Where there's smoke, there's fire, and there was smoke floating over the packed grandstands at the Portage County-Randolph Fair Wednesday night for a second night of demolition derby action on the dirt track.
Mud, bits of rubber and car parts flew up from the track as well, as drivers tested their busted-up cars against each other while the crowd cheered the big hits. Drivers were competing for the top four spots, with up to $1,500 in prize money at stake.
In a scary moment that had the crowd gasping, the No. 93 car caught fire, sending the Randolph Fire Department into action to put out the flames. The derby action was stopped with a red flag as the driver escaped unharmed, and received applause from the crowd.
Patrick Jordan of Suffield was one of the spectators in the stands enjoying the action. The 15-year-old said "the hits, the big hits" by the cars on one another were his favorite part of the event.
Patrick was cheering on Doug Mori II, assistant football coach at Waterloo High School, in the No. 61 "Go Vikes" car, which was personalized by Waterloo students supporting their coach. Mori won the heat, bettering his seventh-place finish from Tuesday night.
The demo derby was put on by Smash-It Demo Derbies Inc.
The fair continues today with Kid's Day from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., featuring rides, food, music and more.
The featured event Thursday night is a free extreme bull riding and barrel racing show at 7 p.m., with a concert by country musician DeWayne Spaw. Guests are also asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donation, with proceeds benefiting Portage County area food cupboards.
General admission tickets are $5 at the gate, or $1 for children ages 6 to 11. Children under 6 are free.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier