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July 9, 2013
Demolition derby is on

The sound of screaming engines and crunching steel evidently will rise from the outdoor arena at Deseret Peak Complex this summer.

The 25-year tradition of a demolition derby will continue even though the county fair has been canceled.

“It is such a big event, we couldn’t let it not happen,” said Ray Dixon, who was the chairman of the demolition derby for Tooele County Search and Rescue. “Once you cancel the derby, who knows when we would be able to get one back.”

Tickets for the Tooele demolition derby, named “Punishment at the Peak,” went on sale July 1. It will be held at Deseret Peak Complex on Aug. 3 starting at 7 p.m.

TCSR put on its first demolition derby 25 years ago. The event, typically held in June, became an annual tradition and a fundraiser for the search and rescue organization.

In 2008, county officials approached TCSR members about taking over the county fair’s demolition derby held during the first weekend of August.

The county fair derby grew to attract over 10,000 people, many from outside the county.

However, when the Tooele County Commission canceled the county fair earlier this year and TCSR members voted not to continue the derby in 2013 without the county, it looked like the demolition derby had met its demise.

Dixon and fellow derby organizer Del McQuiddy recruited Stirrin’ Dirt Racing, a West Haven, Utah-based promotion company, to help them continue the Tooele demolition derby.

Stirrin’ Dirt Racing is a private production company that was created in 1999 to raise the level of the sport of demolition derby.

Over the years Stirrin’ Dirt Racing has expanded into producing Monster truck events, concerts, providing stunt driving and vehicles to movies, music videos, photo shoots and television shows such as “Top Gear,” “Doctor Who,” and “Johnny Christ.”

Stirrin’ Dirt Racing also does charity events. It has teamed up with the American Dream Foundation and has raised well over $50,000 for charity.

After all expenses are covered, Dixon’s agreement with Stirrin’ Dirt calls for a donation to be made to TCSR with the proceeds of the Tooele demolition derby,

As usual there will be two classes of competition, one for older stock cars and one for cars from the 1980s or newer.

A  truck heat will be added as a new event to this year’s demolition derby, Dixon said.

The 2012 derby drew over 40 cars, and Dixon expects this year’s derby will draw at least that many competitors.

Tickets for the derby are $15 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Burger King in Tooele for $13, according to Dixon.

“The demolition derby is one of the biggest events in the county,” he said. “It’s great that Stirrin’ Dirt is able to help us keep the tradition going. Maybe next year when things have settled down the county can run it as part of the fair again.”

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