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PHOTOS: Derby’s return an Armstrong Thanksgiving smash

Sold-out crowd enjoys cars, mini-cars and trucks crashing and banging

Thanksgiving Sunday morning came around, and Miranda Bischke from Salmon Arm was heading to Armstrong for the return of the city’s immensely popular demolition derby.

Bischke, 30, had no inkling whatsoever she’d end up driving in the event.

Enter Bischke’s friend, Steve Hasenbank from Peachland, who operates a YouTube channel called Apocalypse Off Road, which has more than 2,500 subscribers. A demolition derby fan, Hasenbank built a car for the 2022 Armstrong Demolition Derby and raffled off a chance to drive the car in the opening heat Sunday.

“I wanted to promote my channel so I built the car and offered to have somebody in the crowd drive it, the winner of the raffle,” said Hasenbank. “The woman who won the raffle was thrilled, even though when she bought the ticket she was leaning toward giving it away. So I gave it to Miranda.”

Bischke had a blast behind the wheel of Hasenbank’s Car 57 Raffle Car.

“It was amazing,” she beamed in the pits. “I was having a lot of fun out there. The best part, of course, was the smashing of the cars.”

Bischke placed fifth out of 13 in the opening heat and was waiting to see if the result was good enough to make the derby’s main event later in the day.

“She did excellent,” said Hasenbank of Bischke’s performance. “I think we made it (main event).”

The opening heat was won by Mission’s George Dover, who withstood a great battle with derby organizer and hometown favourite Lyle Williamson, much to the delight of the capacity crowd.

Cars, mini-cars and trucks were on the agenda at the IPE Grounds as the derby returned for the first time since 2019 because of COVID.

As expected, the event was a sell-out with hundreds turned away at the two entrance gates.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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