By Cheryl Conway
Budd Lake native Alan Fulton would not put the brakes on his second place win at a recent demotion derby so instead returned the next day to take first place.
On Monday, Aug. 5, Fulton drove his “aptly named Exit 26 car” to victory in the six cylinder class at the New Jersey State Fair Demolition Derby in Augusta, he describes. The 49-year old came in second place the day before.
“I came in second on Sunday night, then they had another derby on Monday, so I unbent my car and went back to run again and take first,” he explains.
In his full time profession, Fulton works as an advisory engineer.
“I engineer and architect on premise cloud computing solutions” with Fiserv, a global leader in financial services technology solutions. Outside of work, his love for cars and motors takes over.
“I have been doing demolition derby for at least 12 years now,” says Fulton. “My love of motors comes from grandfather who owned the Budd Lake Garage.
“At first I just thought it would be fun to wreck a car and not get arrested,” says Fulton. “But over the years, this has brought many lasting friendships with some great people. I was amazed at the fellowship and camaraderie amongst this tight knit “derby family” that will help you with just about anything to get you onto the track, try to fold you up like a taco once we get there and then back to helping you again once the checkered flag drops.”
Competing against typically 15 to 20 other drivers in the ring during the motorsport event, Fulton’s winning performance has taken years of practice.
He admits to “No lessons, but by now plenty of practice,” he says.
The car he used for the most recent demolition event was a new find.
“This car was a 1978 Pontiac LeMans that I purchased off of a friend to run up at the NJ State Fair,” he says. “I got it this year and dropped my derby motor in it.”
Future races await for Fulton, and he hints on his hopes for a local venue.
“A couple more shows before the end of the year in Pennsylvania that I would like to run in,” he says. “I also try to press our own local officials to have a derby at the Mt. Olive Carnival every year. Would be great to have a hometown show.”