Life member wins demolition derby
Demolition derby winner Steve Dryden relishes every opportunity to drive in speedway events.
It’s his main interest away from selling cars in Invercargill but comes at a price. Often after a day’s racing, he’ll head home for a hot shower to take soreness out of his back.
‘‘My back’s stuffed,’’ Dryden, with 43 years of race driving experience, said.
The crashing and banging in demolition derbies and streetstock events have taken a toll on his body over the years but he has no intention of retiring.
‘‘The body can only take so much and that’s why a lot [of drivers] give up,’’ Dryden said.
‘‘I’ll keep driving until I can’t physically do it.’’
Dryden, a life member of Riverside Speedway, won the organisation’s demolition derby for the 12th or 13th time on Saturday night.
The final 10 minutes was a battle royal between Dryden and youth grade driver Anastazea Ladbrook. Dryden didn’t know it was the 16-year-old Southland Girls’ High School student until told afterwards.
Dryden’s plan to stop her car with a head-on hit didn’t work.
‘‘That didn’t stop her so I went CV [joint] hunting and that did it.’’
Anastazea wore a balaclava under her helmet to hide her long hair so she won’t be recognised.
‘‘I didn’t want to be treated differently because of my gender.’’
She didn’t get hit in the first six laps. The teenager knew near the finish the only other car moving was Dryden’s. She could tell it was him by his multicoloured helmet.
Dryden was full of praise for Anastazea’s determination.
He said by having the battery and fuel tank positioned in the middle of his car, it protected them from head-on or rear-end hits.
Meanwhile, Anastazea’s father, Tony Ladbrook, also drove in the derby and finished in the top 10.
Steve Dryden with the Toyota Camry he drove to win the demolition derby at Riverside Speedway.