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Demolition Derby

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Monday August 16th finally came around, the day we all have been waiting for. The weeks leading up to this day were very hectic, working on the car till 11 then doing it again then next day, for 2 weeks. We were putting radical amounts of time into the littlest things, trying to make ensure that it wouldn’t be the thing that puts me out.
Monday morning the crew met up at my house along with Art and Nate, and we all made our way over to the fair grounds. The Kok Rd was lined with cars and trucks all the way back to Food Pavilion. The gate opened at 8 along with the flood of cars and organized chaos, with cars, trailers and trucks flying around everywhere trying to get set up. Along with the chaos of getting your pit area set up, all the cars must pass a tech inspection. So all of the last minute problems come up and have to get dealt with. A good friend of mine and first time derby driver Horacio Campos had transmission problems come up and we had to switch out the torque converter in about 30 minutes just in time to make it into the tech line. Come to find out that wasn’t the problem and its still broke. When all of my last minute fixes were done, I limped over to the line with only one brake ( that’s all we could get in the time we had) but we had a strong motor and a big car. At twelve the horn blew signaling the drivers meeting for the afternoon show. We were all drawn and placed into a heat race I was fortunate enough to get into race one. All of the “heavy hitters” were in heat two and three.
As the meeting drew to a close I headed back to my pit area, grabbed a sledge hammer and a gas can and walked over to my car, filled it with gas and opened my book of derby secrets to see what I could pull out. Derby trick number seven. Crease the trunk lid so that the trunk folds up instead of down. So ironically I smashed a large crease into the trunk right behind the rear axle. I was ready for heat one.
As I sat in my car waiting, the anticipation finally caught up to me as the flags were being brought into the arena, knowing that I was the first race in the arena. We got the go-ahead from Gord to enter the arena, circling around the side so that the audience can get the low down on the drivers. We entered the arena from the south end circling up around the edge. I couldn’t hear anything as I was concentrating on what to do. Subconsciously I repeatedly revved my mopar 318 to the sky. It sounded so good the custom 1 ½ exhaust coming up through the hood. My 318 was warming up because I could feel the heat on my face and legs coming off the motor. The crowd counted down, 10,9,8,7… Steve threw the green flag and I grabbed my transmission linkage and shoved it into drive and slammed the peddle to the floor. My welded POSI rear-end threw dirt as the tires longed for traction. I cut across the arena and put a solid hit on a car. A split second later I got slammed from the side and was spun 90 degrees. I raced across the arena full throttle in reverse going for a solid hit with my trunk. I made a slamming hit when out of nowhere a car came in and put a disastrous hit on my left side rear tire. He came in at a perfect angle so that he hit my tire and it broke my rear-end lose and slide it back 6-8 inches, just enough to drop my driveline out of my tranny. Little did I know, now in a sitting duck. I keep trying to find a gear thinking that my tranny is slipping. Put it in drive and stand on the gas. Nothing. Reverse. Nothing. I look over to the left at my dad who is standing on the trailer behind the fence. We talk via hand signals and I knew that my driveline was laying on the ground and I’m out, throwing up my orange flag. I watch and wait as the remaining cars slowly go out. Super disappointed because I still have a full trunk and solid front end due to the fact that I didn’t have many hits. I have three hours to work on my car to get it ready for the Free For All and one final shot at the main event.





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