Belton: Women compete for first time in fair’s demolition derby

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The Central Texas State Fair's Twisted Metal Mayhem is the largest indoor demolition derby in the area and driving in it is something Amanda Mahlstedt is crossing off her bucket list.

The Central Texas State Fair's Twisted Metal Mayhem is the largest indoor demolition derby in the area and driving in it is something Amanda Mahlstedt is crossing off her bucket list. (Photo by Chelsea Edwards)

“Pat Wilson said he was trying to get more female drivers interested in the derby,” says Mahlstedt of the derby promoter.

“I was like, ‘sure why not- I'll drive,’” she said.

By signing up, she will be one of the first of three women in the fair's 33 year history to compete.

Mahlstedt is driving in a new minivan category.

She’s an office manager and a paralegal at the Silverblatt Law Office which is now sponsoring the minivan built by her firefighter-husband.

The doors are welded shut so that they don’t fly off, and there's even a kill switch in case of fire.

During the derby, drivers ram each other's vehicles until only one is left running.

“I've grown up driving on (Highway) 190 so I think I'm pretty set,” Mahlstedt said, laughing.

For the Harker Heights mom, it’s now a family affair.

Her 6-year-old son will be driving in the derby’s Power Wheels competition, and her 17-year old daughter will be cheering nearby, so Mahlstedt is hitting the dirt with high hopes.

“It's just really an experience. It’s something I can be proud of and make sure my husband's time working on the car wasn't a waste, so I really want to last a lot longer than five seconds,” she says.

“It feels kind of good, and it's a good example for my daughter- doing something that women don't traditionally do and opening other doors,” she adds.