The premise for the evening’s events was simple. Take your vehicle out and smash your opponents to pieces. The last vehicle moving amongst the remnants wins.
The evening of July 15 featured four categories. They had a truck division, an open division, a powder puff division, and lastly the grand finale a motor home division.
The women didn’t pull any punches in the powder puff event, and went right at each other. Once the green flag was hoisted the brawl was on.
Featured in the powder puff division were two local women. Recent Patterson High School graduate Haley Schilp participated in her 1976 Cordova. Haley Schilp has been racing for two years, and her derby car is a product of her high school prep project. Schilp won this event two years ago when she was just 16 in her first derby ever.
Kendall Green who is a teacher at Patterson High School decided to give the destruction derby a shot at the last minute. “We just decided to do this like two hours before the competition” Green said.
Green was given the opportunity to race by Dan Hicks who won the previous night, and decided to let Green borrow his car that was still in good condition. This turned out to be fortuitous for Green who went on to win the powder puff division in her first event ever.
After the race Green was asked what her favorite part about the event was which she replied; “Getting to hit other people”. The impulsive decision to join the event reaped a first place finish for the novice driver.
Schilp was cut short on her end when her engine gave out halfway through the grinding event after her front end was delivered some rough bashes. “Well it kind of caught on fire. My car wouldn’t start it was dead. So I couldn’t really do anything” said Schilp. Schilp was forced to waive the white flag signaling to the other drivers that she was resigning.
The signature moment of the powder puff event belonged to Turlock’s Cheyenne Cabral who rebounded from what looked like an early exit. Early in the derby Cabral’s car took a bruising blow. The front left wheel was completely tilted almost looking unhinged from the axle.
Everyone in the arena discounted Cabral’s No. 11 car. All signs pointed to her waiving the white flag, but Cabral never waivered continuing to try and resurrect her car. Miraculously she was able to bend the tire back in place after throttling her car back and forth, and jumped right back into the action.
This enduring show from Cabral immediately astonished and riled up the crowd. This stubbornness earned her a hard fought crowd pleasing second place finish behind the green hand driver of the event Kendall Green.
The crowd favorite event was saved for last. For the first time ever at the Turlock Lions Club Destruction Derby the motor home division was introduced. The division played host to the most mechanical carnage and memorable moments of the evening. These slow and heavy punchers left debris scattered all over the arena.
Parts that no other category could produce started flying off the motor homes such as couches, stoves, cabinets, and perhaps the most humorous a toilet left in the wake of their impactful collisions. Whether by design or out of forgetfulness these items were left in only to be dislodged or launched out much to the adoration of the spectators.
The last motor home standing was No. 43 Kurtis VanFoekn who outlasted the other vehicles in a slugfest. Van Foekn double dipped on the evening winning the truck category also.
In the open division category Number 54 Joe Lawrence took home first place beating up seven other competitors.
The event was hosted by the Turlock Lions Club in conjunction with the Stanislaus County Fair. The Turlock Lions Club hosts the event every year at the fair, and has been a mainstay at the fairgrounds for decades delivering quality smash filled destruction derby spectacles for locals to enjoy.