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  • Last modified 6 days ago (July 11, 2018)

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Girls gear up to...crash

Staff writer

“Hit them really hard and hope to be the last car moving” is the reason demolition derby driver Carla Hamm of Hillsboro competes.

“My husband and many of his family have been involved for years. I’ve always been on the sidelines, and now it’s my turn to show them girls can do it, too,” she said.

The object is not to run laps like a sports car race but to wreck other cars as much as you can and be the last one able to move.

Hillsboro resident and derby driver Phillip Terrell said cars in Hamm’s division must have been made before the ’80s and be factory-built.

“They can’t be modified with parts from other cars,” he said.

A heavy-framed auto is preferable, so Hamm bought a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria and stripped it down to the metal.

“The only things left in the car are the steering column, my seat and pedals,” Hamm said.

She switched out the tires to a more mud-friendly type and will add a door guard to the driver’s side.

Rules say drivers can chain all but the driver’s door, which she plans to weld, she said.

In the bone stock division in which she competes, drivers are not required to move their gas tanks from the original positions.

“But a couple of us girls will be moving our tanks because our husbands prefer it for safety reasons,” she said.

Derbies are not usually as hazardous to the driver’s health as most people think.

“Yes, you get some injuries but most of the time they are only minor,” Hamm said.

The Marion County Fair board approached Hamm, asking if she would be interested in being in a powder puff derby at the fair.

Board members told her they would schedule a derby if at least five cars registered to compete, which as of today is exactly how many have registered.

Hamm is excited to have the powder puff event back at the fair. “I think it’s been since the early ’90s that there was Powder Puff there,” she said.

The major reason she likes the sport is that she gets to spend time and have fun with her girlfriends and family.

“It’s not for the prize money,” she said.

The powder puff derby is scheduled during breaks of the demolition derby at 7 p.m. July 28 at the fairgrounds.

Last modified July 11, 2018

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