2005 Team Demolition Derby Tournament of Destruction
Presented by series sponsor A-Reliable Auto Parts in Blue Island, Il
August 27th, 2005
Stranglehold does the impossible!
Orange Crush falters in final race of the year
A great author could not have written it any better. It was a true comeback tale of the team that just never could reach the top but still did what they could, ran consistent and in the end prevailed just as their dreams told them they would to grab the prize they were seeking throughout a grueling summer: The 2005 Team Demolition Derby Championship!
Stranglehold captured the title with a combination of consistent, no-quit attitude and, even they will admit, a little luck. Finishing second in the first three events in 2005, and watching Orange Crush mow down the competition to win the first three, left the team with slim odds to overcome the difference in the final event. But more doors were open to them as way back in May after the first event, Orange Crush was docked 4 points due to rule infractions. Coming into the Team Demo Final Round, the break down of points looked like this:
*Only Orange Crush and Stranglehold had a shot at winning the championship and it would take an all out failure by Orange Crush and a stroke of luck for Stranglehold for the positioning to change. If Crush lost in Round 1, they would be at 30 points and Stranglehold would need to win at least one race to be in a tie for the lead. There can also be a tie if we see the impossible and both these teams get back to the Finals but this time Stranglehold is victorious.
If that happens, then the elapsed times are added up from all their races and the team with the quickest victories will be Champion and that again would be Orange Crush. For Stranglehold to win it all outright, Crush must LOSE in the first round and Stranglehold must WIN at least one more round. Do you believe in miracles? Stranglehold does...
A Team Demo record crowd of over 8500 people filled the stands at Route 66 and everyone should of considered themselves lucky as over 200 cars were sent home due to capacity. We need more grandstands!
Last year's Round 4 winners, Havoc, had to do some last second thrashing just to get their parade car to the track. Having not won a race this season, they were looking for a repeat of last year.
Nothing but confidence from Stranglehold knowing full well what they were up against.
Fred Sibley's Lil' Red Beer Hauler jet truck was back to blow up more cars.
Even the Grim Reaper himself could not win the Beauty Contest as the trophy went to Stranglehold to start off the night.
(Pictures courtesy Jim at the SeatSlasha.org Great site for destruction, CHECK IT OUT!)
Some dumb guy took his flamed-up Dakota out for the National Anthem again and got it way too muddy. What a moron. :-)
The mad dash from parking the truck to unloading my gear and getting to where I needed to be for pictures was a big mess and resulted in some crappy pictures for the first 2 rounds as I did not have the camera setup properly in all the chaos and had to send Jackie to move the truck two different times. But whether I was ready or not, the first match up of the night rolled out...
It has been a year long struggle for both teams only finding themselves with one round victory each. The re-shuffled team of Black Plague finally looked like their old self's again with a strong performance in this race. Damage, Inc. held there own through the first couple of laps but the dominating tactics the all-black cars are known from came through and put a stop to any momentum from Damage, Inc.
This was probably the hottest rivalry of 2004 but these teams have not crossed paths this year. Road Rage pulled out all the stops including using their Beauty Contest car in action for the first time. It turned out to be the most beat up car in the pack and left the track looking anything but good. The JYD pounced all over Road Rage as the red cars just seemed to be in the wrong spot each time and a JYD car came flying right into them. Road Rage is out early again and needs to recapture that magic of the 2003 season when they were World Champions.
A battle of the winless teams, a position neither team probably expected nor wanted to be in. Havoc has shown the most promise and has come close to winning every time while Xtreme has been the tough-luck rookies this year and have been beaten upon all three times. The anger of not winning a race all year built this match into one of the best on the night as both teams came out swinging hard. It was a cat-and-mouse cage match as one would get in a big hit only to be quickly on the receiving end of a death blow from the other team. Team Xtreme showed more aggression than they had all year which lead to some big hits and even some on their own cars! Xtreme had the lead going into the final lap and Havoc looked to block the lead Xtreme car from making it to the finish line but the teamwork of Team Xtreme paid off as they busted through the blockade and took their first checkered flag! The crowd was really into this match and gave a huge round of applause afterwards. Great race.
