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Local destruction derby enthusiasts bypass Fair event for Sabbath
The Ceres father-daughter tandem of Greg and Kinsey Mathews have chosen to forgo the 37th Stanislaus County Fair Destruction Derby for religious reasons.

Seventh-day Adventists honor the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

"That's our 24-hour day of worship and rest," Greg said.

Promoter Buster Lucas moved this year's Destruction Derby to Friday and Saturday because he thought it would boost driver participation.

The Fair's most popular motorsport event was held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 2007-11.

The derby was staged on Wednesdays and Thursdays in 2005 and 2006.

"The promoter wanted to change the dates due to work schedules," said Adrenna Alkhas, Stanislaus County Fair marketing and communications director. "It wasn't our call."

"We're trying to get more drivers from out of the area," Lucas said. "This makes it easier for people to show up and run their cars. They don't have to go to work the next day."

"I was surprised they moved it to Friday and Saturday," Greg Mathews said. "I'm curious to find out if this is going to be successful."

Greg, 52, has competed in all but two of Stanislaus County Fair's destruction derbies since 1993.

Greg and eldest daughter Karlie (27) placed second and third, respectively, in 2011.

Six members of the Mathews family, including brothers Greg, Bryce and Nick, battled for bragging rights in the compact division of Destruction Derby II-Metal Mayhem in 2010.

Bryce placed first. Daughter Teryn took third. Brother Chad participated as well.

Greg and Karlie finished outside the top three.

Nick did not place.

Bryce and Teryn signed up for Saturday's competition.

Greg and Kinsey (20) will be rooting from the stands at Food Maxx Arena.

Karlie got a job in Hawaii and will not be in attendance.

"I'm disappointed we all can't run our cars," Greg said. "We've had a lot of fun together over the years."

Greg plans to dedicate time, normally spent building cars for Destruction Derby, to other interests.

The Mathews family enjoy jet skiing at Lake Don Pedro.

Greg will also restore his 1965 Mustang Fastback.

"I'm catching up on a few projects at home," Mathews said.