This year’s demolition derby at the Greene County Fair will look a bit different from what many are used to. According to organizers, it will be faster, louder, harder and bigger. The name of the show fits perfectly with that description: Chaos in Coal Country.
Hard Core Demolition Derby is heading the event for the first time. Even though the promotions company is fairly new – it only officially formed in 2019, but has organized derbies in West Alexander and Washington for the past two years – the people behind it are not. Frankie Guy, Justin Hartzell, Charlie Post and Jonathan Hileman have years of experience driving, building, officiating and inspecting demolition derby cars.
They are also familiar with the Greene County Fair. Three of them competed in Croushore’s Championship multiple times, and Hartzell built both the winning and second place cars for the show in the last two years.
“It’s not my hometown fair but it’s close, and some of my best friends call Waynesburg home,” Hartzell said. “I didn’t like the way it was before and I wanted to make it better.”
For Hartzell and Guy, promoters need to be for the drivers, offering higher compensations and fair inspections. One of the ways they are doing that is by giving out bigger trophies (5 foot, instead of the usual 2 foot) and more money to winners.
And Waynesburg will get one more exclusive reward: The golden coal bucket.
“When I think of Greene County and the area, I think of coal miners,” Guy said. “It will be something specifically dedicated to the Greene County Fair”.
Their experience with demolition derby shows was the main reason the organizers started the company.
Scott Mcaddo, from McAdoo’s Towing & Crane in West Alexander and Claysville, knew all the drivers and thought they would a good group to make some changes to his hometown fair. So they got them together and asked to if they could run the derby at West Alexander’s fair.
After two years at that fair and one at Washington’s Guy, Hartzell, Post and Jonathan Hileman thought it was time to make it official.
“The response from the drivers and the fans was just incredible, so we decided … to continue this,” Guy said. “So we all got together and we created Hard Core Derby promotions.”
The next step was reaching out to counties to promote their business, and Greene County approved the idea of having them run the derby show. Now, they are getting ready to show the fair what their motto of changing the game means.
Guy explained they always plan on “making it fair for all who run, making it a level playing field. What the first guy gets in inspection, the last guy gets in inspection, no more, no less, friend or foe. It is a straight up fair game number one.”
Hartzell said spectators can expect more cars and tighter competitions. In a few words, “hard hitting, competitive drivers, lots of force power, lots noise.”
As for Hard Core Derby promotions, the goal is to keep doing the work for a long time and helping as many drivers as they can.
Chaos in Coal Country takes place during the Greene County Fair on Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by Hinerman NAPA.