At a recent public meeting held at American Legion Post 1619 in West Plattsburgh, the new rules were discussed with drivers. Members of the Fair Board were present, and Criss said that between 35 and 40 drivers attended.
“Everybody was pretty pleased with it,” he said. “It went off very well.”
Criss succeeds Vern Bruno as the derby’s head official; he noted that Bruno has many responsibilities with the Clinton County Fair and was seeking to lighten his load somewhat.
For the past few years, Criss had assisted him with the event, and for about 20 years before that, he was a regular competitor.
“I know all the ins and outs,” he said.
In fact, Criss began working on cars when he was 13 years old, and at the age of 16 — “as soon as I was old enough” — he bought his own vehicle and entered it in the Demolition Derby.
At 18, he won a heat for the first time.
“It took me two years to figure it out,” he said with a chuckle.
Criss has a first-hand understanding of the event’s popularity.
“It’s the North County — we love to watch motor sports, and we love horsepower.
“It’s an awesome adrenaline rush.”
And the new rules?
“They’re gonna make it a better derby, I believe.”
TO LEARN MORE
For a copy of the new rules for the Clinton County Fair Demolition Derby or for more information, call Brian Criss at 536-0492.