Shawn Wersal of Glasgow drove his competition into the ground to win the 2013 Northeast Montana Fair Demolition Derby at the Glasgow Fair Grounds on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Engines roared, metal crunched and mud flew as winners advanced from three heats and a consolation round to the final, leaving behind those who raised white flags of defeat as their cars were beaten into submission or pushed out of the ring.
“It was one of the fastest, hardest hitting derbies we’ve had in a long time,” said Judge Lane Billing of Milk River Motorsports, the company that organized the Derby.
Wersal was awarded $2,500 for his victory, driving a battered 1978 black and blue Ford LTD crewed by Kevin Wersal and Ricci Olson.
“I built it all myself and put all my life into it,” Wersal said, “But this stuff wouldn’t happen if other people didn’t work hard on it. Everybody does their best.”
Fred “Derf” Potter of Glasgow, Terry Falcon of Trenton, N.D., Kyle “Pinto” Bilger of Glasgow and Brian Jeanotte of St. Marie won second through fifth places, respectively. Dusty Dowell of Malta won the Mad Dog prize for most aggressive driver and Cody Tribby of Glasgow won the Hard Luck prize, awarded to a driver who qualifies for the final round but whose car is too damaged to continue.
A percentage of all the winnings, paid for by the Fair Commission as well as half the entry fees, went to Dustin Bietz, 30, of Beulah, N,D. Milk River Motorsports partnered with the American Cancer Society for this event to raise money for Bietz, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April of 2012. He has undergone intensive chemotherapy in Billings as well as a stem cell transplant last October in Seattle, where he remains undergoing further treatment.
The derby on Tuesday marked the last event of the fair, attended by people from all over northeast Montana.
“What I enjoy about the fair is it brings everybody from outlying communities to town,” said Drew Markle, owner of Markle’s Ace Hardware in Glasgow. “You get to see people you only see once or twice a year and catch up.”