• Last modified 881 days ago (Feb. 24, 2022)


Derby driver to compete nationally

Staff writer

Not content with competing in area demolition derbies, Derrick Dvorak, 27, of Marion will compete March 5 and 6 in a national event in Topeka.

He started competing when he was 16 and in high school. He sat out for a few years before getting back into it.

Although he has never won a derby in the seven years he has competed, he’s hoping to be at least one of the top five winners at national. It has a 60-car limit, and drivers compete in 15 to 20 cars per heat. The top five in each heat go on to the feature event. A consolation round gives losing drivers a second chance to compete in the feature. The top five go on.

Dvorak will be driving in the body and frame of a 1980 Ford Crown Victoria, but the working parts are Chevrolet.

“I prefer Chevy,” he said. “I know how to work on it.”

Much effort goes into keeping competitors safe. A steel frame is mounted inside the car. Batteries and a fuel tank also are mounted inside the car. Vertical exhaust stacks on the engine send exhaust into the air rather than near the ground.

“We get a thrill by going out and smashing cars on purpose, so we don’t want anybody to be hurt at the end of the day,” Dvorak said.

He said each driver decided how much they wanted to put into their vehicle.

“I’ve got quite a bit of money wrapped up in this one,” he said.

The top prize is $10,000. Other finishers in second to fifth place also will get monetary awards.

Selection of participants in the national event is a competition in itself.

“You have to register, and you are lucky to get a spot,” he said.

Known as Capital City Carnage, the event will be at Stormont Vail Event Center.

“We’re running close on time,” Dvorak said Monday. “I still have a lot to do.”

Last modified Feb. 24, 2022