Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dan's Inner Redneck

Last Saturday, Dan & I went to the county fair to watch the amateur firefighter demolition derby. Surprisingly (since I grew up in a much more NASCAR-centric area of the country), Dan had grown up watching stock car races & demolition derbies with his dad and I had never been to one in my life. But when his co-worker invited us, he lit up, so I knew I was in for a good time. 

Who says you can't learn new things about your spouse after 9 years of marriage?  I learned that my New York City-raised husband has a little redneck in his heart, and seeing as I *may* still have a crush on Bo & Luke from the Dukes of Hazzard, I totally love him more now.

The drivers were firefighters representing different cities in San Diego County. We sat in the middle of the Viejas fire dept. and their families, which was a really friendly group.  I swear the lady next to Dan was related to half the drivers somehow and they all came up to say hi to her before the race.
There were two battle rounds, and the cars that made it through got to compete in the final round. About 7 cars were in each round, and they started in a small rectangular area enclosed by dirt barriers. Dan said the sport has been made safer since he was a kid.  They have less space in the "arena" and they even wet down the dirt so the cars couldn't get up as much speed before crashing into each other. Because like mom always says, it's all fun & games until someone dies. 

The cars started by facing the dirt barrier with their backs to each other. I was obviously cheering for the macho man driving the pink Mary Kay Cadillac.

Then the announcer counted down from 10, and they all went full throttle crashing into each other as hard as they could. Bam!

Any cars that could limp off the arena without assistance at the end could compete in the final round.  Sadly, Mary Kay did not make it.

When the first two rounds were over, the fire departments had 10 minutes to literally beat their cars back into shape before sending them into the final round. New tires, quick engine fixes, and lots and lots of sledgehammering.  Although redneck time runs slow because it was more like a half an hour by my watch.
I expected all the drivers to be men, but it turns out there was one crazy brave firewoman who usually battles it out, too. She couldn't get her car going, though, so she ended up sitting out this one.
After about 20 mins into the final round, there was an obvious victor. He got a trophy with a beat-up junker on top of it.
Fun times were had by all!