The match the season balanced on and what everyone wanted to see would not have to wait until the finals. The points championship would nearly be decided in this one race. Reminder, if Crush wins, they win it all. If Stranglehold wins they MUST win the next round to be the champions otherwise the tie-breaker goes to Orange Crush! Everyone rose to their feet to watch what was sure to be an insane race. The green flag dropped and pressure and mayhem was on! All the cars spread out quickly with Orange Crush initally escaping the pack to take an early lead. But it was quickly evaporated and for the first time they were in obvious trouble. Stranglehold did not let any car break away and start gaining laps and took away Orange Crush's speed game. Crush never quit and tried to mount a comeback but they fell victim to mechanical hell. Ron Tyrankowski's #66 car went head first into the cement barriers at a horrific speed and caught everyone off guard because there was no car around! The throttle had hung wide open leaving the #66 totaled and leaving Orange Crush in greater misery. All but one Stranglehold car was running and they quickly beat up on any Crush car that made a move. The #57 Stranglehold car sealed the victory as the crowd went nuts!
The victory for Stranglehold was only the first step in securing the title and they quickly cut the celebrating and went back to work assessing damage and preparing cars for Round 2.
Junkyard Dogs vs. Black Plague
These two teams were at the forefront of the battle for the 2004 Team Demo title when Black Plague captured it under the "Locomotives" name. They would rekindle the fire of those races here with an intense car war. Black Plague took control early and got some laps under their belt before JYD attacked, leveling out the laps and big hits. The #3 JYD car was a one-car carnage machine taking on any black car that moved or not moved. JYD hit themselves out so to speak as the big knocks ended up knocking them out of contention. The two remaining Black Plague cars running collected laps and sent the team back to where they thought they'd be all year long: The Finals. Good show of sportsmanship at the end too between team members, something this sport honestly rarely sees.
Stranglehold vs. Team Xtreme
The Pressure Cooker was turned up full force for this match. The hope of the Orange Crush championship fell into the laps of Team Xtreme while the dream of a championship was squarely in the hands of Stranglehold and was theirs to win. Team Xtreme was actually going to have some help from Orange Crush in this one though, as well as Havoc and Road Rage! How? Team Xtreme only had 1 fresh car to enter into this race and had to beg, borrow and pay the other three teams for their vehicles! The multi-colored Team Xtreme did not care about any championship implications and were out to win for their own good and they showed that fire they had in Round 1 and beat up on Stranglehold during the first few minutes. But the experience of Stranglehold came into play and they started running circles around the new-look rainbow warriors. Xtreme went to all lengths they could to put a stop to Stranglehold but the stars were aligned in blue & white tonight and Stranglehold clinched the 2005 Team Demo Championship as well as moved to the Finals!
As soon as the celebration began, so did the controversy. Members of the Orange Crush team swarmed TDA officials and called foul at some of Stranglehold's cars. The main question seemed to revolve around the bumpers used and whether they were legal for that car. A war of words got pretty intense between Crush and Stranglehold members at one point but finally calmed down once TDA officials declared there was nothing illegal about the cars and the win stood.
Fred Sibley in the Lil' Red Beer Hauler was up next to set the night on fire! Sibley roasted the car and blasted our eardrums for several minutes leaving a wadded of pile of metal that did not come close to looking like a car. Crowds love to see things get burned!
Black Plague vs. Stranglehold
With the big prize already locked it, it was time for Stranglehold to get greedy and take home the event win as well. Black Plague was not going to be a push over and wanted their first win of the year no matter what Stranglehold had in mind. Stranglehold immediately took the lead and got Black Plague all crossed up around the track. Stranglehold was sucking the life out of Black Plague as they continued to pound the opposition at every corner of the track. The laps kept piling on and with only one Black Plague car running it was only a matter of time. A final double hit on the last remaining Plague car sealed the race and sent Stranglehold into victory lane with the event win and National Championship!
An incredible season of Team Demolition Derby action capped by a wild night of emotion and adrenalin between Orange Crush and Stranglehold. The hunters have now become the hunted for 2006 as Stranglehold finally has hold of the championship they so desired but now must defend it against 7 other teams that will undoubtably at the top of their games come next May.
Ground work is already being laid for 2006 including the possibility of a 5th event, new intermission acts including monster trucks and more! Big Thanks to everyone with the Team Demo Association, Jan & Theresa Gabriel and to all the teams for putting sanity on the line every month to provide the greatest demolition derby spectacle in the country. Congrats again to Stranglehold and it is time to start the countdown to 2006!