The Stanislaus County Fair is here and with it an anticipation for fried foods, rides, exhibits, musical performances and motor sports. Of all the entertainment options available during the fair's nine-day run, the single most popular event is undoubtedly the two-day Destruction Derby, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and hosted by the Turlock Lions Club.
The Destruction Derby has been a mainstay attraction since the 1970s, but this year's event will be a continuation of a shift in tradition that started last year with the inclusion of motorhomes. Not only will motorhomes once again be included in the mayhem, they will be featured both nights and there will be more than twice as many motorhomes in action.
"They really liked it," Turlock Lions Club co-competition director Carl Mikkelson said of the spectators. "All the debris falling off and the components of the motorhome being dragged behind. They thought it was a kick. They even stuck around to watch the excavator load the motorhomes onto the trailers, something they hadn't seen before."
After featuring only five motorhomes last year, this year's derby will feature seven on Monday and six on Tuesday. But the expansion of the motorhome portion of the event was not only due to the fans' reaction, it was also something the drivers themselves asked for.
"It's getting harder to find cars to run. You can actually find a motorhome easier and cheaper, and they're actually less work to build, so the drivers suggested that was one area of expansion," Mikkelson said.
Fans accustomed to the traditional derby with modified and reinforced classic cars have no need to fret, however, as there will still be 20 cars in action. Monday will feature the traditional cars crashing into each other while Tuesday will feature women drivers as well as modified pickup trucks.
"It's a family event. The kids love it," Mikkelson said. "It's a lot of action and fast paced. The drivers are typically well known, it's relatively cheap and when the action is on there's a lot of action."
Monday's Destruction Derby I and Motorhome event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with ticket prices at $12 and $10; and Tuesday's Destruction Derby II and Metal Mayhem Motorhome event will also begin at 6:30 p.m. with ticket prices at $10 and $8.
Motor sports fans can also look forward to a variety of other events at the FoodMaxx Arena including:
• Monster Trucks/Mud Drags/Jet Car Blast on Wednesday;
• Monster Trucks/Freestyle MotoX/Smokey Tire Burn Out on Thursday;
• Trucks/Tuff Truck Races/Lawnmower Races on Friday; and
• Quadcross/Pee Wee Bikes/Motocross on July 18.
All of the motor sports events begin at 6:30 p.m. with ticket prices of $10 for reserved seats and $8 for general.