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Sons tackle family tradition of demolition derby

Staff writer

Carter Hamm and Parker Schultz are going to run into each other a lot July 24.

The longtime friends also will bump into their dads.

When the flag drops at this year’s demolition derby, Hamm and Schultz will trade hits with each other as they battle to have their souped-up cars survive the carnage as the lone drivable vehicle left — and score a win.

The rookie drivers first will need to outlast their dads. Derby champions Jason Hamm and Scott Schultz will be among their competition.

“I ain’t holding back,” Jason Hamm said in Scott Schutlz’s garage as the partners looked over a 1983 Cadillac that Parker Schultz plans to drive.

“Parker’s ran his mouth enough, so it’s all good,” Scott said.

Jason and Scott have been friends since they were children and have built many vehicles together.

The longtime partners admit they passed on much of what they know about demolition derby to sons Carter and Parker, who also became friends.

“It’s just whether they paid attention,” Jason said laughing.

Jason and Scott both helped their sons modify vehicles for the derby. Carter and Parker also learned a lot as they helped their fathers.

When Carter gets behind the wheel of his modified 1985 Chevrolet Caprice for his first-ever derby he will become the third generation Hamm to compete.

Jason Hamm followed the footsteps of his father, top competitor Lonnie Hamm, when he got behind the wheel at 16.

Carter, who will be a sophomore at Hillsboro High School, plans to become a diesel mechanic when he graduates.

Carter Hamm has loved cars since he could remember.

“I’ve always been out here helping dad, and this is my first car,” he said.

Carter and Jason put a new motor, transmission, fuel tank, and gears into the car.

They cut a ventilation hole in the car’s hood and secured it with bolts and chains.

Carter plans to put in a four-point cage and door bar for added safety.

“If I take a shot to my driver’s side door that will keep it from collapsing in on me,” he said.

Parker and Scott welded the doors of Parker’s Cadillac, folded the trunk lid down, and wired it shut.

Both Carter and Parker favored gray paint schemes that wouldn’t stand out — a tip from their dads.

“He helped me trip this out, and I helped him a little bit with his,” Parker said of Carter.

Next week’s county fair will be Parker’s second derby. The Newton High School junior competed last year in Canton and placed third.

“But this will be the first car that I have actually built,” he said.

Both of Parker’s parents and his brother, Dayton Stucky, 24, have competed in demolition derbies.

He is glad to continue the tradition.

“It’s not as scary as it seems,” he said. “It’s just a matter of remaining calm. If you get all worked up, you might make the wrong move and you could hurt yourself.”

Carter says he might be a little nervous his first time out, but he is not sweating it too much.

Both he and Parker will be in the bone stock division, which is not intended to be high-pressure competition.

“In bone stock, just have some fun,” he said. “Just go out there and wreck your car. Try and be smart and win the derby, but also make sure you have fun.”

Last modified July 15, 2021

 

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