By Nila McGinnis
The Demolition Derby has been a part of Dale Colbert’s life as long as he can remember. Growing up working in his dad’s towing and repair shop, B&B Towing and Repair in Winfield, Colbert is living a family legacy by continuing to compete in demolition derbies all over the Midwest.
Colbert’s most recent competition took place on March 3 at the Bluegrass Bash Demolition Derby in Louisville, Ken. Although he was rolled by a fellow competitor, Colbert has always enjoyed the process of building and competing in demolition derbies. Colbert spends weeks on each car he builds and prepares for demolition, changing each to meet a particular event’s specifications.
“The most challenging thing about competing around here is that all of the different fairs have different sets of rules. For example, Troy, Warrenton, and Wentzville are all in the month of July and have different rules. So, I will be building three different cars for each of the events,” Colbert commented.
While rules do vary from competition to competition, drivers typically enter into an arena and deliberately smash their cars into one another until only one is left standing. Usually, five or more drivers compete in any competition, which typically last around 30 minutes to declare a victor.
“The sport is dangerous,” remarked Colbert. “I’ve had a few concussions, jarred my liver, and broken bones happen frequently but none by me yet. People do get killed or end up in wheelchairs, but the Derby families always help other drivers and families.
“Derby is family. The guys I run against all give a helping hand to their fellow competitor. That is the coolest thing about derby. People I battle against all year help me in the pits the night we run, and travel to different shows just to lend a helping hand. A lot of hours go into building a derby car, which means a lot of time away from the wife and kids.
“I’m lucky my wife allows me to put the time in my cars that I need to complete. I proposed at a derby, and this past year announced that we are having a little boy at a derby. Our future pit crew member is expected to arrive on June 2, but everyone’s guess is that I will put her into labor on May 19 at the derby in Warrenton!”
Colbert will be competing in several more demolition derbys throughout the year, including at the Lincoln County Fair on July 14.