Pelzel wins pickups again

NEW ULM – For the third-consecutive year, a Sleepy Eye man with 24 years of demolition derby experience won the modified pickup truck division Saturday at the Brown County Fair.

Six pickup trucks began the heat but at the end, it was two old friends – Bill Pelzel and Tom Braulick – who were left. Driving a 1961 Ford 3/4-ton truck with a Chevrolet 350 engine, Pelzel won the heat. Doug Braulick was third and Marcus Seifert was fourth.

“That was a blast. I love it. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Pelzel said after winning the heat. “Tom (Braulick) and I are good friends. We share parts and work on each other’s trucks. After 10 years of this, it finally came down to us two at the end.”

Pelzel said it may be last year of the modified pickup division at the demo derby. “They get built so hard, hardly anyone wants to do it anymore,” Pelzel said. “But, you get the best show out of them. It’s what the crowd is screaming for.”

Pelzel said he still competes in demolition derbies in Mapleton and Willmar besides the Brown County Fair. He used to compete in St. James when they had the event at the county fair.

Pelzel won or placed high in earlier Brown County Fair demolition derbys with full-size 70s cars but said he prefers pickup trucks to anything else. He just may have to travel farther away to compete in that division in the future.

It was Pat “Klink” Klinkner’s 30th year in the Brown County demolition derby. He drove a full-size Cadillac, 85x, in the second heat of the 80’s and Newer division that included 16 cars and lasted more than 30 minutes. Tom Stadick won the heat, followed by Jon Brand, Jim Jensen and Brian Roepke.

Other division placers: 80s and newer: 1. Ryan Herzog. 2. Monte Krueger. 3. Ryan Wieland. 4. Ryan Pool. Heat 2 – 1. Tom Stadick. 2. Jon Brand. 3. Jim Jensen. 4. Brian Roepke. Old Iron: 1. Jason Rewitzer. 2. Kyle Rewitzer. 3. Kollin Lange. 4. Scott Scheid. Modified: 1. Coltan Neuhaffen. 2. Scott Barlage. 3. Rob Engelking. 4. Darrick Haala. Subcompacts: 1. Cody Gunther. 2. Darrin Werner. 3. Jeremy Lieder. 4. Michael Opitz. Free For All: 1. Neuhaffen.

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