Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dayton Fair Demolition Derby

Well its been a few days since I have posted on here due to the fact I am building my own car at the time, but I decided to go out to Dayton Pa last night to watch their yearly demo.  I was slightly impressed by the amount of people who were there.  The stands were so crowded I had to stand which didn't bother me because I ended up closer to the track anyhow.

After watching the mixed group of cars come out in the first heat, It finally dawned on me that Dayton runs all the cars together regardless of divisions.  At that point I became disgusted even though I knew from the previous years that's how it is set up out there.

I really don't understand why anyone would take a compact out there and be demolished by a 70's wagon.  That is clearly beyond my way of thinking.  On the other hand it made the show interesting.  I got to see some junk.

I often heard Dayton referred to as the chain and bang demo, but from what I witnessed last night I don't think some of the cars were "stock" if you understand what I'm saying.  I saw cars with the doors welded and some wedged.  I saw a car with a brush guard on it?  But it quickly fell off.  I really don't understand the concept here. Most cars were chained though.  Is there a set of rules or are they easily broken by people who have rough knee caps......

Monday, August 13, 2012

How To Tilt A Frame

Here is a video explaining this process.  The best one I could find. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lumina Theory

Over the past few years I have heard certain phrases and quotes about General Motor's W-Body platform. Some of the gossip going around is that " Luminas are the next imperial" or "Luminas are the strongest car in compacts".  Where the hell did people lose their minds to compare the Lumina and Imperial?  No doubt Luminas hold their own in the heat of the battle but never compare it to an Imperial. That is just pure ignorance!

Responding to the quote "Luminas are the strongest car in compacts", well that can be easily argued.  I have witnessed many local derby venues have a plentiful field of Luminas, which none were really impressive in my eyes.  I have yet to witness one just flat out junk the competition with no problem unless it is cheated.

So in regards to that I am not in favor of this gossip.  It is just far fetched and completely ignorance driven.  If you are a fan of them and take this to heart, well tough shit. There are pros and cons you must weigh out before you label it the strongest car in the division, although you do have the option to support your own theory.

A strong car can be used efficiently and must have certain attributes, which a Lumina does not reflect the image of a strong car at all.  It is just a bunch of bullshit gossip filling everyone's heads to the point you are hypnotized.  Wake up people! Hello??  Don't be so gullible!

I know unfortunately I may seem like a critic, but honestly I am only trying to bring your attention to the myth about these cars.  The front end is often referred to as the "business end" which I do agree with that statement.  Luminas do have a stout front end if well built, but the ass-ends are not strong at all.  With that being said in my opinion it is not a strong car.

Who want's to drive around forward in a derby the whole time?  That must get awful boring.  The fan's come to watch a derby not hot laps at a dirt track.  They want to see those kamikaze shots you take from one end to the other with the ass-end.  They love that excitement, I know I sure do!

So don't follow the norm of the derby society.  Buy a junker somewhere and build it tough.  Remember any car can win at any given time!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Alexandria Championship Update

New Alexandria -  Another hard hitting event held at  New Alexandria.  If you didn't get the chance to make it out, well you definitely missed out on some good action track side. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it in time to watch the full lawn mower demo but didn't miss any of the automobiles.  The track was tacky and cars were getting good bite.  Honestly probably the best track condition I have seen there all year.

To start things off, qualifying heats were ran in the compacts and 80's and newer divisions.  The compacts were up to bat first with the 80's and newer on deck. The compact qualifying heat was nothing spectacular so you wont hear much out of me about that.

The 80's and newer qualifying heat was were the fun started.  All of them fighting for a position into the final event.  I didn't catch how many actually were advanced into the event but I sure know John Kashin in the 18 car put on a show.  Upon his entrance to the pits some commotion took place but was over by the time I made it over there.

To my surprise the full-size trucks were next, which I had no clue they were even running tonight.  I didn't quite catch any of the names but they put on a great show.  I was probably too focused on the event and less on names at the time. Other than that congratulations to the winner.

