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A derby win: Sparks, dirt and tires fly in Northwest Ag Demo Derby’s second night

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | August 20, 2021 1:07 AM

The Northwest Ag Demolition Derby returned for its second night Wednesday, with even more drivers than the night before and plenty of dirt and sparks flying.

The night kicked off with a new event, the Youth Power Wheels Demo, pitting young drivers against one another in their battery-powered jeeps and buggies with balloons attached. Kids and parents had nothing but smiles before and after the event as every participant was given a trophy in both heats.

Kandice Whitaker said her daughters, Harper and Amberlee Whitaker, begged her to sign them up for the event after they heard it was going to be similar to Mario Kart. From there, she said there was no stopping them.

“All week it’s been how many more sleeps do we have before?” Whitaker said. “She had to get her gloves and she’s had her gloves on pretty much all day.”

After the opening ceremonies, longtime flagman Dick Hemore was given a plaque after he was unable to participate this year. Hemore has become well known for his bright colored suits at the demo derby. Brandon Douglass stepped in for flag duties this year.

Main events kicked off with heat races around 7 p.m. Zachary Nita, Ray Hahne, Trenton Dorsing, Scott Dorsing, Jeremy LeFore, Chris Campbell, Rylie Miller, Dallas White, Riley Sundberg, Tommy Pruneda, Nick Villareal and Shane Palmer picked up wins in the heat races on Wednesday.

Trenton Dorsing is competing in the demolition derby for the first time this year after just turning 18 and becoming eligible. He said he guesses he’s one-for-one now after a win in his first race.

“We’ve got a lot of racers in our family so just being able to get out is pretty exciting,” Dorsing said.

Dorsing said he had a little bit of adrenaline at the start of things. He said he was a bit numb at first as his nerves got the best of him, but after the first lap it was nothing but fun.

After the heat races, the Figure 8 heats returned to the Northwest Ag Demo Derby for the first time in a while. Tyler Dorsing and Rick Marshall walked away victorious in the two Figure 8 races Wednesday night.

In the Powder Puff races, Hannah Lynch, Amy Cardy and Tracy Coburn walked away with first-place victories.

In the Australian Pursuit races, Matthew Avila, AJ Hara, Josiah Guerra, Tommy Pruneda, and Gavin Sahli picked up victories, with Shawn Clausen and Cameron Collins tying in their event.

In the Donnie Merrill Memorial Winner’s Race, Chris Campbell came away with the win in the final event before the demo derby began. In the final event of the night, Mike Bise and Kody Vandeweghe tied for the win after the event was cut short near the end.

The event came to a halt after crowd members alerted event staff a patron had fallen and badly injured themselves, as demo derby staff did their best to clear the arena out as quickly as possible in the event an airlift was necessary.

Mike Bise, a member of the demo committee for the Moses Lake Roundup, said it was a great way to end things, battling against his good friend, Kody Vandeweghe.

“It’s really cool; we’ve always wanted to come down to me and him and do some real hitting,” Bise said. “It was cool, it actually got to come down to us.”

Bise said he got the idea to bring the new events like the Power Wheels to the Moses Lake demo after seeing similar events well received at derbies in Utah and other spots. Bringing the Figure 8 race back to Moses Lake for the first time in maybe 20 years was pretty exciting, too, he said.

All in all, he said there’s a real family atmosphere around the demo community where everyone tends to know one another.

“My mom helps out in the garage all the time; I’ve got friends that come over and work on cars,” Bise said. “My brother used to run, my dad used to run back in the day. It’s all good times.”

More photos of the 2021 Northwest Ag Demo Derby can be found here.