Organizers hope to make derby a popular trend

By Tony Parra

Organizers of the demolition derby at the Roosevelt County Fair are hoping to create a tradition which will last for a long time, with the second annual derby on Saturday night.
The second annual demolition derby will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the special events arena. Scott Tucker, one of the coordinators of the demolition derby, said last year there were 11 cars in the inaugural demolition derby at the Roosevelt County Fair. Tucker said there will be 25 cars this year.
“It will be big,” Tucker said. “There will be 10 times the excitement within the same timeframe. The event is bigger mostly through word of mouth.”
Tucker said last year’s demolition derby lasted approximately three hours and expects the same this year.
“We wanted something different,” Tucker said about last year’s derby. “It gives people in Portales something exciting to watch. We wanted entertainment the whole community could enjoy.”
Tucker said a lot of volunteers have helped put it together. He said he hopes to have a success again with the help of Darren Hooker and Malin Parker on Saturday night.
“It was pretty successful,” Parker said about last year’s demolition derby. “There was talk after the derby. People were asking how they can get a car and get involved. We’re hoping to draw a bigger crowd this year.”
Parker said he helps with the inspections of the cars to make sure everything is good with the roll cages, the gas tanks and batteries.
“We did a good job of covering all of our bases last year,” Parker said. “We’ve done it again this year. We want to make sure nobody gets hurt.”
Parker said one of his concerns is the turnout on Saturday evening with the Eastern New Mexico University football game, which starts at 6 p.m. at Greyhound Stadium and the Blessid Union of Souls concert at 9:30 p.m. at Greyhound Arena.
Tucker said the objective of the derby is to see which car is left standing at the end of the race. Last year the grand prize winner won $8,000. He said this year’s winner will win more money.
Parker said a few of the rules of the derby are that if a car stalls for more than two minutes it is eliminated from the contest, and if two cars get hooked together and can’t be separated for more than two minutes they are eliminated as well.
“We’re looking to have fun,” Tucker said of the main objective. “The derby is a lot of fun for everybody. We’re going to be wrecking run-down cars.”
According to Tucker, the cars have advertisements from their sponsors on the car. Parker said the local dairies were also a big part of this year’s sponsorship.