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From farm to track

SELMA, Ind. -- Five. Four. Three. Two. One. That is the final countdown drivers and fans hear before chaos erupts. The motorsport of demolition derby is something you might see at your county fair, but in this case, the competition goes national.

Selma resident Tank Smith competes and drives in demolition derbies nearly year round. When asked what it is like to be beyond the wheel of a demolition derby car, “It’s just wild,” Smith says to sum it up. “It’s a pure adrenaline rush. You’re nervous all day and even more right before you go on the track. Then once that green flag drops, it all goes out the window, and it’s just another day in the office,” Smith said.

While it may be clockwork, this time was a little different. Smith competed in one of the largest national level derbies at Metal Mayhem in Champaign, Illinois. For most drivers, it is an accomplishment in itself to compete, but for the Selma teen, there is a deeper meaning.   

“I have been going to watch Mayhem for years, and this year we figured, why not go run,” said Smith. This was not his first time running at a national level show, but was his first time running in the main event class. “It was definitely cool being out there with ‘old timers’ I grew up watching, I loved it,” Smith said.

Smith is no rookie to the sport. The 17-year-old has been behind the wheel since the age of 12. With a wide selection of cars to choose from, it is almost like owning a car farm. Well, maybe even a real farm as well, with pigs, cows, horses, chickens and cats on the property as well. 

Smith intends to compete in the Delaware County Fall Show on Oct.14 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Green flag is scheduled to drop at 7:00 p.m..

Contact Jayce Miller with comments at jayce.miller@bsu.edu.