Learning Demolition Derby Rules

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Because the upcoming demolition derby, to be held 1:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Payson Event Center, is a first in Rim Country, there are those unfamiliar with the rules of the competition.

First off, and a seemingly bizarre rule, is that Chrysler Imperials are not allowed.

Nelson Beck, one of the organizers of the local event, said it's because Imperials are so big and bulky they hold an unfair advantage over other cars.

Early on in the history of derbies, mid-'60s Imperials achieved legendary status for their crashworthiness, causing them to be banned.

The most popular cars now are full-sized American sedans from the 1960s and 70s. Their popularity is due to frames that are stronger than later full-sized cars.

In another rule, stock gas tanks must be removed from derby cars. Military-type gas cans are used and fastened to the floor inside the car.

Also, doors must be chained or welded.

Driver doors must be painted a contrasting color to the rest of the car. That's because ramming the driver's side door is illegal and is one of the reasons for disqualification.

The actual competition rules vary from event to event, but the typical derby consists of 10 or more drivers competing by deliberately ramming their cars into one another. The last driver whose vehicle is still operating is declared the victor.

Although early registration for the derby wrapped up Aug. 25, drivers may still enter for a $60 late registration fee.

For more information, call Beck at (928) 474-5242.

Koetter reverses field

Only a few weeks ago, Rim Country football fans were the watching Arizona State University practice at Camp Tontozona and Rumsey Park wondering who the starting quarterback would be.

Not a single fan I talked to, no matter how gridiron savvy they were, could say whether Rudy Carpenter or Sam Keller was the better signal caller.

The two appeared to be locked in a dead heat on who would get the starting nod.

When the team returned to Tempe, coach Dirk Koetter tapped Keller the new quarterback, then the following day changed his mind and chose Carpenter.

Speculation is rampant but no one is talking about the reasons behind Koetter's change of heart.

The coach would only say he had made a mistake in selecting Keller.

Carpenter is now the starting quarterback and Keller has transferred to Nebraska where he will take a red shirt year running the Cornhusker scout team offense.

In the course of a few days, Keller has gone from the pine-studded Mogollon Rim to the Midwestern cornfields.

Ducats on sale

Although there is no admission charge to the Payson Invitational Volleyball tournament Sept. 1 and 2, admission will be charged at all other regular season games. Tickets to all volleyball and football games will remain the same as last year: $5 for adults and $4 for students.

Payson High does not charge admission to soccer games. In addition to PHS individual tickets, a variety of passes are available for purchase. The options include a $120 family pass that will be accepted at all sports events this school year.

For $55, family passes to football, volleyball or basketball-only may be purchased. A boys and girls basketball family pass is available for $65.

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