Demo derby: Bodington, Cram last operating on Thursday

NEW HAVEN — Ashley Bodington of Vergennes and Scott “Crash” Cram of Rutland won Thursday’s features at the No. 1 Auto Parts Demolition Derby at Addison County Fair and Field Days.
Bodington, barely taller than her bright blue four-door sedan, prevailed in the big-car feature that capped the evening.
Bodington stayed clear of the finale’s most damaging blows, then basically took out two of her remaining three rivals with one move: She ran runner-up Dustin Tierney’s rig into Boomer LaFountain’s beater. Lafountain’s ride soon after died on the back wall, and after Bodington bumped Tierney, also of Vergennes, a couple more times, Bodington won.
Bodington jumped out next to the “Hit Like a Girl” logo on what remained of her left fender and raised her arms to acknowledge the applause.
Ben Huestis of Bridport and Matt Merckal of Fairfax were captains of crunch in the feature, but didn’t place.
Ferrisburgh’s Andy Husk dominated much of the 4-cylinder heat, which also saw Jordan Grant of Addison and Travis Hornbeck of Shoreham become enthusiastic participants.
Husk, Hornbeck and Cram were the final three, and Husk drilled both of them. Hornbeck’s car finally gave out after a couple more taps from Husk, while Cram moved about 25 feet before he apparently stalled out, too. Husk rolled enough to deliver a tap to Hornbeck for what looked like the winning blow.
But suddenly Cram revived his dark blue beater, and it crawled over to nudge Husk’s hulk twice. Husk could not move his car, and Cram lifted his left fist in triumph.
Bodington qualified for the final by winning the night’s first heat, for 6-cylinder cars, an honor she shared with Tierney. Ethan Gevry of Addison, the heat’s most active driver, and Wade Acker of Monkton, another aggressive performer in the heat, also qualified for the big-car feature.
Addison’s Gary Grant and Monkton’s Chris Jewell earned the honors for the second 6-cylinder heat, with Addison’s Charlie Dwy and Bridport’s Willy Smits qualifying for the big-car feature. Bridport’s Billy Huestis put on a good show but did not qualify.
Ferrisburgh’s Scott Brace and Merckal topped the 8-cylinder heat, sandwiching third-place finisher Gary English of Salisbury at the end. English, who hit everything that moved, and LaFountain also qualified in this heat, while Husk and Parker DeVry of Addison happily lowered the boom.
The first of three 4-cylinder heats saw Hornbeck and Cornwall’s Brian Blake Jr. survive a battle of attrition. Cornwall’s Tim Whitney also qualified for the feature, while Ben Huestis again entertained the crowd.
Cram and Jordan Grant emerged from a cloud of dust and a three-way battle with Lincoln’s Tyler Brown to win the second 4-cylinder heat and qualify for the feature. Brown and the derby veteran known as Kid Dynomite of Salisbury also qualified.
In the final 4-cylinder heat, four cars were left. Peter Lewis and Ferrisburgh’s Josh Benning collided at the same time as did Addison’s Gary Grant and Husk. Lewis and Benning’s cars still ran; they won, and all four advanced.
Three full-size pickups then came out for a brief, but decisive battle. Shoreham’s Garrett Givens survived almost being knocked over the right sidewall to come back and disable Addison’s Deven Dubois for the win. Dubois had just wiped out Bridport’s Maverick Payne along the left wall.
In the following duel of six minivans, Therran Leggett of Bridport demonstrated that sometimes two wheels are better than four.
The combat came down to Leggett vs. Salisbury’s Josh Kennett. Although Leggett’s van lost one wheel early and a second wheel not long afterward, it kept running. Kennett’s better-looking van and what was left of Leggett’s backed into each other a half-dozen times, but neither gave up the ghost.
Then the twisted metal on each got tangled up. After about two minutes, Leggett wiggled free, and Kennett’s engine died, leaving Leggett to celebrate. 
See story on the first night of the Demolition Derby here.
Read about a rookie’s first experience behind the wheel at Demo Derby here.

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