LIMA — Demolition Derby winners from all over Ohio were invited to compete in the King of Ohio Demolition Derby, Friday through Sunday at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
This was the first time for the event in Lima.
“We signed a five-year contract. We’re excited about it. The Allen County Fairgrounds has been unbelievable. It’s a great facility and all the people in Lima have been nothing but supportive of what we’re doing,” said Jeff Hobbs, marketing director for Triple D Entertainment.
The participants in the derby are all winners.
“This is a qualifying-only derby. What that means is you had to win or finish second in a show somewhere in the state of Ohio to get here. Most derbies cost money to enter, these guys are all coming for free because they qualified someplace else,” Hobbs said.
Dillon Christian, 16, from Sidney, Ohio, is competing in the youth class and hopes to attend the University of Northwestern Ohio after graduating high school.
“(Studying) Probably some type of auto body mechanics, something along that line,” Christian said.
He says his mentor was his father Frank Christian.
“He inspired me. He’s a pretty good driver and taught me everything I know about it,” Dillon said.
Howard Winter of Lima was philosophical about competing in the King of Ohio Derby as this will be his last one.
“I’m just going out and having fun one more time,” Winter said.
Carson Pilcher of Findlay, like many of these drivers, doesn’t drive for the notoriety — he does it for “fun and love of the sport.”
The brains behind the King of Ohio Demolition Derby is Dustin Woods of Celina.
“When I was 18, I built my first car and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Woods said.
Woods is hoping the event grows.
“So in five years, what I expect is that this will be the premier event in the United States. We want to take this to a national level. We want to create a King of Ohio, a King of Indiana or a King of Kentucky, that type of deal and then those will be qualifiers for a national event.”
The King of Ohio Demolition Derby continues Sunday with the championships with a $10,000 top prize on the line.
The feature races begin at 2:45 p.m.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.