June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Demolition Derby: Bill Marrett walks away with win

Richard Webb of Brunswick, right, hits the car of Lodi’s Wendy Wilkinson in the Sub-compact division of the 80s & Newer Demolition Derby. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JUDD SMERGLIA)

Matthew Doyle | The Gazette

MEDINA — Bill Marrett wasn’t the fan favorite on Monday night at the 80’s and Newer Demolition Derby, but he left the 2013 Medina County Fair as the champion.

His conservative driving tactics did not receive great reviews from young and old derby fans, but it was the reason behind his success in the prelims and feature event.

Marrett typically doesn’t drive conservatively, he said following the race, but the track conditions didn’t allow him to deliver major hits like he normally does.

“The heat was so muddy and sloppy that I just couldn’t move around,” Marrett said of Nowalk. “Come feature time, the track dried out so I started laying on the big hits.”

He was the first to be announced in the feature and received a lot boos from fans that were disappointed in his lack of big hits. He finished third in his first heat behind Emery Scott of Elyria and Joe Hicks, but Marrett got his revenge, as they faced each other in the final three of the feature.

New London’s Hicks, who was the biggest attacker of the three, went hard after Scott’s No. 12 car and eliminated him with ease.

With Marrett and Hicks’ cars both in relatively good shape, it made for an exciting showdown between the two, with most of the crowd rooting for Hicks.

Hicks’ strengths includes hitting with the car in reverse, while Marrett uses his ability to maneuver around hits to avoid the contact and then attack. From past experience, Marrett knew exactly what was coming.

“I know those other drivers really well. We’re in the top drive very often,” Marrett said. “Joe likes to use the rear end of the car a lot, so I knew he liked to do that.”

There were some moments where Hicks’ car appeared to be finished, but he’d start it back up, but when his car couldn’t take any more hits, he had no choice but to surrender the victory to Marrett.

When the winners were announced, Marrett was booed even more by fans, as the crowd felt he used his conservative driving unfairly and didn’t try hard until the final two.

“They were booing me?” asked Marrett. ”Everyone was on me for the heat and not revving my engine, but I try to be a fan favorite.”

In the end, the boos didn’t matter as all of the hard work paid off for Marrett, who worked around 60 hours in the garage to come back and win the event. Following the race, he had a plan for the $2,000 award.

“Probably going to buy more parts,” he said. “And take my girlfriend to dinner for putting up with me.”

Contact Matthew Doyle at sports@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.