I mentioned in an earlier post that the now defunct Islip Speedway, which was located on Long Island, was the home of the original demolition derby. History shows other attempts to stage demoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, but historians of the art of smash and crash pretty much credit one Larry Mendelsohn with the stroke of genius.
Back in 1958 stock car driver Mendelsohn came to a shocking truth that few in the business would utter Ã¢â‚¬â€œ most casual fans came to the track to see wrecks, not racing. So why not give them what they wanted. With that Demolition Derby was born.
Mendelsohn, who eventually became one of the promoters of Islip, made Demolition Derby a regular feature at the speedway. Although just a local Long Island short track, Islip became renowned via the many times ABCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Wide World of Sports covered the action.
Mendelsohn also invented Figure 8 racing, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another story.