"My guys and I come to put on a show:" Jackson County Fair hosts annual demo derby


Twisted metal was the theme for Tuesday night’s grandstand event at the Jackson County Fair.

As the area’s bravest competitors prepared themselves for the always popular demolition derby, it was evident that bragging rights was their biggest motivation.

“It’s definitely not about the money. This is all about the bragging rights and putting on a show for the fans,” said Branden Carr, who lives in Scottsburg.

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Carr competed in the mini-car division, which saw nearly 30 entries take to the track.

As the dust settled on the main event, Carr found himself victorious over his teammate, Derek Clegg. Chase Williams finished third in his Buckwild Motorsports entry.

The Buckwild team, led by Matthew Weston of Vallonia, fielded a total of nine entries in this year’s event.

Weston, Williams, Matt Shoemaker, Brandon Davidson, Adam Hanner, Nick Royalty, Mark Maxie and Ray Weston were all on this year’s team roster.

Weston was the obvious fan favorite in the van division, receiving cheers from the large crowd of spectators with each hit he made on his competitors. Efforts by Shoemaker and Williams fell short, as Weston would go on to win the event over his teammates.

“It always feels great to win in front of the hometown crowd, but winning isn’t everything,” Weston said. “My guys and I come to put on a show. Most derbies today, everyone has got too much money wrapped up in their cars. They want to sandbag and not hit. We’re the exact opposite.”

Weston takes pride in doing more with less.

“Wayne Burcham said it best, ‘We the few that have done so much with so little for so long can practically do anything with absolutely nothing.’”

Hanner of Brownstown, who also competed in the van division, took a massive hit from a fellow competitor, ultimately ending his night early and leaving him sore from the impact.

“At the very last second, I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye,” Hanner said. “The impact was so hard it sounded like a shotgun had went off in my van, and it almost threw me into the passenger seat. I’m just really sore. I have a bruise on my left shoulder from the seat belt and a bruise on my left calf from something hitting my leg.”

Hanner credits Weston as the reason the van division has became more popular in recent years.

“None of this would be possible without by buddy, Matt Weston,” Hanner said. “He really puts a lot of time and effort into doing this stuff, and this van class would have never taken off if it wasn’t for him.”

Even while in pain from taking hits out on the track, Hanner still claims demolition derbies are a great way to relieve stress.

“If you ever need a stress relief, this is the perfect thing to do, just going out there and hitting somebody as hard as you can with no consequences and having fun while you’re doing it," he said.

Twenty-six full-size cars took to the track for the final event of the night. Salem’s Jamie Voyles took home the win over Andrew Tarr, who lives in Seymour.

Action returns to the Jackson County Fair tonight with Thursday Night Thunder in the grandstand.

Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Hornets are on the racing program, which is set to get underway at 6 p.m. with hot laps.

Shelby Miles currently leads the Pro Late Model points standings over Issac Rainey, Zack Burton, Justin Bowling and Steve Peeden. Tonight’s event pays $1,200 to the winner.