Symphony of Destruction: Chevy Silverado Tackles ‘Day of Destruction’

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Scarborough, Maine’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted a day full of roasted tires, near misses, and lots of Chevy and GMC truck racing.

It’s just human nature to want to go fast. It doesn’t matter what you do it on or in. People race horses, bicycles, boats, and even tractors. Of course, cars are a big part of automotive racing, but so are trucks, whether they’re out blasting through the desert or roaring down a drag strip. Recently, some owners of Chevrolet and GMC pickups lit up the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway up in Scarborough, Maine, during the “Day of Destruction” event.

According to Beech Ridge’s site, the Day of Destruction is “a jam-packed night of crash-thirsty drivers bending metal and defying danger” in events such as Ramp Races, Donut Dashes, the Burn-out Bonanza, and what you see here, Spectator Drags. A drove of Chevy and GMC truck owners, as well as some Ford loyalists, showed up to battle each other in one-lap races around the 1/3-mile oval course at this year’s contest. Their rigs ranged in age, body style, and engine, but the all of the drivers were after the same thing: the $500 grand prize. Chevrolet and GMC Trucks at Beech Ridge Day of Destruction

There was a definite strength in numbers. The two Ford trucks didn’t fare well at all. The driver of the high-riding white and tan Super Duty timed their start well, but they just couldn’t get traction and ended up getting left behind by a low-slung black Silverado SS. As if that weren’t bad enough, they also got a ribbing from the announcer. “Diesel power in the big white one. Got to get the RPMs up. It’ll only take him two laps to do it, though,” he said. A little later, an extended-cab Ranger got walked by a ferocious blue square-body Chevy. Chevrolet and GMC Trucks at Beech Ridge Day of Destruction

Many of the GM enthusiasts brought two-door short-bed trucks, probably thinking their smaller size and lighter weight would be an advantage. It often was. A white Silverado easily took the lead against a 1991 extended-cab truck. “Put it in fourth gear there, black truck, will you?,” the announcer asked, clearly frustrated by the larger truck’s slow pace. The older square-body trucks were particularly quick, although their unladen beds could’ve benefited from some ballast. One of them got so sideways that they went off the track. Luckily, they recovered from the spin, which could’ve ended in absolute disaster. It took quick reflexes to correct that wrong move. Just participating in the event required a certain mental state. “You don’t have to be crazy to do this, but it helps,” the announcer said. Chevrolet and GMC Trucks at Beech Ridge Day of Destruction

Despite the success of the smaller trucks, the two final races for the prize money were between the black Ford-beating Silverado SS and a white Duramax-powered GMC Sierra crew cab. At the start of the first of the best-two-out-of-three runs, the Sierra driver launched hard and took the inside left, leaving a thick cloud of black smoke in its wake. After the halfway point of the track, he cranked hard on the wheel, trying to keep the Silverado SS from slipping past him. It proved to be too much too late. He spun out, allowing the Chevy to cross the line first.

Both trucks started the second round relatively even. Once the black Chevy took the inside line, though, it was the beginning of the end for the GMC. It swung wide on the final curve and the Silverado SS drove to victory and a $500 reward. Judging by the burnout its owner performed afterward, it’s safe to assume he ended up spending that on new tires.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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