The compact feature came in and it looked like a decent field of cars, I attempted to count them an got around 20 maybe 21, but i could be wrong.  My underdog pick for this event Shaun Krouse in the number 45 car competed well but ended up being put out by Jason Sleasman in the black and yellow number 7 on a nose to nose shot.

I noticed there was a lot of the square back Luminas there and only a few bubble luminas.  Of course some other random cars in the mix as well.  

As the cars started to drop out it came down to the final three of #7 Jason Sleasman, #231 Matt Guy and #189 Stephen Timko.  Sleasman was the first out of the final three.  During the battle, both Guy and Timko shut off but both cars would fire back up. In the end Matt Guy pulled off the win and was crowned Champion in the compact division. Congratulations Matt!

During a break in the action, Aaron the track promoter(?) was announcing about the raffle car and had Patrick Upole draw the ticket.  To his surprise he drew a ticket belonging to a friend of his Jennifer Mutnansky who did not take the wheel of it in the feature and gave the car to her husband Chris.

The 80's and newer feature was then the highlight of the evening.  The field was packed with a lot of talented drivers and strong looking cars.  The occasional track shots really got my attention.  My underdog pick of Jason Mazzoni didnt make the final three and was knocked out mid way through.  The field of 28 was narrowed down eventually and the last three running were #121 John Haggerty, #001 Mark Cioppa and #200 Dan Trent. Haggerty was the first to drop out of the mix. The battle was on after that.  At times I thought one or the other has won but to my surprise both cars kept firing up after a few seconds.  In the end Dan Trent took home the victory.  Congratulations Dan!

New Alexandria Championship 2012

New Alexandria PA - Well it looks like everyone is getting geared up for the championship at the New Alexandria Lions Club track located on Route 22 just a short drive east of Pittsburgh PA.  It is going to be action packed night as they will will have a full field of cars for each division.

We will kick this story off by adding in the question of who will be running the event due to the fact of the original promoter quitting last friday.  That is still an unknown question for us here at The Derby Zone.

To continue on to tonight's action, divisions will include 80's and Newer, Compacts and Lawnmowers.

In the 80's and Newer class there is alot of good drivers participating in tonight's event.  Who will win? Will it be one of the Badboyz? What about Cioppa Racing Team? We can't let out the Glowacki's, Josh Coreleto, Kenneth Dumbauld, Matt Lawson and the rest of the competition out there.
Our underdog for the class is Jason Mazzoni driving the number 151 car.  Jason has had recent transmission problems, but we think he will be a good underdog choice for the championship.

In the Compacts, another class with alot of great drivers entering the championship including Matt Guy, Steve Tocco, Barry Fails, Crev Warr, The Rea's, The Franicola's, John Haggerty and many other great drivers. Who is going to win it all and take home the trophy?

Our underdog for the compacts is Shaun Krouse in the number 45 car.  Shaun has won money and a trophy every trip he has made to New Alexandria this year.  He continues to place with any car you can put him in. We believe he will be a great underdog choice this year.

The Lawn Mower class is still undecided in our opinion.  We are leaning toward a great performance by Matt Ashbaugh in the number 621 Team Havoc tractor.

Stay tuned for the results to be posted tonight!  Good luck to all drivers!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The History Of Demolition Derby

Demolition derby is a motorsport usually presented at county fairs and festivals. While rules vary from event to event, the typical demolition derby event consists of five or more drivers competing by deliberately ramming their vehicles into one another. The last driver whose vehicle is still operational is awarded the victory.

Demolition derbies originated in the United States and quickly spread to other western nations. In Europe, this type of event is called banger racing, although in a demolition derby, racers do not race against each other, instead aiming specifically to destroy the other cars.

