Virden derby drivers venture into new territory

Our “Virden Boys” never fail to make an impression on their local Demolition Derby circuit and now they are venturing into new territory.

During the first weekend in June, Kris Hay along with his pit crew of Dennis Carruthers, Jody Braybrook and Braydon Jebb packed up Hay’s 1974 Oldsmobile and made the eight-hour trek to St. Walburg, Sask. for the town’s annual Party in the Pasture. The event runs Friday to Sunday with every day filled with excitement, including, of course, a demolition derby, as well as a baseball tournament, lawnmower races, mud racing and more.

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The Party in the Pasture derby consisted of approximately 16 cars competing in three heats over the course of two days. It was during Hay’s first heat on Saturday that he ended up breaking his rear differential, cracking the entire axle housing. The team had packed spare axels and gears but with the entire housing broken things were not looking good.

As luck would have it, a local at the event saw Hay’s dilemma and offered to take the team out to a relative’s farm where they were able to take parts off a derelict car.

“We dragged this car out of the bush, flipped it on its roof and pulled out the diff (differential)," recalls Hay. “There was a lot of work that went into that car after the first heat.”

Many people taking in the event over the weekend counted Hay out. With the damage that occurred, no one had expected him to rally, but he did placing 5th overall.

Crewmember Carruthers says that with the cars Hay was up against he will for sure have earned the respect of his fellow divers.

Without the support of sponsors – Mad Dog Spray Foam, Kreutzer Metals and Lagan Valley Spraying, as well as a tremendous pit crew, Hay insists he would not have made it as far as he did.

Carruthers, who introduced him to the sport, stresses that he was only along to support Hay. “He’s almost ready to be turned loose on his own,” he jokes.

While Hay and his team were experiencing Party in the Pasture, Kola resident Chris Flannery was four hours away in Center, in heart of North Dakota for the North Dakota Demolition Derby Association’s (NDDDA) annual event.

Competing against 10 drivers in the Chain Class, while running a 1976 Buick, Flannery came out with a respectable 4th place finish, earning himself 107 points towards the standings.

The NDDDA provides points with every demolition derby entered and at the end of each season holds a banquet to celebrate the competitors.

Flannery hopes to they be able to add to his point total by attending the upcoming derby in Mandan, ND in August.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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