Butler County Fair 2022: Fairgoers pack stands for first Wednesday demolition derby

The Butler County Fair has three demolition derbies at the grandstand this year. There was a derby Monday and will be one today. This photo was taken at Wednesday's derby. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The Butler County Fair has three demolition derbies at the grandstand this year. There was a derby Monday and will be one today. This photo was taken at Wednesday's derby. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“It’s the most active entertainment at the fair.”

Despite a rainy start to the day, it didn’t stop fairgoers from visiting the Butler County Fair for Wednesday’s demolition derby. Typically the demolition derby takes place on Monday and Friday, but this year, the fair added a third night, and fans packed the stands to watch the cars crash on an extra muddy track.

Kim Wingert came to watch with her family and said the derby is a must-see every year.

“It’s my favorite thing,” Wingert said. “It’s the most active entertainment at the fair.”

Carsen Holmes was also watching from the stands with her family and said she was excited when the fair announced the third night.

“It’s just more fun throughout the week,” Holmes said.

As fans packed the stands, families were busy on the sidelines putting on the finishing touches to their cars.

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Samantha Gray, left, and Ava Stone paint a car before the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Samantha Gray, left, and Ava Stone paint a car before the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Samantha Gray, left, and Ava Stone paint a car before the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Samantha Gray was busy spray painting her cousins’ cars before they competed in the limited weld class class.

Samantha Gray said this was the first time her cousins, Austin and Donovan Howard, were competing in the Butler County Fair’s demolition derby. They were competing in honor of their uncles, Damon Williams and William Gray, who passed away.

She said her entire family derbies, and the Butler County Fair’s derby was one of Damon Williams’s favorites.

“That’s why we do it, to feel closer to older traditions,” Samantha Gray said.

The first on the track was the stock FWD class, won by Jerry Gray.

Jerry Gray, who also competed Monday, was excited to win after a difficult start to the week.

“I came out Monday, and I did not perform well,” Jerry Gray said.

Although Jerry Gray has been competing in the Butler County Fair’s demolition derby for about nine years, he has never won.

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Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The second group on the track was the MWFA stock class. Last year’s winner, Dustin Cunningham, took home the victory again.

“It feels great to win back-to-back this year,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham has been competing in derbies for over 20 years and placed fourth on Monday.

“It’s a rush you can’t even explain,” Cunningham said.

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Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

After a brief intermission, the pro stock minis class took the track. After about thirty minutes, a bright purple car with “Logan” spray-painted on the side was the last one standing. John Purvis, the driver, said the only thing going through his mind while competing was not giving up.

“I was winning it for my son who I lost last year,” Purvis said.

Purvis’s son, Logan, passed away from an enlarged heart.

“He passed out, actually, while he was working on this car,” Purvis said.

Purvis will race again on Friday in the team show.

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Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The last group to take the track was the limited weld full-size class. J.D. King, who won his class Monday, was the last one standing from the night’s largest group.

“If I win Friday, then I’ve won all three of [my classes],” King said.

King has been competing in the Butler County Fair’s demolition derby since he was 14. He started competing because of his dad, who passed away.

“I’m going for my dad,” King said. “This was his favorite place to run.”

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JD King gets a hug from his son, Trent King, 13, after winning his heat of the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

JD King gets a hug from his son, Trent King, 13, after winning his heat of the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
JD King gets a hug from his son, Trent King, 13, after winning his heat of the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Today’s demolition derby is at 7 p.m. today at the grandstand.

HOW TO GO

What: 172nd Butler County Fair

Where: Butler County Fairgrounds on Fair Avenue in Hamilton

Cost: Tickets are $9 for adults and $4 for children with a paying adult

More: butlercountyohfair.org

MORE ONLINE

See derby photos and more from the fair at journal-news.com.

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Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Scenes from the demolition derby at the Butler County Fair Wednesday, July 27, 2022. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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