Fair entertainment ends in motor melee

Firefighters put out a blaze under the hood of Payne Hensel's pickup during Sunday's demo derby at the county fair grandstand. Wedged in front of Hensel are the top two competitors in the truck class, Ben Conklin (5) and Bob Butler (3XL). (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

Approximately 20 vehicles in three demo derby classes brought the 124th annual Hubbard County Fair to a bang-up conclusion Sunday night.

At times, the mud kicked up by their tires flew up into the grandstand. More than once, trapped vehicles had to be pried loose from each other or lifted off the mud bank on the edge of the field. In one instance, the action paused to let firefighters extinguish a flaming engine.

Trophies and cash prizes were awarded for the last three drivers whose wrecks were still rolling in the compact car, full-size car and pickup truck classes.

The payout for each class was $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third. Plus, a “mad dog” trophy and $100 was given to the most over-the-top competitor.

Leading seven drivers in the compact class were C.J. Zacharias, first place; Chad Bladow, second; and Brent Rogers, third. Full-size winners were Adam Tangeman, first; Eric Stevens, second; and Jamis Paulson, third. Truck winners were Ben Conklin, first; Bob Butler, second; and Daniel Wurst, third.


“Mad dog” drivers were Zacharias, Paulson and Butler. Zacharias also won $200 for outlasting two other competitors in a winner-take-all rematch of the cars still running after the first two classes.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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