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Demolition derby a highlight at last week's Augusta County Fair

Havoc and chaos ensued at the Augusta County Fair on Thursday night.

Nothing was wrong; instead, hundreds of spectators hooped and hollered at the annual demolition derby.

Attendees watched as participants wheeled out painted cars and crashed them into each other with thrilling and violent results.

Jay Bodkin, the event organizer, praised the drivers for their work on their cars to entertain the crowd.

“They put on an awesome show for an all-volunteer group,” said Bodkin, co-founder and owner of Broke Motorsportz in Churchville. “They don’t want credit for all their stuff. They’re just out there to have a good time and put on a great show for the Augusta County Fair. They did an awesome job.”

Getting the cars ready for the event requires mechanical work like switching out the fuel system, removing all glass from the vehicles, and supporting the doors to prevent them from caving in on the drivers.

Once completed and decorated, the cars ram into each other on the big day until they’re no longer functional or are the last car standing on the track.

“Demolition derby is stress-relief 101,” Bodkin said. “You can’t do this on a freeway and get away with it. You can’t do this downtown and get away with it. You can get away with it here all day, and it’s fun.”

Bodkin celebrated the work of the volunteers to make the event possible by helping to prepare the track and man equipment to move damaged cars.

“The hours and hours beforehand nobody sees is the hardest part,” Bodkin said. “Putting on a show in front of the crowd is the easy part. The amount of time behind the scenes is where we get all the phone calls, emails, and everything.”

Along with the destruction on display, Thursday’s event showcased a charitable effort. Bodkin’s son, Dakota, participated in the event in a car painted with cancer ribbons. The car wasn’t just a display; Dakota used it throughout the fair’s week-long track schedule to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I was going to build a car, and I wanted to do something special with it,” Dakota said. “I picked St Jude’s because that’s one of the best places out there.”

Dakota used the car to fundraise partly because of his mother’s experience with breast cancer. Dakota said his children picked out the pink and blue colors for the car, and his girlfriend helped paint the vehicle.

As of Thursday night, Dakota had raised over $500 to donate to cancer research.

“I loved every minute of it,” Dakota said. “We raised some good money for the kids, and everyone came out and had a ball.”


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