Demolition derby hits Amarillo

By most accounts, demolition derbies have held a place in American history since the 1950s, and since then the sport has grown into a mainstream pastime.

And this evening, (Nov. 30), hundreds of Amarillo locals spent an evening at the Amarillo National Center for the third annual Turkey Bash Demolition Derby, the largest indoor derby in Texas.

About 75 entrants competed for cash prizes, with a top prize of $15,000.

Joe Hibbert of Outlaw Promotions, who hosted the event, says demolition derbies appeal to the more primal side of human nature â?? and thatâ??s not necessarily a bad thing.

â??Like it or not, when people watch NASCAR or any other motorsport event, theyâ??re wanting to watch wreckage,â?? said Hibbert. â??What demolition derby brings is itâ??s a sure thing â?? itâ??s gonna happen. Thereâ??s going to be twenty cars that go in the arena, and only oneâ??s going to come out alive.â??

While rules for derbies vary, generally competitors ram into each other, and the driver of the last vehicle that is still operational is the winner. And while that may sound dangerous, serious injuries are actually very rare. Deliberately ramming the driver side door of a vehicle is strictly forbidden, all glass is removed from vehicles before entry, and the ground is hosed down with water to make it muddy, which slows vehicles further.

Hibbert has been involved in demolition derbies since the age of 14, and he says the carnage is always directed at the machines, not the people in them.

â??Anything that has a motor on it, weâ??ve destroyed,â?? said Hibbert.

To learn more about demolition derbies or Outlaw Promotions, follow the links attached to this story.