|Phillips wins Fair demolition derby (08-07-12)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 09:07|
The 19-year-old from Oak Harbor had the last car running of the eight vehicles competing in the feature.
Caleb Joy finished second, while Christopher Mahlman was third.
Phillips and Joy were the last two cars remaining and their vehicles were hooked together following a head-to-head collision. PHOTO GALLERY
Joy's car started to catch fire, so Joy hurriedly exited his vehicle through where the windshield previously was and Phillips was declared the winner. All of the windows are removed for the competition.
"I didn't expect to win," Phillips said. "You never know what to expect and it takes a little bit of luck."
Phillips has been competing in demolition derbies since he was 15 and estimated Monday's event was his 10th.
"It's a lot of fun," Phillips said. "
The cars compete in a large rectangle formed by oversized concrete barriers.
Drivers usually try to protect the radiators and the engine on their cars, allowing the car to last longer.
Phillips' strategy was "don't let the other guys tear up the car" and to "protect the radiator. My car was lower than the others, so that helped with the radiator."
By the end of the feature, Phillips' 1973 Pontiac Sunfire had the back end pushed in.
Phillips' car was in a derby for the second time after his brother won with it in Tiffin.
Phillips kept the front end relatively free of damage during the third heat to qualify for the feature.
The last three remaining cars from each of the three heats competed in the feature. Each heat had six cars.
Also qualifying from Phillips' heat were Jared Dusseau and Aaron Gerken.
"You just try to avoid any major damage for as long as you can," Phillips said.
George Gebers, Todd Baughman and Kirby Gerkin qualified from the first heat. But all three cars were severely damaged during the heat that none returned for the feature.
Josh Dusseau, Mahlman and Joy advanced from the second heat.
A consolation race also was scheduled, with the top three finishers scheduled to advance to the finals.
But only three drivers signed up for that competition and all three were given spots in the feature. They were Joel Baker, Jacob Joy and Josh Andrich.
Megan Vondeylen won the six-vehicle compact car division, while Seth Coger finished second and Casey Metzger was third.
D.J. Belkofer won the truck division where eight trucks competed. Kent Crowe finished second and Cale Swanson was third.
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