Othello derby draws a crowd: More drivers, more fans in the stands for demolition races
Othello Demolition Derby crew members work to flip over a car on the track during a race Wednesday night at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald
Staff Writer | September 20, 2021 1:03 AM
The smoke and dust has settled since the Othello Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo’s Othello Demolition Derby on Wednesday night at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
Kameron Dockins capped off the evening by winning the final event of the night, the Othello Demolition Derby, taking home the $2,000 prize. Second place winner, Chris Eckelbarger, received $1,000, with third place winner Travis Jaeger getting $500, and a $500 “mad dog” prize awarded to Devin Bouee.
Adam Robertson helped organize and coordinate the demo event this month and said things went pretty well, after missing out on a chance to compete last year due to COVID-19.
“There were a lot more people than we thought there was gonna be, but everyone was really cooperative and understanding with our seating situation,” Robertson said. “We weren’t prepared for that many people.”
Typically, he said the Othello demo event brings in about 85-90 drivers, but this year had more than 110 cars. Having an extra year off to prepare, Robertson said he figured it would give him more time. But he said it seemed like there still wasn’t enough time.
Robertson said he made his way to a handful of rodeos and derbies around Washington and Idaho this summer, seeing packed crowds everywhere he went. He said he had an idea he might get a sold out crowd in Othello, too.
“We tried putting in extra bleachers, planning for extra parking and it still wasn’t enough,” Robertson said. “It was chaos, but the good kind of chaos. It was just really refreshing to see a lot of people come out to support this local rodeo association.”
Robertson said he thinks a lot of local people don’t understand how special of an event the Othello Rodeo Association puts on as a PRCA-sanctioned event. Just like a Seattle Seahawks game or Mariners game, he said these are professional athletes coming out to compete in Othello.
Robertson said he really enjoys getting to be a part of this event and support the local rodeo association.
“It’s just fun for me,” he said.
Vawn Davis Jr. competed in the demo derby for the first time this year, starting and finishing his first-ever heat race in first place.
“I know you never want to start first because everyone is going to try and pin you going into turn one, but I just knew if the car stuck it out through turn one I could pull away because they’re a bunch of crazy men,” Davis said.
Davis led every single lap of his race and never even touched another car. He said the car he competed in was sitting for a while, but with the help of his friend, brother and dad he was able to get the car ready to go.
“This has always been a dream of mine,” Davis said. “I grew up watching my friend race, watching his dad race, watching my dad race for a number of years. It’s just the greatest feeling in the world right now.”
Miss Rodeo Othello 2020-21 Brianna Kin Kade helped start the ceremonies Wednesday night. Kin Kade was asked to reprise her title as Miss Rodeo Othello another year after missing out on her first reign as queen due to COVID-19.
Finally getting to hit her hometown arena felt pretty amazing, she said.
“I’ve traveled to so many different rodeos and I have seen people from our community going to those rodeos and it’s been great to see them, but this is my hometown rodeo,” Kin Kade said. “To be able to see all of the familiar faces here, I’m just so excited.”
Kin Kade said it’s been nice getting back to a busy schedule packed with rodeo events this summer.
“I don’t really like sitting at home not having things to do, so being able to do things that are not only fun, but mean a lot to the community too, it just means so much more,” she said.
Steve Martinez and Chad Cole were winners in the trophy dashes. Heat race winners included: Tyler Marchand, Quirino Gonzales, Evan Cassiano, Owen Olson (twice), Tommy Pruneda, Jay Pierce, Jake Neissl, Max Waters, Kelten Booth, Daniel Guadiana, Steve Martinez, Dewayne Smith, Juan Rocha, David Gonzalez and Rylie Miller.
Powder Puff race winners included: Rylie Miller, Misti Lybbert, Amy Clardy, Nathan Garza, Riley Sundberg and Breana Danie. Sid White, Josiah Guerra, Justin Staud, Tommy Pruneda, Anthony Martinez, Jason Anderson, Nate Cole, Quirino Gonzales, Chad Cole and Andy Erickson were winners in Australian Pursuit races. In the winner’s races, Quirino Gonzales and Riley Miller took top finishes.