Demo Derby gets ready to rev up

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File photo A driver raises a cloud of dust at last year’s Demo Derby. This year’s derby is Wednesday.

MOSES LAKE — The Northwest Ag Demolition Derby, an event that never seems to struggle to fill seats, returns with the Grant County Fair next Wednesday evening.

The Derby is filled to the brim with events, including the finale demolition derby itself. The event will kick a little earlier than usual, at 7 p.m. Time trials will begin at 5 p.m., with the heat races kicking off two hours later.

There will be heat races, powderpuff races, Australian Pursuits and trophy race between eight cars selected by the rodeo queens themselves. In addition, the figure-eight race makes its return this season, a fast-paced event that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Mike Bise has helped to build the rules for the demo derby this year. Bise has taken part in the event for nearly 30 years, ever since he was 15 years old.

Bise said the event has become something that people look forward to in the community, getting excited when they start seeing the demo cars coming out around town.

“I’ve never seen the crowd not full since I started when I was 15,” Bise said. “When I was a little kid, I dreamed of it. And man, the crowd’s always been packed.”

Gates will open at noon this year instead of 3 p.m., to try and help get drivers get in and situated earlier on. Bise said people have mentioned an issue they’ve had with the show in the past has been just how late in the night it lasts.

With the moved up times, new skid steers to pull out cars and new barriers that are harder for cars to become hung up on, Bise said they are doing everything they can to speed up things to get the night going by faster.

“We’re doing whatever we can to make people happy,” Bise said. The event has become a tradition, with people who grew up coming when they were younger now bringing their own families. Bise said he guesses about 90 percent of the packed crowds are made up by families who come out from around the community.

As time winds down before the big day, Bise said he’s already built one car for a friend, while he still works on his own.

“It’s usually the last day, or the day before, we’re finishing them up and getting them ready,” Bise said.

Two drivers will also be coming from the west side of Washington to take part next Wednesday after an event had to be canceled.

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