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Memorial demolition derby planned for Bob Croushore at Fayette fairgrounds

| Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

The Bob Croushore Memorial Demolition Derby will be held on Sunday at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in Dunbar Township.

Bob Croushore, founder of Croushore's Demo Derbies, died unexpectedly shortly after the 2012 finale derby in September. Proceeds from the event will go toward a permanent memorial for him. The outdoor arena will be the location for this unique event being organized by a longtime friend of Croushore's, Frankie Guy.

“We will be running something a little different, old-school, you might say. It's what Bob and I used to do,” Guy said. “We're running the 1970s and '80s cars together. Lately the demo derbies have been 1980s models and newer, but I'm going back to include the 1970s, too. When the last 1970s finale took place in 2005, I was the one who won it. So the '70s and '80s will run together, and everyone is excited about that.”

The classes will be compacts, mini-ans, lawn mowers and something kind of new for Fayette County called “run what you brung.”

“Bob and I have enjoyed this class in the past,” Guy said. “It's pretty much an unlimited class where the competitors weld the frames, put pipes in, change the springs. They really become battering rams. Spectators will see things they may have never seen before.”

The “run what you brung” class has had the biggest response for Sunday's competition. Guy has heard from drivers in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio who really want to run these cars. It's the end of the year for the sport in this area, so it is expected the drivers will compete hard to finish their cars and place in the demo derby.

“I think kids and adults will really be interested in seeing all these classes,” Guy said.

Fair Board President Bill Jackson said, “Bob was an integral part of the fair for many years, and we were very successful with the demo derbies. We will definitely miss him being involved.”

The demo derby takes place rain or shine. Fayette EMS runs the concessions, so refreshments will be available. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. Spectator gates open at 10:30 a.m.; the pits open at 8 a.m. with inspection starting at 9:30 a.m.

“Bob made demo derbies as popular as they are here in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Bob's son Gordon and his brother Eddie and family will be there officiating. They're all great people,” Guy said.

The sport has evolved, he noted.

“I know that the 1980s cars will be able to run with the 1970s cars. The crew will be the same that Bob and I had for years. There is no pre-registration. The cars just show up Sunday to enter,” Guy said.

For more information, contact Guy by email at fg77@atlanticbb.net. The event is being announced on demo derby Facebook pages such as “mangled metal.”

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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