News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Rock Springs driver takes demo crown
Aug 6, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
The top local finisher was Kenny Smiley of Riverton, who took third place.
An overflowing crowd of demolition derby fans witnessed Pat Battalo from Rock Springs emerge as the champion on Saturday night at the Fremont County Fairgrounds.
Battalo won a check worth $3,000 for his top prize.
Battalo outlasted a field of 30 cars, beating Ted Moosman from Rock Springs in the finals.
The derby was sponsored by the Elks Club.
"We had a very good turnout of fans and cars," Derby organizer Drew Glantz said.
Moosman took home $1,600 for his runner-up position.
The derby lasted almost three and a half hours before the winner was declared. Glantz believes the Riverton derby has the highest payout in the state.
Kenny Smiley from Riverton finished in the third spot to win $1,200.
"The field was great," Smiley said. "I was surprised with the turnout of cars. I was pretty close in getting to the finals. I just did the best that I could and hope for the best."
Smiley said the derby goes by fast when you are in the field.
"For a driver, it's not really tiring," Smiley said. "You are busy all night."
Smiley had placed second and fifth in previous derbys has finished fifth.
"It's just the luck of the draw to win it," Smiley said. "I will be back every year to try to win it."
Brad Matsen won $900 on Saturday night for fourth and Dusty Watts placed fifth ($600).
Matsen is from Riverton, while Watts lives in Hudson.
The derby concluded the Fremont County Fair's nighttime entertainment.
"I think that the crowd loved it on Saturday night," Smiley said. "It had a nice, dry track this year. There were a lot of good hard hits this year. The biggest thing was the track being dry. It made for bigger hits during the derby. The crowd liked it a lot more. That was another key to having a good derby."
The derby was broken down into heats, consolation finals and the championship finals.
Ty Cantrell and Moosman were the top two placers in the first heat.
Regan VonKrosigk and Nick McKiernan won the second heat.
Battalo and Smiley finished in the top two spots in the third heat.
In the fourth heat, Mike Mitchell and Ryan Mosbrucker advanced in the derby.
Matsen and Watts finished in the top two in the first consolation finals.
Ryan Apodaca and Mike Lynch won the second consolation finals.