Demolition 101

Last weekend my husband lured me into a double date night with our friends Cory and Michelle with the promise of fun and excitement.  Looking back, I think Cory was in on this plan as well, so in reality, Michelle and I were lured into an evening with promises of fun and excitement.

I was hoping we’d go check out a movie in a nice, air-conditioned theater since we’d been battling 100-plus days and we haven’t gone to the movies since True Grit came out.  Seriously.

But they (my apologies, Cory, if I’m wrongly accusing you here) thought a nice night at the (outdoor) county fair rodeo arena was a better idea.  Not for a rodeo, but for a demolition derby.

Repeat:  DEMOLITION DERBY!!  Seriously.

Now I can’t speak for Michelle, but I know in my thirty-plus years of existence I have never–NEVER– attended one of these events.  To be quite honest, I’ve always been just fine with that fact.  In fact, I would’ve been just fine to leave it a mystery.

Instead of rolling into the fetal position and crying for my Mama, we paid our admittance, found a spot on the wooden arena bench seats, began the great afternoon meltdown in the sun, and I started observing.

A Demolition Derby–also known as “Demo Derby”– attracts crowds of people regardless of how hot it is…

Come one, come all...Standing room only.

…Rescue personnel are present in the event of an emergency…

Waiting for an emergency.

…and there are officials with different colored flags and headpieces, which leads me to believe that there are some sort of rules at these events.

Roger that

In the beginning, participants make their grand entrance by driving their souped up junkers around the arena.

And now entering the arena...

Fans cheer for their favorite drivers as they show off the work they’ve done to their machines that have allowed them to come back to life from their junkyard graves…

The custom paint jobs, specialized sponsor messages, and reinforcement welds are interesting.

The drivers make a full loop around the outer boundaries of the arena before they enter the demolition area.  You’ll know you’ve arrived in the demolition area if you are surrounded by a raised dirt border.

Who you gonna call??

All of the participants pull into their spot and wait for the announcer to count down…

Green flag = GO!!

…As soon as they get the green flag they put their machines in reverse and put the pedal to the metal.

TIME OUT!! Did everyone sign waivers for this? OK, you may continue.


The overall object of the game is to be the last vehicle running after multiple rounds.  The winner takes home a stash of cash which will help (I assume) buy parts to fix up a vehicle, pay for medical bills, and maybe a few Sonic slushes.

Sounds easy enough, right??

Now I’m sure there’s more to it than that–and I’m sure there’s a rule book somewhere.   But until I find that rule book, I’ll just have to rely on my take on the event.

So here are a few observations from my night of Demo Derby (buckle up, Betty):

**Disclaimer—Through my observations at the following event, I do know there are rules for Demolition Derby—I just don’t know exactly what they are.  These are only my observations to help make sense of it all.  

Trust me, I need to make sense of it all.

1.  The preferred method of demolishing other cars is to look over your shoulder prior to and possibly during impact…

This derby move is sponsored by your local massage therapist...
...your area chiropractic specialists...
...and your friendly physical therapists.

2.  Cushions and/or pillows for the drivers are a necessity (not sure about the seat belts)…

The equivalent to side airbags perhaps...
I wonder which protects a driver better, feathers or memory foam??

3.  It gets loud, so come prepared…

"Speak up. I can't hear you!"

4.  If your vehicle doesn’t survive the round, you’re guaranteed a lift out…

To infinity and beyond!

5.  Water makes mud, and that’s what is needed…

Getting the arena good and muddy between events

6.  It is better to keep your daughters locked up when a Demo Derby is in town.  If she must go out, insist on her wearing a full length dress, or an overcoat, or a burka and then hire a few people to monitor her every move…

Trust me Honey, your grandkids won't want to see all that!

7.  Team mascots are appreciated and are allowed to ride along during the demolition…

Hold on kitty, Dough Boy is gonna make his move.

8.  If your vehicle is still running, tires are apparently optional…

Riding on rims, baby!

9.  Event officials and firemen are always close by to help extinguish little fires that may spark up…

Don't worry, this guy isn't hurt. He's just making sure all of the flames are put out before continuing in the demolition.

10.  A yellow flag is attached to the driver’s side door to officially inform others if they are still in the game–regardless of flames or smoke…

Until the bitter end I will ride!!

…When one is ready to admit defeat, quickly yank the yellow flag from its wired (or duct taped) state and surrender.  This will tell others not to aim their vehicles at your helpless self…

Put a steak in it, she's done...

…Once you have pulled the yellow flag, you may opt to stay in your motionless, flaming, smoking vehicle OR you can abandon ship (preferably before it bursts into flames–that never happened here.  But that would’ve been so cool.  Stop it, what’s wrong with you?)

Peace out, peeps!

That’s it.  I’m pulling the yellow flag and abandoning ship on this one.  All I can say is that if you have never gone to a Demo Derby add it to your bucket list.

This summer will be one to put in the record books because of the amazingly high temperatures.  And what people do in these record temperatures never ceases to amaze me.

Oh and boys, Michelle and I have fun and exciting grand plans for you.

Just you wait.

3 Thoughts

  1. No I haven’t every been to a demo derby until that one……but yes I think Cory and Adam did lured us in…. 🙂

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