Another packed grandstand awaited the combatants in the demolition derby at the Cass County Fair. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)
Another packed grandstand awaited the combatants in the demolition derby at the Cass County Fair. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Sobieski wins third straight derby

Published 4:33pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CASSOPOLIS — The Cass County Fair was clearly the place to be Thursday night as the event hosted its annual demolition derby for a raucous crowd of 1,500-plus people that were all ready to see collisions, mangled metal and the mayhem that ensued.

Cassopolis resident and derby veteran Joe Sobieski cemented his legacy as the top driver in the area with his third consecutive championship in the premiere “full-size” class. He out-lasted Dowagiac’s Jay White III in an epic final round that saw the two of them battle six other cars and then battle one another for over 10 minutes before a winner was crowned.

“It’s a great event, we all have competed against each other before and we all have a lot of fun, I just got lucky today,” an exuberant Sobieski said.

Mike Straka of Granger won the full-size truck class that had the largest heat field of 12 drivers. He narrowly defeated Niles’ Ray Matlock and Dowagiac’s Chris Primely in the ultra-aggressive event that required eight of the participants’ vehicles to be removed from the track via Bobcat and left Matlock’s truck looking like a compact car when the smoke had cleared.

Edwardsburg’s Chad Meyers won the mini-truck event defeating Straka, Ed Minnix of Niles and Harley McCulley of Cassopolis in what ended up being the longest heat of the night. Meyers and Minnix went bumper-to-bumper against one another for just over 15 minutes before Meyers emerged victorious.

Anthony Colcor from Niles won the mini-car event beating Scott Breeding of New Carlisle, Ind., David Palencha of Elkhart, Ind. and Minnix in the quickest competition of the evening. From start-to-finish the heat lasted a mere eight minutes before Colcor finished off Palencha for the title.

In all, just over $2,000 in prize money was shelled out and 12-out-of-32 drivers finished with trophies of some kind.

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