Although the seasoned, veteran Valley-area drivers dominated the Payson Demolition Derby, there was a foursome of adrenaline-crazed locals who more than held their own.
“Our local guys earned some respect from those from out of town,” said Nelson Beck, one of the derby’s founders and a current promoter along with Scott Honeycutt.
The Payson drivers who shined in front of the crowd of 1,800 spectators who showed up Sept. 12 at the Payson Event Center included Forrest Waggoner, Dion Lloyd, Brett Carnes and Casey Bramlett.
Waggoner took second in the trucks division, losing to Valley driver Glenn Madden in the hotly contested finals.
“Forrest drove like a banshee,” said Beck.
Lloyd of Chapman Auto who took third in a Dodge truck.
A total of nine trucks, the most in the history of the derby, entered the division.
Although neither Carnes nor Bramlett finished among the top three in the cars division, both were competitive through the two-hour long performances.
In 2007, Carnes reached the finals.
Tanner Smith won the cars championship, defeating Mickey Reetz in a fierce battle of wills — and wheels.
“Mickey had to give up after his car broke in half,” Beck said.
Reetz is no stranger to the demolition derby, having finishing second in 2006 and first in 2007.
On Sunday, Jim Atwater was third.
For the first time, the derby featured an impromptu bumper-to-bumper truck pull that had fans in the stands hootin’ and hollerin’ in wild anticipation as the trucks tried to pull one another similar to a tug-o-war.
Beck called the derby a “great show,” saying the crowd was the second or third largest in the history of the event, and that there was plenty of all-out driving to make the wacky entertainment one that visiting fans won’t soon forget.