Shrunken Headbangers' Demolition Derby
What: Fiery Destruction of the Shrunken Headbangermobile, car #666
How: the 13th Annual Tommy Thompson Demolition Derby
Where: Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown Maryland
When: Sunday, September 12, 1999
Driver: Shrunken Headbangers' drummer The Chicken Wing
Race Recap: As expected, the Shrunken Headbangermobile was the crowd
favorite, a fact noted repeatedly by the track announcer. A small but boisterous contingent of
Headbanger fans was on hand, and the entire crowd cheered every time car number 666 was announced.
Thirty-one cars were crammed into an impossibly small space at the track, directly
in front of the grandstand. The Shrunken Headbangermobile started in the third position
from the right against the far rail, and was the first car to move when the starter's
signal was given. At 5 seconds, the Chicken Wing delivered a crushing blow to the
hapless car directly behind. He then advanced forward to prepare for another assault, but
at 15 seconds the Headbangermobile took two hits on the driver's side, pushing it
perpendicular to the rails. At 20 seconds, the Chicken Wing made a bold but ultimately
fatal move to the center of the melee. At 35 seconds, the Chicken Wing delivered a solid
hit with his right front bumper, but by 40 seconds the Headbangermobile became locked onto
the victim's left fender. As all the cars at the center of the action disappeared in a
giant cloud of dust, the Chicken Wing desperately attempted to disengage, but succeeded
only in spinning rubber and churning dust, smoke, and debris. The car took several indirect
hits in rapid succession. At 1:45, the dust cleared enough to reveal that the Headbangermobile
was still moving, but it was hopelessly entangled with the car on its right bumper. At 2:00,
the Headbangermobile's radiator sprang a major leak and started
smoking. At 2:20, the car was sandwiched by a major pileup coming from the left side.
The Chicken Wing turned off his engine in a desperate attempt to let it cool, as the main
derby action turned away from the badly clogged center to the edges of the pit. At 4:00,
the Chicken Wing was able to get the Headbangermobile restarted, but the car was just too
surrounded by other wrecks to move. After creating another cloud of noxious radiator smoke,
the Chicken Wing turned off the Headbangermobile's engine forever. At 6:00, a fire under
another car caused the judges to wave the red flag. The Chicken Wing climbed
out and scrambled to safety over the other hulks. The derby continued for another twelve
minutes or so, and the Headbangermobile continued to sustain damage.
After the race, the only way to reach the car was by walking on it.
Like the band whose name she proudly bore, the Headbangermobile may
not have performed very well, but she was entertaining to the last. It was a good day to die.
Band History |