Smashing good fun at the Fairgrounds

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The Compact class featured intense derby action. Due to the cars’ light weight, they were able to reach higher speeds and collisions were more devastating.

NEW ULM — A crowd of spectators filled the grandstands at the Brown County Fairgrounds Saturday for the second annual Pumpkin Smash Demo Derby.

The fall derby brought out many of the same drivers from the county fair. Over 70 drivers participated in seven divisions.

Unlike other derbies, the Pumpkin Smash adds a special treat for the drivers. A pumpkin is placed on the track. The first driver to smash the gourd gets an extra $50. Each heat started with a dash toward the pumpkin and typically resulted in hard collision.

In the Powder Puff class Becky Stoecker finished third, followed by Hailey Stoecker in second and Amy Isaacson taking the first place trophy. Rachel Meyer earned $50 for smashing the pumpkin.

The Compact division saw several high speed hits. Denton Strassberg finished third, Tyler Schaefer took second and Mark Kamenbach finished first. Andy Noble got the pumpkin first.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Before the official start of the derby, a special Power Wheel derby was held for the youngest age class. Due to the low speeds and plastic material used in the vehicles, few cars were disabled in the 10 minute derby. As a result, everyone was a winner, especially the spectators.

In the Mid-size class, Carter Magedanz finished third, James Kamenbach came in second and Trayton Show won first prize. Jon Kamenbach smashed the pumpkin.

The Mighty Mini’s was won by Michael McDermott, followed by Brandon Wensauer in second and Josh Salonek took third. Wensauer also got the pumpkin smasher award.

In the 80s and Newer division Ryan Herzog took third, Matt Konakowitz took second and Phil Whittington won the division. The pumpkin was smashed by Adam Walter.

Old Irons was won by Jake Tate, followed by Kyle Bentke and Denton Strassburg in third. Strassburg also won the pumpkin award.

The largest class was the truck division with nearly two dozen vehicles. At the end of the massive bout Anthony McDermott finished third, Wade Schnobrich came in second and Kotten Kuhlmann won the finale derby. Kyle Green took out the pumpkin pile.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The first flip of the derby occurred within the first 10 seconds of the Compact class. Fortunately there was no injury. The vehicle was flipped back over by crew and was able to keep driving.

The Pumpkin Smash was well attended by crowds despite the cold weather. The sun was out in full force, but strong winds forced spectators to bundle up. The concession stands sold a lot of hot pizza slices and warm coffee.

Event organizers said even though the weather was less than perfect, it was still warmer than last year’s Pumpkin Smash Derby.

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