Life mem­ber wins de­mo­li­tion derby

The Southland Times - - NEWS - JAMIE SEARLE

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.

JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF

Steve Dry­den with the Toy­ota Camry he drove to win the de­mo­li­tion derby at River­side Speed­way.

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