The Thrill of Victory… And Burning Cars

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Speaking of brutal, I just received the schedule for this year’s Team Demolition Derby. Last summer Claire wasn’t sure what to do for her 30th Birthday. I had just learned about Team Demolition Derby and put the idea on the table. Claire’s response: “That’s perfect!”

So one rainy July afternoon, we trekked down to the dirt oval in Joliet to see some hot station wagon on station wagon action. The rules are simple: each team has four cars. The first team that gets one car around the track 5 times wins.


I wouldn’t have known it, but we (apparently) saw one of the greatest team demolition derby matches in the history of this storied track. The heavily favored Orange Crush jumped out to a quick lead, but their opponent, the resilient Junkyard Dogs, staged an amazing comeback. After 20 minutes of twisted metal and muddy wrecks, the Junkyard Dogs only needed to get their car 50 feet to win. Unfortunately it had stalled… and overheated… because it was on fire. The only other functioning car on the track was an Orange Crush Oldsmobile barely visible through the smoke billowing out from its hood.

As the remaining Dog furiously tried to restart his engine, the Oldsmobile slowly accelerated to ramming speed. My friends, when children dream of glory on the dirt oval, this is their dream: The Orange Crush’s attack was mere feet from ending The Junkyard Dogs’ surprising run when the whir and sputter of a dilapidated engine catching hushed the crowd, albeit momentarily. For as that pathetic piece of crap car plodded through the mud towards the finish line, the frenzied audience drowned out the even-more-frenzied P.A. announcer with an unparalleled ovation reserved for the true heroes of team demolition derby.

I hear the halftime show during the finals involves melting a car with a jet engine. So that’s cool too.

By the way, the Junkyard Dogs got killed in the finals. Also, I’m not sure if they were actually called the Junkyard Dogs. But the rest of this story is mostly true, I swear.


See you on the oval, bro.

~ Brian      

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