Photo: Kelvin Chan

Redneck heaven in T.O.

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By Kelvin Chan

What do you get when you combine 20,000 rednecks, six monster trucks, two demolition derbies and a giant fire-breathing, car-eating robot?

No, not the state of Tennessee, but you’re close. Actually, you get the USA Motor Spectacular, held last weekend at the SkyDome.

The Motor Spectacular was three-hour orgy of crushed cars and trucks, southern accents and bad haircuts. The big draw was the monster trucks — with Bigfoot, Excalibur and Young Gun among the trucks in competitions, nobody was disappointed.

Monster truck races bring out the hick in everyone. As two trucks race straight ahead down the track crushing cars, the crowds go wild, snapping pictures and cheering madly.

However, monster truck racing was only a small part of the Motor Spectacular show because there are many other ways to amuse a cow tipper. They also love demolition derbies, and the Motor Spectacular had two. Thirty scrapyard-bound cars and trucks let loose on a line of dirt, piled on the middle of the SkyDome floor. The drivers tried to ram as many other cars out of contention as possible. The last one still moving wins. It was every man for himself as the wheels spun, fenders crumpled and exhausted spewed.

And then I discovered that watching a demolition derby inside a closed like the SkyDome can can be hazardous to your health. Besides the fumes spewing from 30 tailpipes, cars caught fire and burned, releasing toxic substances into the air. By the end of the derby, there was a hazy cloud hanging over the crowd that left a metallic taste in my mouth. No wonder those drivers look so stupid, they have to breathe these fumes in show after show.

So why did people spend $20 to sit through such a spectacle?

Probably because deep down, monster truck racing and demolition derbies give everyone a vicarious thrill. Who hasn’t, at one time or another, dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a car and smashing everything in sight? But while most people are content just to sit at home and watch it on The Nashville Network, a special brand of redneck who absolutely must see it, smell it and taste it goes to the USA Motor Spectacular. Yee-haw!

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