Three weeks before the Garfield County Fair’s demolition derby, I began documenting two of the teams: the Glenwood Springs Ford team and the Shooters Grill team.
The Shooters team was led by Jayson Boebert, who bought an Oldsmobile Delta 88 for $500 that he found in a field, while the Glenwood Ford group was given a 1979 Lincoln Continental. The two teams started by stripping the cars of all flammable materials and strengthening them to protect the driver. By Aug. 9, the day of the derby, both cars had new paint jobs, reinforcements and exhaust pipes rising up from the hood.
Both cars were In the second heat of the first round. Halfway through, the Ford car was stuck on a barrier in front of the stands. It was then hit one last time, most likely sheering the rear axle. Shortly afterward, the Shooters car stopped moving as a plume of steam rose from the engine block. But it had lasted long enough to advance to the finals, in which it ran with just the water left in the radiator hose — and no radiator.
The final was going well for Boebert till he was hit by the 69 car, smashing the hood and partially blocking his view. Boebert stayed on the offensive, making hit after hit until finally the car died on the far side of the arena.
Shooters hopes to return next year with two cars so both Jayson and his wife, Lauren Boebert, can drive.