Local police and fire chiefs are prepared to respond to mayhem on city streets, but on Saturday, the top brass will create their own chaos during the Orange County Fair’s Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby.
Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis and Fire Chief Chip Duncan, Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and Fire Chief Dan Stefano, and Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy and Fire Chief David Segura will hop behind the wheels of personalized recreational vehicles with the goal of ramming and smashing everyone else’s RVs into oblivion for the enjoyment of spectators.
Growing up in San Diego near a speedway, Duncan frequently watched demolition derbies but until now he’s never had the chance to get behind the wheel. And he says he’s in it to win it.
“Having been a spectator for so many years, I have a few strategic plans in my head for how it’s going to work for me,” he said. “I have a cunning plan and I’m going to put it into action Saturday night.”
The contestant he’s excited about smashing and slamming the most? Chief Lewis, his counterpart at the Newport Beach Police Department.
“The chance to crash into Jon is going to be great,” Duncan said. “Actually, it’s going to be great to crash into something and not have to write up a ton of paperwork about it after.”
Last year, Lewis suited up and drove to the center of the ring, ready for action, before his RV stalled. He’s hoping for better luck this time.
“The safety crew told me I had to leave since my RV wasn’t operational,” he said. “It was a sitting duck.”
Win or lose, participants say, the competition is all in good fun and benefits two causes that are significant in their line of work.
The event, at the OC Fair & Event Center’s Action Sports Arena, will benefit Project 999, a nonprofit that supports families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty, and the Orange County Police Canine Assn., which raises funds for the families of fallen officers, medical expenses for retired police dogs, replacement dogs and training for K-9 teams.
IF YOU GO
What: Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Action Sports Arena, OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Cost: Tickets start at $20 and include Orange County Fair admission.
Information and tickets: ocfair.com/oc-fair/entertainment/action-sports-arena