Hordes of spectators are expected to fill Payson Event Center at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11 to cheer and applaud the craziness and zaniness that only can be enjoyed at a demolition derby.
Gates for the Payson Demolition Derby open at 11:30 a.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5 to 11 years and free for those 4 years and under.
Town parks supervisor Nelson Beck, who helps host the event along with Scott Honeycutt, is expecting 2,000-plus spectators for the fourth annual derby that will draw drivers from the Rim Country and around the state.
The demo derby competitions begin with a warm-up event in which drivers battle one another to see which one can be the first one to drive over, and squash, a watermelon strategically placed in the middle of the arena.
Of course, the sponsors usually dole out prize money to the lucky watermelon destroyer.
Prior to the melon-squashing events, the contestants make a grand entry to introduce their vehicles to the audience.
Those who have taken in past Payson derbies know they provide metal-crunching, bone-jarring, crashing, smashing action at its best.
Derby rules vary from event to event, but the typical derby consists of 10 or more drivers competing by deliberately ramming their vehicles into one another.
The last driver whose vehicle still runs is declared the victor.
While all entries are not yet in, Beck and Honeycutt are expecting some of the local area drivers who have done well in the past to again show up.
Among them is Forrest Waggoner, who last year took second in the trucks division losing to Valley driver Glenn Madden in the hotly contested finals.
Also in the truck division, Dion Lloyd was third.
In the cars division, Brett Carnes and Casey Bramlett entered and, while neither finished in the top three, the two were very competitive.
While the cars division will again be a big part of the derby, Beck expects the trucks to be a big draw among the local drivers and a crowd favorite as well.
Last year, it attracted nine trucks, the most in the history of the derby.
Among the local drivers who have enjoyed success in the division are Dan and Rob Shover of Coyote Auto.
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This year, the trucks division will see an increase in added money to from $750 to $1,000, or the same as the cars division.
The added money is put in a pool with entry fees and then divided among the three top drivers in each of the divisions.
The winner receives 50 percent of the pot, the second-place finisher pockets 30 percent and 20 percent is give to the third-place driver.
Last year, an impromptu bumper-to-bumper truck “tug-o-war” was so much a crowd favorite that Beck and Honeycutt have decided to hold it again. “It’s not open to the public, it’s a type of sideshow for the spectators,” said Beck.
The rules, regulations and entry forms are available at the parks offices at Green Valley Park or at www.paysonrimcountry.com.