They rolled cars, smashed school buses, gave away prizes and welcomed regular street legal cars and trucks onto the Estevan Motor Speedway oval on Saturday night as part of the third annual Eve of Destruction program that winds up the local racing season.
Well over 3,000 people packed the stands and sat cross-legged near the safety wire to watch vehicles being rolled over in a competition that featured about a dozen cars, some of them capable of running up the ramp to be rolled two or three times before quitting.
The street licensed vehicles raced around the oval in sets of twos with one small Pontiac Firefly gaining the majority of the applause as it was stacked up against large half and three-quarter ton pickups in the two-lap races to the wire.
St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation was a big winner for the evening. The big blue school bus that had been outfitted for the figure 8 demolition derby and donated to the foundation, was sold in an auction just prior to the event for $14,000 with Nathan Wilhelm of Wilhelm Construction doing the purchasing and the driving after the price was hammered down by volunteer auctioneer Norm Mack.
The 30 school buses entered in the demolition derby were also auctioned off prior to the derby for a Calcutta feature with half of those proceeds going to the foundation. It was estimated that the auction of the 30 buses resulted in another $50,000, which meant the foundation reaped a further $25,000 with the rest going to the backers of the first and second place buses … the two buses left running at the end of the evening’s smashing good time.
Mason Big Eagle was the owner/driver of the last bus running, which also earned him some compensation cash while the other 29 drivers were left with grins on their faces as they walked away from their wrecks.
An EMS version of Lets Make A Deal left winners with cash or prizes such as an ATV or table tickets for an upcoming fundraising dinner.
Weather conditions were ideal for the event that included a lot of leaking radiators, broken car and bus parts scattered around the track, punctured tires and a program-ending fireworks display that sent the spectators home with smiles and a lot of discussions surrounding the buses they had backed.