The Kansas State Fair Demolition Derby is tonight at 7:30pm. If you plan to attend ,here are a few things you should know before you go.
What is a demolition derby?
For those who don’t know, a demolition derby is a motorsport event involving multiple cars deliberately crashing into each other. Each drivers goal is to disable the opposing vehicles while keeping theirs alive. The event is typically done in a series of heats where the winners of each heat move on to a final round. Cars are worked on months in advance to prepare them for the beating they’re about to receive. As much as it may look like chaos, there’s quite a bit that goes into the sport.
Mufflers and exhaust systems and only end up torn off or restricting airflow to the engines so many of the cars leave them off. Most drivers will go ahead and ditch all of these and run pipes straight off the headers of their engine, the result is a lot of pretty loud cars It’s recommended to bring some hearing protection especially for younger audience members.
There is an actual strategy involved.
As much as it may seem that it’s just utter destruction and chaos, the drivers of the derby cars are making very calculated moves. As much as they are trying to inflict damage on the other vehicle they're trying to prevent damage to their own. If a driver were to just plow head on into another vehicle they’d likely damage their own radiator and knock themselves out. For this reason they will be very careful and calculated with how they go about crashing into each other.
It’s not “Anything Goes”
There are loads of rules involved. Everything from the type of car down to how long a given bolt is allowed to be is covered. At the end of the day, it is all about getting everyone involved out without injury. Vehicles undergo rigorous inspections before the derby to ensure drivers and spectators alike will be free (or at the very least at a low risk) from danger. The rules even govern how a driver is allowed to drive. Any behavior that puts someone else in danger is a big no-no, purposeful hits to an opponent's driver side door is a good example of a heavily frowned upon behavior.
The cars aren’t as worthless as they look.
As much as the cars may just look like they’re fresh out of the junkyard there's actually a lot of work that goes into them. Non-essentials are stripped out, roll cages, and body reinforcements are installed, the engines are beefed up to handle the abuse of running without a radiator or a transmission stuck in first gear. If a driver's radiator is caved in on the first hit they want their car to be able to survive the round as theirs usually prize money on the line for them.
If you plan to attend the Kansas State Fair Demolition Derby is tonight, September 12th, at 7:30pm. Tickets are only $7 and kids 12 and under get in free.