Deaton, Austin; Matt Weston, Vallonia; Ray Weston, Vallonia; Tony Robinson, Heltonville; Andy Perryman; New Albany; Francisco Banderas, Austin; McKenzie Stancombe, Bedford; Derik Smith, ; Chase Williams, Vallonia; Michael Cochrane, Salem; Cody Chambers, Heltonville; Shawn Kendall; Tim Blakely, Underwood; Cody Fisher, Underwood; Daniel Cochrane, Campbellsburg; Nick Jones, Underwood; William Chism, New Albany.
Mini Car “Mad Dog Award” (For Hardest Hit) – Scott Deaton
Full Size Cars (27 Entries)
Feature One: Chad Quinlen, Fredericksburg; CJ Cravens, Elizabethtown; Andrew Tar, Seymour; Brandon White, Austin; Herbert Abner, Scottsburg; Cory Smith, Columbus; Michael Brewer, North Vernon; Austin Whittington, ; Tyler White, Austin; Tim Burge, Scottsburg; Dustin Cross, Scottsburg; Tony Judd, Scottsburg; Chris Walker, Paoli; Nigel Cochrane, Campbellsburg
Feature Two: Todd Hook, Lexington; Chris Smith, Lexington; Mikey Kelly; Amellio Banderas, Austin; Jason Simms, Austin; Boo Bishop, Deputy; Baylee Bozwell, Dupont; Devin Gilstrap, Campbellsburg; Josh Bowers, Campbellsburg; Dustin Wiggins, Austin; Paul Cornett, Salem; Michael Mullins, Scottsburg; James Baker, Scottsburg
Full Size Car “Mad Dog Award” (For Hardest Hit) – Mikey Kelly