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Demolition Derby offers bang-up good time

Mud flying, metal crashing, and the roar of the crowd - that can only mean one thing during fair week - the demolition derby.

Onlookers cheered as drivers wheeled in, lined up, and began crashing into each other in attempts to eliminate the competition.

"It's an adrenaline rush," Josh Grimmett said.

For Grimmett, the derby is really a family affair. Along with his son, who also participates in the derby, Grimmett's 2-year-old grandson, Jason Cyrus, is getting in on the action as well. Cyrus "tries out" the car and gives his grandfather a kiss before the race begins. Grimmett said that he's going to teach his grandson all about the derby when he gets big enough.

Grimmett was the one in the driver's seat for Monday night's smaller car demolition derby. He said that he won with his car last year, which he spent $400 on, $300 for the car and $100 to get it ready for the event.

Grimmett and his mechanic, Tom Chambers, work together on the cars, and seemed excited about the event.

For others, the event is all about adrenaline.

"This is my third race," said Lori Viars of Ironton. "It's exciting, after you make your first hit, it is OK."

Viars was the only woman who participated in the derby on Monday evening. Viars said she started because her husband had driven in the derby.

Whether participating or not - the driver of the Papa John's car is a huge fan of the derby.

"We're here every year watching it, whether we're in it or not," she said.

"Crazy Carl" Carpenter had a lot of confidence in his No. 44 car, before Monday's derby. "I did a stunt show with this car awhile back and went clear through a car," he said.

Carpenter's son Jason was the driver of the car that was sponsored by Nicelys' Towing and C & L Towing. Jason Carpenter has been doing this for 10 years, and his father has been doing it for 30.

Carl Carpenter has quit driving in the derby, and now he does stunt shows with his derby car.

"I love it," Carpenter said.

No matter their reason for sitting in line, waiting to start their engines and roar out in front of the crowd - one thing is certain - they all want to win and they have a great time trying.