PHOTOS: Demolition derby gets muddy, draws younger drivers

Photos by Jonathan Delozier and Candace Matwijiw | Civitas Media

Twisted metal, roaring engines, and fierce competitors were the key ingredients for a great show Sunday at the Lorain County Fair’s demolition derby. Fair board member Tim Sickels runs the event and said prize money has never been higher. “We split up some of our classes and combined a few classes for the first time this year,” he said. “Our payouts for one of our heats is $5,000, and our total payout is about $22,000. That’s all made possible by the fair board.”

Sickels is a former competitor in the derby and considers the chance to perform in front of loved ones added incentive in an event that already gets the adrenaline flowing. “I’ve been running it for the past six years and ran here for close to 20 years,” he said. “It always feels great to get out there and put on a show in front of friends and family. It’s our hometown fair and we love this place.”

Kids had the chance to show their skills in their own youth class this year, accompanied by adults in the cars. “We have some welded-up cars with high horsepower engines down to stock models,” said Sickels. “We have a youth class of kids ages 12 to 15 with no drivers license. Once a kid does it once, they’re hooked.”