Demo derby trophy hunters

By TED WADDELL
Posted 10/14/20

KAUNEONGA LAKE, NY — What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, along with more than 1,000 motorsports fans, than watching cars crash into each other until one driver crawls out of a …

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Demo derby trophy hunters

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KAUNEONGA LAKE, NY — What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, along with more than 1,000 motorsports fans, than watching cars crash into each other until one driver crawls out of a smoking wreck to be declared the winner in a demolition derby.

Well, maybe put a metal bucket on your head and have a guy named Bubba, a big ugly dude with a really bad attitude, beat on it with a stick.

Maybe not today—thanks but no thanks—but you get the idea.

On Sunday, September 20, the folks from Spinning Wheels Productions put on a hell of a demo show at Bethel Motor Speedway. This subset of motorsports attracted close to 175 entrants, all lined up to compete in several divisions (listed with the winners): economy compact (Jamie Rake), bone stock V8 (Jereme Spanburgh), bone stock compact (Tommy Goodspeed), youth bone stock V8 (Trenton Decker) and compact trucks (Gary Cooper).

Other than the glittering trophies, the most coveted and hard-earned award was the Mad Dog banner. This is given to the driver in each division who, in the opinion of the officials, was voted the most aggressive driver on the muddy course—that guy or gal who reduced the opposition’s ride in a pile of smoldering junk.

The centerfield of the quarter-mile oval was converted into a demo derby arena, which was filled in by slippery clay and ringed by giant tires to contain the vehicles as they spun into each other.

To keep things safe and spray water on the course, a trio of local volunteer fire departments were called into action: Kauneonga Lake, White Lake and White Sulphur Springs.

Shouts of “Smash ‘Em Up 2020!” filled the stands, and the spectators got a visual thrill ride as the drivers went full-bore at each other, intent on reducing their opponents’ vehicles to twisted steel, bearing monikers such as “Devil Child,” “Trump Train 2020,” Bad Boyz Motorsports,” “Stalker,” “Hillbilly Hammer” and “High Octane” just to name a few of the more colorful handles.

According to Josh Decker, one of the organizers of Spinning Wheels Productions, LLC, in the past five years, “We have become the largest demolition derby promoter in the Northeast... We smashed 1,100 cars last year and gave away $80,000.

“We also put on the largest charity demolition derby in the country to raise money for terminally ill kids with Sanfilippo Syndrome.”

Andy Crane, the oval tack’s co-announcer, promotor and driver of car #4, summed up the “Smash ‘Em Up!” demo derby.

“It was a fantastic event. We had well over a thousand attendees in the stands, and a few hundred more in the pit area… it was a home run.”

To learn more about or contact Spinning Wheels Productions, visit www.spinning
wheelsproductions.com, and to keep up-to-date on the events at Bethel Motor Speedway, visit www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or check out their active Facebook postings.

In upcoming editions of the River Reporter, we will focus on other stories from the demo derby: “Faces in the Crowd,” “Twisted Metal” and a pictorial tribute to the local volunteer firefighters.

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