This being my first demolition car derby I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I did expect was a lot of sound and fury. I probably would not have even gone except that my friend Dan McAnarney had some extra tickets and asked if my wife, Kathie, and I would like to go.
We chose a bleacher seat fairly high up on the hill, and Kathie brought along ear plugs. Thus were we prepared when the announcer proclaimed the final heat of the day. We watched along with several hundred other fans in the still, warm night as a procession of heavy metal rolled out and into the rectangular, muddy dirt pit. The cars proceeded to the southwest corner of the arena, revving their engines and shooting flames skyward through engine-top exhaust pipes as they parked side by side.
There was quite a hunk of steel and firepower on display Friday night at the county fairgrounds. I estimate that the total weight and horsepower of the last four cars my wife and I have owned did not equal that of one of these beasts.
I soon determined that the primary purpose of a demolition derby was to “decommission” your opponents’ car. The first car to suffer this indignity ended up with its right rear driver’s tire lying on the ground. My friend Dan told me that it was against the rules to slam into the driver’s side door. We watched, mesmerized, as the drivers roared backwards, spun forward, and careened sideways, all the while crashing into and deconstructing opponent’s vehicles while attempting to avoid the same fate.
Finally, it was down to two. This was actually my favorite part of the whole evening as the two remaining driver’s chased each other several times around a “disabled demolitioner” (don’t know if that’s a word) in the middle of the arena, a la Dukes of Hazard. After this game of cat and mouse ensued for awhile, a winner finally emerged—or at least what was left of his car emerged—victorious.
That’s the perspective of a neophyte demolition derbyist. Yea, I’ll probably go next year.