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The Daily



08-11-03: The family that crashes together - wins trophies
    Who said the demolition derby isn't a family event?
    A Celina husband and wife team took home the first and second place trophies in the main event at the 2003 Mercer County Banner Fair demo derby Sunday night.
    Jeanelle Braun took first place in the final event after husband Trent Braun signaled he had taken enough of a beating by reaching out and breaking the thin stick attached to the driver's side window frame.
    The top winners of the night's five other competitions in the concrete-lined derby arena went on to the final feature event. One by one the mangled cars stopped running after fielding repeated blows from some of America's biggest, strongest cars from decades past.
    Before the Brauns took the top places, Pat Browder, Brandon Wyerick and Scott Andrew took third, fourth and fifth places.
    As all the other cars in the arena ceased moving, the husband and wife team were lined up end-to-end repeatedly and simultaneously delivering blows to each other with their rear ends.
    Some in the crowd screamed "come on Jeanelle!" while others yelled "come on Trent!
    The crowd noise swelled as the couple went back and forth. At one point, Jeanelle Braun's station wagon became hooked on one of the vehicles lying dead on the track and it surely seemed her husband would take the top spot. Trent Braun gave a final smash into his wife's car, knocking her loose. She quickly spun around and continued the assault before the frenzied crowd, nearly driving her car on top of her husband's.
    After the crowd of thousands streamed out of the grandstands and pit area, the couple took the announcing stage to accept their awards, which included more than $1,000 on the night, one four-foot trophy and one five-foot trophy.
    Jeanelle Braun said the awards will go in their trophy room, which already has more than 30 trophies from years of derbying. At last year's fair, Trent Braun took first place in the final event and his wife took third place.
    The night was marked with numerous stomach-tightening moments. Cars were flipped on their sides, and one flipped completely over. A few times, firefighters rushed into the arena to spray fires in engines and flag men were sent running as cars were smashed into the concrete wall.
    The event was put on by Randy and Kim Highley and Doug and Becci Highley, with help from Earnie Loy, Dave Noll, June and Dave Andrew, Stacy Kuhn and Scott and Chris Pierstorff. There were dozens and dozens of cash and merchandise prizes awarded by just as many sponsors from Mercer County and beyond.
    "This has been a fabulous derby here tonight," announcer Earnie Loy declared as the festivities ended. "Celina has something to be proud of."


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