Friday, April 19, 2024

What the heck is a Snowball Brawl? There’s only one way to find out

Fans came out in full force for the fall Day of Destruction at Langley Speedway on Oct. 20. (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of Langley Speedway)
Fans came out in full force for the fall Day of Destruction at Langley Speedway on Oct. 20. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy of Langley Speedway)

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to combine demolition derby and auto racing, show up at Langley Speedway on Saturday to find out.

The short track in Hampton will be the setting for the first Snowball Brawl.

The schedule will be similar to the Day of Destruction events at the track. But instead of finishing with a demolition derby, the schedule will conclude with a race where “the rules are there are no rules,” said Curtis Hughes, the assistant promoter at the track.

“We’re trying to get like a demolition derby but still racing,” Hughes said. “They are allowed to hit each other. We’re trying to make it more like roller derby. Your goal is to finish first, but you’re going to knock whoever the heck you have to out of the way to win.”

The idea for the extra day of racing at Langley — the regular season came to an end Oct. 13 and the fall Day of Destruction followed a week later — had been in the works for a while.

“We had discussed ideas of it but when we saw the support that we had on that (fall Day of Destruction), it just made us go and pull the trigger,” Hughes said.

People, and drivers, came out in full force Oct. 20, despite bad weather.

“Our fans and our competitors showed up that day and were just so supportive of the event. … We kind of wanted to give back and give them another opportunity at another really fun day,” Hughes said.

The action Saturday begins at 1 p.m. Among the 11 events on the schedule: one where you drive in reverse and go around the track clockwise; one where the driver has a bag over his or her head but is directed by an in-car navigator; and one where two cars are chained together.

“They’re probably one of the most fun events that we host every year,” Hughes said. “Everybody’s just here for a good time. … When we host the (regular) races, someone’s going to be upset when they finish second. At the Day of Destruction, you can finish dead last but if you hit the gigantic 55-gallon drum of water and made the crowd go wild, you’ll get out of the car with a smile on your face.”

Tickets are $10, with kids 12 and under getting in free.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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