By Lindsay Reed
The Cassville Rotary Club will hold its 10th annual demolition derby at the Bill Hailey Rodeo Arena in Cassville at 7 p.m. this Saturday.
"We hope the community comes and has a lot of fun," said Herb Primrose, Cassville Rotary Club member. "This is a fun motor sport with a lot of action. Everybody gets really excited.
"Come hungry," said Primrose. "We will have the famous Rotary Club hamburgers. We will also be serving popcorn, Polish sausages and other concessions."
The local demolition derby will once again be presented by Grandstand Attractions, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, Ill.
"We hope we get a large group of drivers," said Primrose. "Last year, we had 19 cars. We would like to see even more enter the derby this year."
The Cassville Rotary Club Demolition Derby will offer the following competition classes: stock 1980 and newer models; modified old iron 1980 an newer models; and compacts.
Cash prize money will be up for grabs at this year's demolition derby. The final three automobiles in each heat will receive prize money and qualify for the championship heat.
Local driver Rusty Newman, who has taken top prizes in the stock, modified and championship heats at several of the Cassville Rotary Club's past demolition derbies, will once again compete in every competition class this year.
"I enjoy building the cars and seeing how mine holds up to the other drivers," said Newman. "It's an adrenaline rush to go out and beat up on other cars."
Newman said he uses the free website wecrash.com to prepare for the demolition derby each year. The website offers tips and advice from derby drivers.
"We appreciate everyone who comes out to watch and cheer on the drivers," said Newman. "Without the fans, this event wouldn't exist. It's all for the fans."
Newman said that although it is nice to receive prize money during the derby, the money doesn't compare to the amount of time and resources each driver puts into their vehicle in preparation for the event.
"There are going to be a lot of local drivers there this year," said Newman. "My brother, Ryan, will be competing again this year, and Rebel Recycling and Payless Auto Salvage always have half a dozen cars.
"All Points Recycling will sponsor Cody Stephens again this year, and Travis Holman is supposed to be entering a car," continued Newman. "Harold Blair is always at the event, and Ken Leverage, who lives in Joplin now, but is from Cassville is usually there.
"Half of the cars in each heat will be locals," said Newman. "I really love that about this demolition derby."
The demolition derby will feature automobiles that have been altered to ensure driver safety. Factory gas tanks will be replaced by five-gallon gas tanks secured and covered in the back seat portion of the vehicle.
Glass, chrome moldings and head and tail lights must be removed from participating vehicles, and holes must be placed in each automobile's hood. The access holes are used to extinguish fires that can originate near the vehicle's motor.
Seating is available at the Bill Hailey Arena, but spectators can bring lawn chairs to the event.
Tickets for the Cassville Rotary Club Demolition Derby are $7 for adults. Children who are between the ages of 6 and 12 will be admitted for $4, and children who are under the age of 6 get in for free.
For more information or to receive a list of event rules, call 217-306-4025 or visit www.gsademoderby.com.