MOUNT VERNON — It came right down to a classic head-to-head duel. It couldn’t have been better scripted if it had taken place in Hollywood.
The 2011 Knox County Fair Demolition Derby feature round came down to a duel between father and son. Bill Penwell and his son, Tony, both from Washington Court House and both driving station wagons, were the lone drivers left in the end. Their cars met nose-to-nose in the center of the arena.
With the younger Penwell’s car spewing steam and both cars bent into a sort of U-shape, they proceded to grapple with each other in a shoving match that ended with Bill Penwell outlasting his son and winning first place.
“It’s happened before and that’s the way we end it — nose-to-nose,” said the elder Penwell. “There’s a lot of good drivers out there. You’ve just got to jockey around to get your position just right. I got lucky tonight.”
“This has been the fourth time that it has been me and Dad,” said the younger Penwell. “It’s a lot of fun. I’ve beat him twice and he beat me twice and we always try to tear them up, even when it comes down to us. This is a lot of fun with my dad and I.”
Jason Joyner of Mount Vernon, who was third, hung on as long as he could, despite steam leaking from his front end and dragging around his rear bumper. In the end, the Penwell station wagons proved too much.
“There was a lot of hard iron out there,” said Joyner. “These guys brought the big hitters. It was a big hitting show. I like tearing (these cars) up — just tearing them to pieces.”