The list of stand out drivers continues to expand rapidly, just 24-hours after Total Destruction Demolition Productions announced a Cuba-rules event July 26 during the Ontario County Fair in Canandaigua, NY.
Steve Manciocchi and Ben Haust collaborated to produce a minimum $1000-purse one-and-done, stand-alone event during the Ontario County Fair in conjunction with their regular TDDP full size and compact events.
The event is $100 to enter, features full payback and $1-per-mile tow money for the winner.
So far, in the short window since news broke on Crash Course Podcast yesterday, nearly a dozen cars have committed.
The most recent was Tom Dowd, who was involved in rule discussions that helped form the build package brought to Cuba by Jeremy Hejduk and the Derby Dogs Demolition Derby production group. Dowd has announced he will be in Canandaigua with his Cuba-built car.
"This is the perfect time for a promoter to step up... this could prove to be big," Dowd said, who had built a 1976 four-door Caprice for the June 7 date. It is powered by a Gard Speed Shop engine, purpose-built for Cuba.
"When I heard [Cuba] canceled, it it was a huge let down... The money and time I invested in that show over the past seven years, it was disappointing," Dowd added.
With that news, Dowd began reading other rule books, finding several similar-yet-different packages where he could bring his Chevrolet. He considered Harford Fair in Harford, PA; the Keystone Nationals in Brookville, PA; the Yates County Fair in Penn Yan, NY; Belfast, NY, and other Total Destruction-promoted shows.
Then, news broke about the new Cuba-rules event at the Ontario County Fair.
"I probably wouldn't have been going to Canandaigua, but it's close and I like running there. It's great to have someplace to run the car without having to cut or change," Dowd said.
Early on, Dowd was asked to serve as a form of adviser, explaining to Hejduk what would be best for the area in terms of rules and builds. However, Dowd had no input on the final decisions on bringing Derby Dogs in.
"I had experience in those things. I was familiar and knew the rules. We were trying to keep it as close as possible to the past years so people knew what to expect," Dowd said. "We wanted to get rid of the questions in peoples minds, and make sure there were no surprises for the people who supported the show."
Now, having changed course, he hopes to show support for Total Destruction in hopes of allowing the drivers he previously advocated for the continued opportunities to run big shows within New York State.
"Some people look at me as a guy to beat" Dowd said. "Maybe in my area... a leader? I don't know. I don't like to boast about myself."
But numbers don't lie. In the last eight years as a driver, he has amassed several wins, and has qualified for the New York State Championship event at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse on several occasions.
Dowd repeated as the champion of Livingston County in 2013, winning both the stock and weld features in the same night. He's won multiple times in Canaseraga, and won the Allegany County Fair and posted top five showings in outings in Canandaigua and at the Yates County Speedway in Dundee, NY - formerly known as Black Rock Speedway. He was a force in Cuba, setting the pace in the weld feature last year.
"I just hope it works, and I want to show my support for the people trying to make something for the guys who want to run at the next level in the Northeast," Dowd said. "Otherwise, we are having to travel deep into Pennsylvania, or go way out to the Midwest. It's good to see."
The Ontario County Fair is scheduled for July 22 and 26. Tuesday's card will include qualifying heats and the headline $1,000-to-win Race to the Arena.
Saturday's program already includes a $2,000-plus purse for the Total Destruction Rules full size class and a $1,500 purse for the compacts.
The full size class pays $1,500-to-win, $500 for second, $200 to the most aggressive driver and $100 to heat winners.
The compact class will be going for a $1,500 purse with break down on payout to be determined.
An announcement spelling out more specific payback details for the new Cuba-rules one-and-done is expected around Memorial Day.
For more details, visit www.totaldestructiondemo.com; feel free to call Ben Haust at 315.651.1916. Entries can be sent to Total Destruction Demo Productions, PO Box 333, Trumansburg, NY 14886.