MASTERS OF DISASTER
The overwhelming success of the inaugural Masters of Disaster event last August at Route 66 Raceway, prompted not only a return date, but an additional third night for 2007. June 2nd was the first Masters of Disasters and it was scheduled to take place the weekend following the first Team Demolition Derby event of the season. But, severe thunderstorms washed out those plans, canceling the Team Demo and leaving the Masters of Disaster to kick off the Summer of Smash!
The Chicago-area weather still was not fully cooperating for this event and the threat of thunderstorms kept the event from being a total sellout, but several thousand fans still turned out to witness the action!
Pre-Race Pit Area
STEEL WALL CRASH!!
Jim "Crash" Moreau returned for another explosive Steel Wall Crash with a domino line of four cars verse three from last year. Moreau made two speed runs past the stack and then charged for the cars the third time by. He nailed the first car, which set off three huge explosions, engulfing the cars and entire area on flames! Moreau ripped through the first two cars easily, but the third car fell directly on his roof! Moreau's car darted off track, barely nicked the fourth car to knock it down, and then came to a slow stop at the end of the track...
Moreau took a few moments to emerge from the car and was assisted to his feet by the safety crew. He waived to the crowd and walked off under his own power and thankfully was just fine. As you can see by his car, he got very luck that third car did not land on top of the driver's side. Another successful blast and a great way to kick off the night!
On-track reporter Mike Turco interviewed the "jet pack man" (whose real name I never heard or got) about his impending rocket flight later in the program. Turco also talked with the Illinois Freedom Riders about their accomplishments and charitable works. http://www.abatefreedomriders.com/
One-on-One Demolition Derby
Five brave souls lined up to slug it out in a "county fair" style one-on-one demolition derby! The cars started off slow, trying to find some traction on the slick surface. #40 driven by Adam Anderson took a stiff shot from the #55 car and would be hindered for the rest of the match.
After the #17 and #40 were finally delivered death blows, it was down to the #22 and #4 cars. These two squared off and picked each other apart for several minutes, hitting one another from every possible direction. Jason Schultz in the #22oz laid in a final big reverse blast to snuff out the #4 car and take the win.
A huge field of drivers and cars turned out for the 20-lap Figure-8 bomber race. Art & Steve Scarbro led the way right from the dead start in the #99x and #40, respectively. The track was not watered down properly before the start and the result was a horrendous dust bowl covering the entire track! The blinding conditions sent several drivers darting blind through the 'X' and crashes were inevitable! Six cars were left smashed, stuck or dead after only 3 laps and the race had to be halted to clear some of the wrecks away and water down the track.
The water helped keep the dust somewhat at bay, but caused yet another problem! The track was now extremely slick with just a layer of water sitting on top of dirt. Upon the restart, nearly half the field spun completely around in the first turn and everyone had an incredible fight just to try and get traction.
A couple more crashes and breakage left more cars dead on the track, but the race pushed on and the cars were really spread out by around lap 15. Only 5 cars remained on the lead lap and Steven Scarbro nearly put all of them a lap down by Lap 20. Scarbro easily dominated the last half of the race and took the checkered flag for the second straight year.
Go Fast! Sports' Jet Pack Man
After a lot of hype for the amazing and jaw-dropping jet pack man flight, it was time to see it or forget believing it. The Jet Pack Man (JPM) took a long time getting the pack properly fastened to himself, but better take the time to make sure it's right verse falling to your death. A fuel leak was discovered in the lines and doubt was cast as to whether he would even be able to fly after all.
Some good ol' tin foil came in handy to patch the lines and JPM headed to the Speedway Auto Parts & Wreckers flat bed truck to prepare for liftoff. JPM lit the fuse and shot straight up into the air!
The sound was absolutely ear-splitting and unbearable!! I definitely didn't anticipate that part of the stunt and I was cringing in pain along with thousands of other people as we watched JPM soar completely above the grandstand fence and down the front stretch. JPM flew back towards us and and hovered in the sky momentarily before gliding back to the Earth and landing on the flat bed.
A cool stunt to see, maybe a little short on time, but I don't think I was the only one glad to see it end and save our ear drums. That guy is clearly nuts for attempting a stunt like that and making a living out of it. I'll gladly keep my two feet planted firmly on the ground over strapping basically a rocket to my back. JPM was happy with the flight, but the crowd was pretty much in the middle and gave him a mixed reaction as he walked off.
I really didn't hear the back story on this guy so here's what I saw: Crazy guy in vampire make-up with a wicked looking jet-powered hearse and flame throwing coffins attached to it. Nothing out of the ordinary at all!
The final event of the evening was a destruction filled Trailer Race, which featured cars & trucks towing all kinds of crap on the back of their vehicles in a fight for survival. The "TowMater" look-a-like truck won the Beauty Contest, but did not look so pretty after only a few seconds as it was smashed into the outside wall in Turn 1 and fell to the back of the pack. The father and son tandem of Bob and Ryan Bleuer had their vehicles out near the front and fended off would-be trailer trashers early on.
Five trailers remained legally in the race around lap 7 when a snow storm hit and nearly knocked out the entire field! A snow storm? No, more like an avalanche of impact from big Joe Snow in the white ZERO car. Snow lost his trailer and was out of contention, but took it upon himself to play spoiler and bash the crap out of any vehicle in his path!
Snow fired up the crowd with each high speed attack as he punched out three competitors and left a trail of cars, trucks, trailers and boats in his wake. But, his reign of terror came to a smashing halt! Snow was left wide open after slamming into the #01 truck and the #95 wagon charged full speed into the back of Snow's car tearing it to shreds!
The Snow man would not melt away just yet and re-fired the car and looked to terrorize once again! He focused on the leader, Ryan Bleuer in the #3 Blazer and had him in the cross hairs out of Turn 1! Bleuer saw him coming and mashed the truck to get out of the way, which sent Snow plowing into the concrete wall!
Unbelievably, the Snowman would not go away! The ZERO car survived the wicked wall smash and was headed back towards Bleuer again in Turn 1. Bleuer's truck was still in great shape and he darted away from Snow once more. The ZERO car finally had it. With the front end totally annihilated and no steering, Snow abandoned ship and ran to the sidelines to watch the rest of the race and admire his handy work.
The race reached the final laps and the field was thin and spread out by this point. Bleuer continued to lead the way and bashed ol' TowMater on the last lap and grabbed the checkered flag and $1000 prize!
The 2nd ever Masters of Disaster event was an overall success. A weather scare kept the crowd from being an 8,000+ sellout like last year and the show did have its down/slow moments, but still was enjoyable from start to finish. The 3rd installment of the Masters of Disaster was set for August 4th, 2007, but due to more rain, it was cancelled and pushed back to kickoff the 2008 season.
Thanks to Jan Gabriel and the entire TDA and to you for reading this coverage of the Masters of Disaster. Be sure to check out coverage of the entire 2007 Team Demolition Derby Tournament of Destruction season as well.
**All photos from this event are for sale to drivers/owners involved in the Masters of Disaster. Please contact me for details! firstname.lastname@example.org**