Demolition derby hits on all cylinders
Published 4:57 pm Saturday, May 2, 2015
In its third year, the Crossroads of Destruction demolition derby gained steam.
Drivers from six states and Canada competed with 117 vehicles for $27,250 Saturday in front of an estimated 2,500 spectators at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds.
“We had the biggest crowd, the biggest payout and the most cars we’ve ever had,” said Masters of Disaster promoter Paul Nielsen. “It’s great for Albert Lea because it brings a lot of people to town.”
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Crossroads of Destruction — an event organized by Nielsen and his wife, Heather, of the Masters of Disaster, along with Matt Ertman of Blue Earth — received national acclaim last year. Among 352 events in 13 countries, the event was chosen as the No. 9 demolition derby in the world by the Demolition Derby League in a selection process that involved 12,217 voters.
The motoring mayhem continued Saturday.
In the second of five heats of the ’80s and newer division, Andy Lagred of Ortonville plowed around the arena with three wheels on the ground and his driver’s-side wheel spinning horizontally, until his ’95 Lincoln Town Car began spitting fire toward the cabin from its headers for about 10 seconds.
“She started to get a little warm and was flooding out,” said Lagred. “A guy needs to know when to quit. I figured there might be something left we can save.”
When the flames started, officials waived the red flag to stop the derby and provide assistance.
“They’re nice guys, and they’ve got everything under control,” Lagred said. “If something happens, they’re on the spot getting there. I liked that a lot.”
One of the three cars that advanced to the main feature from Lagred’s heat was Chance Langford of Blue Earth in his ’78 Pontiac Bonneville.
“I think the car could be in better shape, but I had fun,” said Langford. “That’s the main thing. There’s a few dings, but nothing we can’t pound out.”
Albert Lea had three top-five finishers. In the mini division — a class that features mini vans and sports utility vehicles — Brady Flatness was the runner-up, and Mark Krause took fourth. Dustin Olson finished third in the stock truck division.
Drivers from Minnesota won six of the seven divisions.
Jeremy Kish of Wanamingo won the ’80s and newer division. Bryce Lanoue of Marshall won the rookie division. Jake Adams of Mapleton won the midsized division. Randy Mosloski of Mapleton won the stock truck division. Jared Heaney of Eyota won the full-size division with cars from ’79 or older. Tyler Tewes of Carpenter, Iowa, won the mini division. Sam Bandow of Onamia won the Imperial division, which featured only Chrysler Imperials. It was the only class to be subdivided to a specific make and model.
“There’s still a lot of guys from Minnesota who want to run them,” Nielsen said. “They’ve been known as the indestructible car.”
Along with four drivers from Minnesota, Anthony Jackson of Winnipeg, Canada, and Dean Sanclemente of Beausejour, Canada, also competed in the Imperial division.
Children were involved with two Power Wheels divisions: one for ages 5 and under, and another for ages 6 and over. Nielsen said it was the second year of the Power Wheels derby. It was a timed event, and each participant received a trophy.
The actual derby was streamed live by Chris Marquardt and Josh Decker and uploaded to the FingerLakes1.com, Inc. YouTube channel.
“Having a couple cameras around the track was pretty cool,” Nielsen said. “We’re thinking about making it into something that’s pay-per-view. Each year it gets bigger and bigger, and that’s what makes me so excited.”
80s and newer
1. Jeremy Kish, Wanamingo
2. Shawn Vrana, Abie, Neb.
3. Colton Neuhalfen, Blue Earth
4. Tim Lange, Doon, Iowa
5. Randy Lanoue, Garvin
1.Bryce Lanoue, Marshall
2. Logan Peterson, Hagar City, Iowa
3. Caden Crews, Austin
4. Kole Skauge, Caledonia
5. Kyle Bathke, Waseca
1. Jake Adams, Mapleton
2. Bradley Ross, Rose Creek
3. Jake Johnson, not listed
4. Dusty Springer, Mapleton
1. Randy Mosloski, Mapleton
2. Dave Merkins, Hutchinson
3. Dustin Olson, Albert Lea
4. Jesse Phelps, West Concord
5. Jesse Crews, Waltham
1. Jared Heaney, Eyota
2. Colton Neuhalfen, Blue Earth
3. Randy Mosloski, Mapleton
4. Raymond Stoecker, Nicollet
5. Travis Diers, Howard Lake
1. Sam Bandow, Onamia
2. Trig Laase, Cambridge
3. Anthony Jackson, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
4. Ryan Bandow, Isle
5. Colton Neuhalfen, Blue Earth
1.Tyler Tewes, Carpenter, Iowa
2. Brady Flatness, Albert Lea
3. Chad Roche, Wells
4. Mark Krause, Albert Lea
5. Becky Skaj, Garvin