LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - On the final day of the 199th Lewis County Fair, engines screamed, metal crunched and everyone had a fine time.
It was demolition derby day at the fair, with derbies Saturday afternoon and evening.
The noise of metal on metal? Music to the ears of longtime demolition derby driver Carl Delles.
“I’ve been doin’ it since ’71 on. I usually do it twice a year,” Delles said.
“You get butterflies, for years you’d think you wouldn’t but you do.. After you make that first hit it’s balls to the walls.”
The satisfaction of watching things hit each other extends from the drivers to the spectators - like Beverly Morley, who explained “I like to see the cars get all smashed up and I like to get muddy.”
The rules are simple: last car running wins. Drivers are allowed to hit aggressively and only stop when a driver waves the surrender flag. or if there’s a fire hazard.
The track in Lewis County? Only about 300 feet long, but they still fit 20 cars on it.
It’s a lifestyle for derby drivers like Derek Widrick, who’s been derbying since he was 16.
“People get addicted to this because of strictly the adrenaline rush. The crowd, the sounds, the smells - you name it. If you love it, you’re going to be back for more.”
And when the show is over - drivers say - they just start fixing cars again, for the next derby.