Driver wins fourth straight derby title
By Jay Davis
If anyone wants to be the winner of the Mobridge Demolition Derby, it seems all roads lead through Jeff Swanson of Aberdeen.
Swanson led Team Black and Maroon to first place at the Mobridge derby on Saturday. The win makes Swanson a four-time champion. Joining Swanson on the winning team are Shay Waldon and Dukey Skroch of Cogswell, N.D., and Zach Ponser of Anamoose, N.D. This is the second straight title for Waldron and the first for Ponser. Swanson has won his four titles with a combination of seven different teammates. He was also on the second-place team in 2009. The Mobridge Demolition Derby has been running a team format since 2008.
Taking second place was Bridge City drivers Rockin’ the Beer Gut. The foursome cannot keep a team name for more than one year, but they keep hitting and getting in the money. The team won the consolation title in 2012 and 2011, but moved up to the finals this year to claim the runner-up spot. Darin Kessler, Josh Fischer, Aaron Fischer and Wade Sandland have remained the same, but their team named has changed from Miller Lite Wrecking Crew to Revenge of the Nerds to their current moniker.
Third place went to Saving Second Base with Aaron Roesler of Wessington Springs, Mike McCreary of Webster, Randy Rasmussen of Mitchell and Joe Lehman of Aberdeen.
Mobridge drivers placed in the title tilt for the second time when The Crazies came in fourth. Driving for The Crazies were Derrick Orth and Matt Feiock of Mobridge, Pat Feiock of Pierre and Chuck Brown of Winner.
Rounding out the teams placing in the championship heat was Team Red and White from North Dakota, with drivers Nic Geiger of Mandan, Josh Ketterling of Lincoln, Kyle Wetzel of Williston and Jeremy Guthmiller of Jamestown.
Ketterling won the Mad Dog award for his driving in the opening and championship heats.
After being knocked around in the first heat, Team Blue rallied to win the consolation title. Driving for the consolation winners were North Dakota drivers Boar Christensen and Cody Kotter of LaMoure, Eric Fuher of Ellendale and Bret Stringer of Lincoln. Chris Jung of Aberdeen, driving for Team Heavy Impact, was named Mad Dog winner of the consolation heat.
The Limited Build Class featured solo drivers in an “every driver for himself” competition. Kurt Himanga of Aberdeen won the title. He is no newbie to Mobridge success. Himanga drove with Swanson to win the Mobridge title in 2010 and 2011. The rest of the prizes went to Mobridge drivers. Tim Sjomeling outbid all for the right to drive the charity auction car (with proceeds for Gordy Hoisington). He took that car and rammed his way to second place, despite losing his steering wheel midway through the competition. Brady Fuhrer smacked his way to third place. Natasha Sandland, the only female driver of the day, put on a show and won the Mad Dog award.
A huge crowd of 1,194 fans filled the rodeo grounds grandstand, the third largest crowd ever for the Mobridge Demolition Derby.
“It was one of the best derbies we’ve ever had,” said Kurt Neumiller of the Mobridge Rodeo Association derby committee.