Demolition derbies can be very dangerous. Although serious injuries are rare, they do happen.  Drivers are typically required to sign a waiver to release the promoter of an event from liability. To make the event safer, all glass is removed from the vehicle, and deliberately ramming the driver's-side door area is forbidden. Most demolition derbies are held on dirt tracks, or in open fields, that are usually soaked with water. This causes the competition area to become muddy, which in turn helps to further slow the vehicles. Some drivers use both the front and rear of the vehicle to ram the other competitors. Others tend to use only the rear end of the vehicle, to help protect the engine compartment from damage.

Demolition derbies were first held at various fairs and race tracks and speedways by independent promoters in the 1950s. There are unconfirmed reports of events occurring as far back as the 1930s utilizing the abundant supply of worn out Ford Model T's. The originator of the concept for demolition derbies is disputed. One source said that Don Basile is often credited with inventing the demolition derby at Carrell Speedway in 1947. Another source states stock car racer Larry Mendelsohn created the concept for demolition derbies at New York State's Islip Speedway in 1958 after realizing many people favored wrecks to racing.

The sport's popularity grew throughout the 1960s, becoming a standard of county fairs in rural areas, and becoming a quirky subculture nationwide. In 1965 a reported crowd of 20,000 packed into Rowley Park Speedway to see Australia's first demolition derby. ABC's Wide World of Sports televised the World Championship Demolition Derby from the mid 1960s until 1972. Also in 1972, the Los Angeles Coliseum hosted a demolition derby with mint-condition late model cars driven by Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt, and Bobby Unser. The popular ABC sitcom Happy Days included the character Pinky Tuscadero, a professional demolition derby driver and occasional love-interest to the show's most popular character, Arthur Fonzarelli.

The sport's popularity peaked in the 1970s. By the 1980s, the sport's popularity began to level off, and then possibly decline throughout the 1990s. With the demise of Wide World of Sports, television exposure became virtually non-existent. In addition to safety concerns and the shortage of full-size vehicles, some felt that the sport has shown little change or innovation beyond its original premise of giant lumbering cars sloshing through mud.

In 1997, The Nashville Network (later part of CBS) returned demolition derby to national television in its "TNN's Motor Madness" series of various motor-sport events. The demolition derby was originally designed to serve as an amusement while attendees bought food and beverage from concessions. Motor Madness derbies were primarily for broadcast and needed to fit into a time frame. Live demolition derbies could last as long as possible. Motor Madness changed the rules from last car running to largest number of offensive hits in a time frame. However, as part of MTV Networks' takeover of CBS Cable operations in 2000, demolition derbies, as well as the rest of the CBS motor-sports operations, were removed from programming as part of MTV's move to shut down the CBS Charlotte operation based at Lowe's Motor Speedway and generalize the network into a more broadly viewed channel. Pay per view was demolition derby's only national television outlet in the new millennium. Two $50,000-to-win derbies were held in Widewater, Canada from 2000-2001.

Later in the 2000s, a proliferation of cable television shows about vehicle customizing occasionally showcased junked vehicles in bizarre competitions. Spike TV's "Carpocalypse" was a reality documentary series on variations of demolition derby filmed in Orlando, Florida. The Speed Channel also has aired Team demolition derbies in 2005. Cable TV's exposure has led to renewed interest in the demolition derby.

In 2006 the partners of Mike Weatherford Promotions (Mike Weatherford and Dustin Swayne) brought to life while promoting the NAPA Auto Parts Crash for Cash Series. The First Annual final show paid out $5,000.00 to the winner of the series. Before competing in the final show, derby drivers across several states had to qualify at any one of the participating NAPA Crash for Cash qualifying derbys. There were over 100 cars in the final show. The Series was a huge success and continues to grow every year. The 2007 Series Money was doubled, so competition was expected to increase for the 2008 series.
Competitors have traditionally used full-size, American made sedans, and station wagons, especially those from the 1960s and 70s, which were larger, heavier, and had more robust frames than later full-size vehicles. The 1964-1966 Chrysler Imperial achieved near-legendary status for its crashworthiness, and is still banned from most derby events. Scrap vehicles are purchased from junkyards and private owners, usually for less than $500, though some select (and rust-free) mid-1970s sedans and station wagons may go for more than $1,000. A vehicle may be patched up and re-used for several events.

