Monday, February 25, 2013

Kings of Crash: The Return of X44

Gumby compared derbying to chess. Ryan compared it to Risk. I can see both angles, but I think I'll agree with Ryan a little more... there's quite a skill to the gambles you take in those arenas! Plus, in chess people tend to play much more conservatively (like a sandbagger), and in Risk they take chances. Oh, wait. If you missed the first couple of episodes, let me try to explain sandbagging to you, as it came up a lot in this episode. Sandbagging is the opposite of being a mad dog - rather than make the big hits, you make just enough hits to stay in the game, therefore doing less damage to your car and increasing your odds to be "last man standing" and win the money. The Sweats are against this, believing that you should go for broke on your hits to make winning mean something. I tend to run on the cautious side in most things I do, so I understand the mindset of the sandbaggers and don't find them quite as offensive as some of the folks on this show. But, at the same time, I certainly can't relate to the word in terms of crashing into cars!
Velocity, Discovery Communcations
Kings of Crash "Pushing the Grey in SLC" (S01E03): This latest derby is in Gumby's hometown, so there's a lot of pressure on him to do well. However, there are two other issues going on this time - the "veterans" are trying to get back in the game, including car X44 driven by Lynn, plus there is a rumor going around that the rules aren't enforced across the board, giving some drivers an advantage. 

The structure of the car really comes into play this episode, with Ryan struggling to fix his frame so he can even enter, Lazenby thinking his wife should help on the car more, and Gumby's vehicle being built for a much smaller man. [I was surprised that Ryan used to cheat before he met Katy. I also found it interesting that Scooter just told him to trash his work and move on to another car.]

Gumby and Ryan are in the first heat, and Ryan winds up stuck when his motor won't turn over. Similarly, Gumby gets stuck on a bank of dirt. Fortunately, both are awarded mad dog so they can qualify for the main event. [but it didn't seem as if they did this with every heat, so I'm not sure why it happened here...?] Heat 2 has Lazenby, TJ, Mont, plus Mackenzie "The Indian" which makes the round "loaded." Mont can't move after a while and is out, but TJ and The Indian move on. Lazenby's gas tank explodes and they throw buckets of water into the car so they can weld again and he can enter the grudge match (which he wins). [we actually saw someone's tire come off!]

The main event has Lazenby, Ryan, TJ, and Lynn. Gumby was supposed to compete but had unexpected transmission problems. [TJ really thought that Gumby just chickened out?] Ryan repeatedly hits Lynn pretty hard, but he ruins his engine over it. [I know the guy hates sandbaggers and all, but was that worth it?] Similarly, TJ makes a big hit and toasts thousands of dollars and many hours of work. [but, remember, neither of which are as valuable to him as to many of the others.] Lynn wins after Ryan takes too long to move and is disqualified. [after he took off his seatbelt during the event I was pretty worried that he'd get hit! and, sure enough, he did!] The big injury, however, happened to Lazenby, who slammed his head into the steering wheel, driving his glasses into his face. Eleven stitches and a broken nose later, he'll survive. [he's broken his nose so many times that half of it is scar tissue?!? ouch!]  
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