Prepped for Destruction

Some think of demolition derbys as a waste of time and gas, feeling no joy as dozens of cars smash into each other for hours on end. Others find the act of buying, building, and demolishing a perfectly good car a close approximation to Buddhist nirvana. And that was a feeling shared by Owen Dake and the Skywalker Construction crew, who acquired their cars just days before this years La Plata County Fair Demolition Derby, which took off Saturday. In a whirlwind of welds, paint, and completely stripped cars, a motley crew of a dozen worked day and night to get their cars to a point where they felt comfortable completely destroying them. This year, the Durango Telegraph tagged along, from the pits to the hits and every beer between.

Lee Chojnacky welds a frame behind the drivers seat in one of  five cars that the Skywalker Construction team built for this years  Demolition Derby. Like peanut butter to jelly, cheap yellow beer and heavy  automotive modifications go together hand in hand. Owen Dake, right, oversees the painting of five cars for the  derby. The color they settled on was a nice primer-rust color  called, Bayfield Barn. Michael DAnna creates sparks as he removes his front driveline  to declassify his car as all-wheel drive, which isnt allowed for  derby competition. Ryan Skarpetowski and his in car camera make their way into the  arena for a little bump and grind. Micky Kreger works on installing his battery where the passenger  seat once was. Both the battery and gas tank are placed in the  interior of the car to keep it running after both front and back  get smashed. Schvince Meunier takes a sledge to the wheel wells of one car in  order to keep the paneling from slicing into the tires once the car  begins to crumple. Andrew Griffith hangs on tight as Sonny Burgess fishtails his  way around the arena for the opening ceremony and tribute to  long-time derby enthusiast Mark Dold.


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows