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Emergency Surgery

 

Demolition Derby Demands Speedy Work By Mechanics


Coby Hutzler / Baker City Herald Andy Johnson, left, and Kurt Hills work to repair Hills’ car between heats Saturday. Drivers and teams had about an hour between heats to attend to their vehicles before resuming their dirty work in the arena.
Coby Hutzler / Baker City Herald Andy Johnson, left, and Kurt Hills work to repair Hills’ car between heats Saturday. Drivers and teams had about an hour between heats to attend to their vehicles before resuming their dirty work in the arena.

By Coby Hutzler

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The Baker County Fair wrapped up with a muddy and smoky demolition derby at the fairgrounds on Saturday evening.

J.R. Streifel, one of the organizers, said 1,100 spectators attended. 

“It was an awesome crowd,” he said, adding that there was standing room only. “We’d love to be able to have more seats."

 

Ten cars took part in this year’s event, which is a fundraiser for the Haines Stampede Rodeo Association. Teams came from as far away as Tigard and Montana. 

Participating cars were split at random into two initial heats, with the surviving vehicles coming together for the final event, worth $1,500 to the last car running.

This year, the final round ended when the eventual first- and second-place cars tangled and got intimate, with one burrowing beneath the other. 

The derby rules state that in situations like these, the car that is “last or worst hit” is the victor.

“It was kind of a gray area,” Streifel said. 

Ultimately, the car on top — piloted by Eric Johnson of Walla Walla, Washington — was declared the winner. Baker City’s Jeff Martin, who drove the burrowing car, got second place and $500.

Doug Hills, also of Baker City, took third place and $200. 

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

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