With the dwindling availability of these older vehicles, smaller full-sized vehicles of the 1980s and 1990s are more frequently encountered today. A separate class of demolition derby for compact cars is increasing in popularity. Compact car events have the advantages of an abundant supply of usable vehicles, which also tend to be more mobile and thus, more entertaining to fans. Being largely front-wheel drive vehicles, their back ends can sustain considerable amounts of damage before the vehicle is immobilized. However, this increased speed, coupled with the fact that compact cars tend to be less crashworthy, makes injuries more frequent.

Other versions of the sport using combine harvesters and lawn mowers have been practiced in various parts of the world. Larger vehicles, such as pickup trucks and SUVs, were rarely used in demolition derby (though school bus demolitions have long been a popular exception), but have recently become popular in demolition events. Recently a new class for minivans has been added to some derbies because of the abundance of older vehicles.

The vehicles are stripped of interior fixtures, trim, plastic, lights, and glass. They are repainted, often in loud, garish designs and low budgets (spray paint is frequently used to mark names, slogans and identification). Additional modifications include trimming sheet metal from around the wheel wells, removing parts of bumpers, welding the doors shut, and relocating the battery and gas tank. To make the cars last longer, they are occasionally pre-bent, frames notched, rear bumper removed, trunk lid notched, and rear coil springs are (when rules allow) replaced with leaf springs. In many instances, roll bars, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment is installed. Sometimes the removed parts create bulk availability of off-color parts for older cars that are compatible with them. In most cases, any vehicle parts must be "stock," though in some derbies a "gladiator" or "outlaw" division allows cars to be extensively modified and reinforced.

In 2001, the Los Angeles Times estimated that between 60,000 and 75,000 drivers participated in at least one of the 2,000 demolition derbies held in the United States that year. Event purses rose from hundreds of dollars to over $10,000 after the popularity of TNN's Motor Madness series.

Derbies frequently have few rules, with most regulation focusing on the cars' composition and not on the actual action on the track. Drivers are often required to be at least 16 years old. They are usually required to have seat belt and a helmet. An event begins with drivers lined up on a dirt oval with their tail lights facing each other. They begin in reverse and starting crashing into each other. Drivers are usually required to crash into another vehicle every 60 seconds or they are labeled as "sandbagging" and become disqualified. The last running car wins the event; in order to speed up the end of a particular event, some derbies will require the last two cars running to make all hits from that point forward head-to-head, making contact only with the front ends. An event typically takes about 20 minutes. Depending on the sanctioning body, it may be illegal for multiple cars to collaborate and gang up on opposing cars in a sandwich effort, and could result in disqualification for both parties that do so; the enforcement of this rule varies widely.

Reference: Wikipedia

Jessie Blake

Jessie Blake, a native of Oil City, Pennsylvania.  He is currently 28 years old and has been demoing since he was 16.  His car number is 11b. Jessie has the following sponsors for his car/cars, Mark’s Water Conditioning, Jim’s Cycle & Car Parts and Kennedy Welding.

Jessie got introduced to this sport by his father by watching him demo.  He stated “It looked like fun so I got in my first car” He enjoys the feeling of smashing people and the sound of crowd roar.  He claims the best part is to demo with his friends and family while having fun.  Jessie also stated “It is good anger management”.

You can most likely find his car trackside at Spartansburg County Fair, which is his favorite track.  He made Spartansburg County Fair his favorite because the payout is great, the promoter sticks to the rules and the officials are easy to get along with.

Jessie’s favorite division is the full-size trucks.  He also runs full-size cars too.  His biggest accomplishment happened in neither of those two divisions though.  It was brought to light at Tri-City Speedway, in the compact division, where he won his first compact feature.  There was around 30 cars and he came out on top.

His future goals are to be known as a good derby driver and to make a lot of friends while competing.

Jessie would like to thank his family and his sponsors for all the help they have provided him.