It Took Two Hours To Crunch All The Cars But One

Mickey Reetz earns derby title

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The event had all the trappings of an August Doin's rodeo.

It was held in the Payson Event Center, stock contractor Honeycutt Rodeo was present as a promoter and the stands were rocking with raucous fans.

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More than 2,000 people showed up to watch adrenaline-crazed drivers compete in the demolition derby that capped the Northern Gila County Fair.

But on Sunday, there were no horses, calves or rough stock in the arena.

Rather, PEC was crowded with 1970s and 80s full-sized American cars outfitted to fit demolition derby rules.

For more than two hours, adrenaline-crazed drivers crashed their cars into one another, trying to disable all foes.

For the fans and drivers, it was metal-crunching, bone-jarring, crashing, smashing action at its best.

When the dust had settled in the Second Annual Payson Demolition Derby, Mickey Reetz was crowned the event champion. Steven Quills garnered second place.

At last year's inaugural demolition derby, Quills was first and Reetz second.

"They just swapped places, Town of Payson Parks Manager Nelson Beck said.

Beck and Jerry Honeycutt, of Honeycutt Rodeo, co-sponsored the event.

Jim Atwater, who was also third in 2006, won the battle for the bronze medal prize money.

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First-ever lawn mower races were held following the first heat at the second annual Payson Demolition Derby held at the Payson Event Center. Most entrants were from the Valley area.

Beck called the event an overwhelming success and a fitting cap to the Northern Gila County Fair, which began three days earlier.

Although final attendance figures have not been tabulated, the event attracted an estimated 2,000-plus fans.

Prior to the 1:30 p.m. start, a long line of fans stood waiting to purchase admission tickets.

Brett Carnes, who managed to maneuver his car into the finals, turned in the one of the best efforts by a Payson driver.

A half-ton pickup truck prepared by Dan and Rob Shover at Coyote Auto, also did well and was invited to participate in the automobile division.

Following the event, Beck and Honeycutt thanked Chapman, Chevrolet and Arizona Public Service for their assistance in putting on one of the most unusual sporting events ever seen in Payson.

Beck anticipates the demolition derbies will continue to be much-anticipated events at the Northern Gila County Fair.

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