By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The 21st annual Jaycees demolition derby during the Chase County Fair last week got off to a later start than expected due to more than a half inch of rain.
Nonetheless, that didn’t stop demo derby fans from filling the grandstands and north bleachers when the event was finally ready to go.
The Jaycees poured nearly 2,000 gallons of water on the demo track earlier in the day and still feared the track may not be in the condition they wanted.
That all changed after the rain as some mud had to be removed for the arena and areas worked before starting the derby.
The night started off with the no-weld cars with Denis Van Dike of Benkelman winning the division.
Keithan Cochran of Imperial put up a good fight but settled for third behind Sam Jaeger, also of Benkelman, who took second.
One of the favorite divisions for fans always seems to be the compact division.
This year, a total of eight compacts bashed their way around the track with Phillip Pankonin of Benkelman coming out on top in an AMC Pacer.
Kelsey Weiss of Imperial hung in for third in an old Ford Mustang.
While there were only five cars entered in the weld division, these well-fortified cars put on a great show.
It came down to two cars and drivers from Imperial in the weld division—Chad Cochran and Sean Mitchell.
Both are seasoned demo drivers. Mitchell’s car began to falter and he broke off his stick as Cochran moved in for one final hit.
Cochran’s victory comes off a second place finish in the weld division at Sterling, Colo. just four days prior.
Results of the three divisions are as follows:
1st, Chad Cochran, Imperial, $675; 2nd, Sean Mitchell, Imperial, $575; 3rd, Cody Prosser, Lamar, $425; 4th, J.J. Howard, Goodland, $325; 5th, Brad Cochran, Imperial, $175; Flag Winner, Cody Prosser, $100.
1st, Philip Pankonin, Benkelman, $350; 2nd, Joe Olsen, Haigler, $250; 3rd, Kelsey Weiss, Imperial, $175; 4th, Chris Zuege, Haigler, $125; 5th, Mike Lee, Madrid, $50; Flag winner, Mike Lee, $50.
1st, Denis Van Dike, Benkelman, $575; 2nd, Sam Jaeger, Benkelman, $475; 3rd, Keithan Cochran, Imperial, $325; 4th, Jake Mathews, Imperial, $225; 5th, Tyler Neel, McCook, $125; Flag Winner, Keithan Cochran, $50.