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Nevada County Fair’s Destruction Derby a family affair

Jared Creamer, left, will be making his first run in the Nevada County Fair's Destruction Derby, following in the footsteps of his father, Rick, who has won the event 19 times but has retired from competition.
KAEL NEWTON/NCPCINTERN@THEUNION.COM |

For Nevada Union High School junior Jared Creamer, Sunday’s Destruction Derby at the Nevada County Fair will be his first, which makes it a special event — however, the event will carry another layer of significance for him.

The 17-year-old derby rookie will be taking over for his father, Rick, in the competition, who is retiring after decades of destruction derbies.

Rick Creamer has competed in destruction derbies like the one on Sunday for 35 years, actually winning the Nevada County Fair’s edition 19 times, including a streak of 11 in a row.



For the younger Creamer, expectations are understandably high given the lofty marks set by his father in previous years.

“Years ago I used to do 15 or 20 a year,” said Rick Creamer, but added somewhat wryly, “Now I’m just too old, it hurts too much now.”




Despite being nervous for Sunday’s event, Jared Creamer said he will be aiming to do well and hopefully win. There is some added incentive for him, as his older brother Tyler will also be competing.

The younger sibling noted that while he wouldn’t aim specifically for his brother, at the end of the competition he plans to be looking out for him.

Although Nevada County is somewhat smaller than other host cities, Rick said it boasts one of the best destruction derbies around, pointing out that the Nevada County Fair’s derby is one of the highest paying events on the West Coast with a $4,000 prize for the winner.

Jared Creamer will be gunning for that prize hard, and despite it being only his first year competing, he said he’ll be looking to win the event, both for the money and glory of victory, as well as honoring his dad’s longstanding success in the derby.

As far as strategy for the derby goes, Jared Creamer’s plan is to stay conservative but fight hard.

“Hit here and there, wherever I see somebody and go for tires,” he said, also noting that his dad helped him prepare for the event as well as build his car for the derby.

However, Rick Creamer is quick to point out that his son built the 1976 Monte Carlo all on his own, spending hours upon hours working on it to get ready for Sunday’s big event.

Jared Creamer has been keeping busy this summer beyond getting ready for the destruction derby though. The pig he entered in the livestock section of the fair made it all the way to the final, leading up to the end of that contest.

Jared Creamer is a current member of the FFA club at Nevada Union and took part in 4-H for six years as well.

He also constructed a 14-foot-tall gate for the Ag Mechanics section of the fair. His gate won best in its division and the Heritage Award; the gate was to go up for auction on Friday.

As to any concern over this son’s first run in the Nevada County Fair’s Destruction Derby, the longtime champ doesn’t seem too worried.

“He’s been going to derbies his whole life,” Rick Creamer said, “So he should know what he’s doing.”

Sunday’s derby is set for a 7 p.m. start. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and under.

Kael Newton, a journalism student at the University of Oregon, is interning with The Union; he can be reached at NCPCIntern@theunion.com.


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