By Woodrow Polston
It was a combination of flying mud, exhaust, and the smell of boiling engine coolant that filled the air at the Vandalia Area Fairgrounds on Saturday night. Spectators packed the arena as the rumbling sound of the demolition cars made their way to the line-up. Hosted by J and B Promotions, the payout for Big Cars was $1,800 for first place, $750 for second, and $400 for third. For Compact, the payout was $1,100 for first, $450 for second, and $250 for third. In the Gut-N-Go category, the payout was $300 and full payback for first place.
A minivan was donated by Jacob Christian to benefit Brandy Niel who has been battling cancer. Tickets were raffled for $20 and a chance to drive the donated minivan. The winner of the raffle was Dale Wright and the total ticket sales and donations were $2,013. Niel expressed her gratitude to the crowd.
“I just want to say that I am grateful and appreciate everybody that is standing behind me and my husband,” said Niel. “This has not been easy. I still have a long road ahead of me. I am taking it day by day right now. My husband and I are truly fortunate to have such an amazing community that sticks up for each other. It means so much to me and I honestly don’t even have the words to say other than thank you and God bless,” she added.
Tyler Viden of Curryville won first place in Compact with his car “Lil 26”, Danny Hobbs of Louisiana won second and Michael Hobbs of Pleasant Hill, Ill., won third. The first-place winner of the Gut-N-Go category was Zach Fretueg of Meredosa, Ill. In his car “XYZ”, Austin Martin of Mexico won second place and Dale Wright, who drove the raffle van won third. The winner of the Big Car category was Gary Robinson of Bowling Green in his car “111R”, Kale Alberts of Hamel, Ill., won second and Danny Hobbs of Louisiana won third.
Members of the Van-Far Ambulance District, Fire Department, and Audrain County Sheriff’s Department were present during the events. Sponsors of the demolition derby included J.C. Auto Parts, CarQuest, Dairy Queen, Central Bank of Audrain County, Boland Chevrolet, Ramsey Dickerman State Farm Insurance, Kuda Auto Repair, Community State Bank, Bowling Green Tractor and many others.