MOUNT VERNON — Randy Childers says it’s time to retire.
The 46-year-old mail carrier from Glenmont claimed his third championship at the demolition derby event in the Knox County Fair on Monday. For Childers, the victory is sweet — and possibly final.
“I need to hang it up,” said Childers after the feature event. “This is a young man’s game.”
Childers was one of six qualifiers for the feature event involving full-size autos. His car, a 76 Chevy, went toe-to-toe with Chris Hatfield’s ’79 Buick for several minutes before Childers finally pounded him into submission.
After the victory, Childers stood on top of his car and danced.
“The last time I won here, I won all four derbys I entered,” he said. “I should have retired then.”
Childers had won this event back in 2000 and 2002. He then took a five-year hiatus from the derby, but he eventually had to come back.
“It’s hard. It gets in your blood,” he explained. “It‘s like an addiction, like hoarding, all that addictive stuff. But, there‘s nothing like that 15 minutes you’re out there.”
Childers and Hatfield had to be among three finalists in one of two heats to qualify. Other finalists in the full-size category included Jamie Sigler from Wooster, Travis McDowell from Johnstown, Don McDaniel from Howard and Johnny Payne from Mount Vernon.
As many as six cars compete at a time. A car is eliminated when it becomes incapacitated, is lifted onto the surrounding logs, or is disqualified. A car can be disqualified by ignoring officials’ red flags or by deliberately striking an opponent’s driver’s side door.
There were two other classes of cars competing in separate events. Tim Jensen of Howard won both the six-cylinder class and the compact class.
“I just like tearing cars up and building them,” Jensen said. “And wrecking them. It’s a blast.”
With both cars bearing the number 04, Jensen was easily identifiable. That and the fact that he was by far the most mobile driver in each event, darting in and out of pileups.
At one point, he got stuck to another vehicle, causing a 15-minute delay. They separated, and Jensen went on to win.