In the middle of the derby, Tony Gerstenberg’s car, back, catches on fire and shares its smoke with cars surrounding it, such as Taylor Nethery’s car, right, and Dan Patterson’s car, front. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Demolition derby ends fair with desired destruction

The Lassen County Fair made sure to end with a bang on Sunday, July 23 with the wildly popular demolition derby following the end of the Diamond Mountain Speedway races.

John Hay puts his pedal to the medal as he seeks out his next collision victim on July 23. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Fans were anxiously taunted with the promise of destruction throughout the races as the 14 participating derby cars were lined up in the middle of the racetrack during the races.

Once the derby finally began, the cars were confined to a rectangular area inside the track and were encouraged to ram into one another until only one car was left running.

Nathan DelCarlo, front, and Randahl Mitchell collide during the final few minutes of the demolition derby. Photo by Ashley Grogan

With cheers and reactions heard in unison throughout the Lassen County Fairground Grandstands as cars collided and dents formed, the night was full of satisfactory metal crushing.

After some of the vehicles had rendered themselves down for the count and lied lifeless in the dome, one car refused to go without a dramatic exit.

Tony Gerstenberg, driver of the yellow car No. 0, certainly saw his night go up in flames as his car literally caught fire and caused the firemen on-scene to use the hose.

Randahl Mitchell, left, puts the car in reverse to collide with Johnny Moya at full speed wile other demolition derby drivers are occupied with one each other on July 23. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Other than the flames that were quickly extinguished, the arena was filled with smoke from all of the cars suffering from repeated impact.

Though the smoke would deter most drivers, the rising steam and stench of hot car only fueled the derby drivers’ hunger for victory.

As the night continued, more cars dropped like flies in the arena, leaving the final three cars to battle it out for the standings.

Nathan DelCarlo, driver of car No. 306, finished in third place.

Joe Giusti, driving car No. 149, was the second-place finisher.

Randahl Mitchell earned first place and the demolition derby champion title with his car No. 155.

Though not in the final three, the derby saw a great performance from Gerstenberg, Carlos Hernandez, Dan Patterson, John Moore, Johnny Moya, Lisa Hay, John Hay, Desten Davis, Patrick Beal, Jennifer Nethery and Sandy Anderson.