Tuesday, 04 July 2017 08:00

Demolition derby making a comeback to Swift Current

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Swift Current's Tyson (at left) and Brody Crowe look at one of the vehicles they are preparing for the upcoming demolition derby on July 15. Swift Current's Tyson (at left) and Brody Crowe look at one of the vehicles they are preparing for the upcoming demolition derby on July 15. Photo by Lisa Crowe

There will be scenes of carnage and destruction in Swift Current on July 15 when drivers compete for the title of King of the Ring at the Appetite for Destruction demolition derby.


The event is hosted by the Speedy Creek Racing Association at the Living Sky Casino Speedway, which is located at Kinetic Exhibition Park.
It has been almost 20 years since a demolition derby took place in the city and the Speedy Creek Racing Association felt it was time to bring the spectacle of automobile destruction back to the city.
“It seemed to be getting a little more popular across the southwest and Saskatchewan as a whole again,” event co-ordinator Richard Crowe said.
“Racing can be a little pricey and maybe it's another way for people to get into some motorsport that's a little cheaper and a different avenue for some entertainment to our crowd and fan base.”
A number of motorsport related events took place in Swift Current during recent years and the Speedy Creek Racing Association felt it might be a good time to organize a demolition derby.
“We did the monster trucks a couple of years, we did the Late Model race cars, we did the sprint cars before,” he said. “Another crew had done tractor pulls a couple of years back. So this is just another form of motorsport. We thought we'd see if there’s much interest in the community for it.”
In addition to local participants there will be competitors from elsewhere in the province who will be causing mayhem in an effort to win the King of the Ring title.
“Interest has been shown from Weyburn, Estevan, Assiniboia, Maple Creek, and Rosetown so far,” he said. “Anybody that wants to enter it locally here or from wherever can read up on the rules on the website and we're inviting them very openly to participate, that’s for sure.”
To spectators it might appear as if a demolition derby is only about destruction of your opponent’s vehicle and that there are no rules, but the participants are actually required to follow some very specific guidelines in preparation for the event.
“Safety wise you have to have all the glass removed and most of the burnables that have a chance of burning inside the car,” he said. “You want to try and make it as strong as you can. So you can do some bolt-on modifications, good tires, good suspension to try and make it run longer. ... You remove the original gas tank and put in another one in the back seat, and a good 2010 or newer helmet is one of our major safety rules.”
Crowe participated in a demolition derby in Manitoba about 20 years ago. He is therefore familiar with the kind of strategies that are required by drivers during such an event. The aim is to use the back end of your vehicle to disable other vehicles with strategic hits to their tires, steering components, and front end radiator. At the same time a driver must be careful to protect his own vehicle against hits from competitors.
“There’s a lot of thinking involved in whether you want to put your car in a vulnerable position or not,” he said.
The format for this event will be to have a number of heats in the run-up to the grand finalé. There will be five or six cars in each heat, and the top two from every heat will advance to the feature race. Those who did not make it to the feature race will still have another opportunity to advance during the last-chance qualifier, when the top two will also qualify for the feature.
The feature race will pit the best drivers from the different heats against each other and the winner will receive the title of King of the Ring. The winner will be presented with a special trophy that was created from different vehicle parts.
In addition to the coveted title of King of the Ring the drivers will have an opportunity to win prize money. The first-place prize is $1,500, the runner-up will receive $300 and the third-place prize is $150.
The event takes place July 15 and the action starts at 1 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. for competitors and at noon for spectators. Tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the event, while 10 pack and family pack tickets are now available at Tune-A-Matic (1300 Cheadle St. West) and Hara Products (1981 Chaplin St. West) in Swift Current.
Ticket prizes are the same as for a regular race day at the speedway. General admission (14 and up) is $12 per person, and $6 for students (6-14). The family pack for four people (two adults, two students) is $30, the family pack for five people (two adults, three students) is $35, the 10 pack (10 adults) is $110 and the 10 pack for students (10 student passes) is $50.
For more information, contact Richard Crowe at 306-784-7531 or Rene Panasciuk at 306-774-5585. Information is also available on the Speedy Creek Racing Association website at www.scra.ca.

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Matthew Liebenberg

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