RICHMOND – A perennial Ray County Fair Demolition Derby bumper basher, Robert Clancy wears a tank top in preparation for a hot night of competition at the fairgrounds.

The sun boils past 95 degrees. But after being banged every which way, Clancy’s mangled, silver, 1998 Ford Contour – gurgling and rumbling – burns even hotter.

After several minutes of battling on the arena floor – sandwiched, T-boned, rear-ended and smashed up against the arena’s earthen berm – the old Ford smokes like a Colorado tourist at a pot lounge.

The car sputters and appears to stall out. People in the stands yell Clancy is finished.

For a moment, Clancy says later, he thinks the same thing. But his puffing old Ford sparks back to life.

TO FIND OUT IF HE FINISHED, SEE THE TUESDAY, AUG. 6, RICHMOND DAILY NEWS

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