Crash Into Me: Scenes from the Nation-Wide Demolition Derby

Formed in the 1950s, demolition derby continues to captivate fans at state and county fairs today. This week, derby devotees gathered at the New Jersey State Fair for the Nation-Wide Demolition Derby, which featured more than 100 cars and drivers from across the Northeast. See images from the two-day event which capture the gritty essence of the sport -- along with a surprisingly softer, romantic side.

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Last year TIME visited the Delaware County Fair in New York state, where demolition derby entrants crash their clunkers on the muddy track of the grandstand.

More Photography from Time