SI Vault
William Leggett
October 20, 1975
It went almost unnoticed outside the television industry when the Demolition Derby recently changed its license plates from ABC to CBS. "Well," cynics in the business said, "ABC grabbed the Kentucky Derby away from CBS, so CBS had to go out and try to get some kind of derby."
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October 20, 1975

Cashing In On Crashing

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Carl Voelker, 37, is typical of the drivers at Islip. "I started coming to the races when I was 12," he says. "Last year was my best; I won $4,262. I've been interviewed on television five times. My son is 17, and he wants to go into the derby, but I'm going to quit. Now I want to drive modified stocks."

Voelker may not find the same satisfaction in racing around a track trying not to hit the other cars. Many Demolition Derby drivers claim they compete to relieve the frustrations of driving in everyday traffic; what a wonderful feeling to be able to slam into an old heap and watch it lurch to a halt amid clouds of steam. Others simply enjoy the camaraderie. One driver says he comes all the way to Islip from Montreal because "You run into a lot of nice people."

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