Daredevil drivers put on a thrilling show for fairgoers Sunday evening as seven cars smashed into each other in the hopes of winning the annual demolition derby at the Lorain County Fair.
The rules are simple: Whichever car can withstand the blows delivered by the other drivers the longest wins.
Wellington firefighters stood at the ready with fire extinguishers and hoses in hand just in case anything went wrong. One car did flip and catch fire but the driver was removed immediately and the fire was put out in less than five minutes.
Driver Chad Diar of Amherst said he tries not to think about the things that could go wrong while driving.
“You always hope you build a good, safe car,” he said.
He pointed out that a normal car couldn’t withstand being flipped the way a demolition derby car can. And all participants wear helmets while inside the cars.
Diar took part in his first demolition at the Lorain County Fair 20 years ago and has been coming back ever since.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”
He said it’s a lot of work building the cars but it’s also a lot of fun. He spent about two months of evenings and weekends building the car he drove Sunday.
His reward: a second place finish.
When asked what advice he’d give to people considering entering a demolition derby, Diar offered a simple answer: “Do it while you’re young,” he said. “It starts to hurt a little more as you get older.”
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise
Car 508 and 53 go head-to-head after every other car is knocked out.