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Saturday Night in America

The Alabama Town Where Demolition Derby Is Life

Nov 28, 2016 | 8 videos
Video by The Atlantic

In Dothan, Alabama, people from across the South flock to Stoney Roberts Demolition to seek out a very specific adrenaline rush—the kind that comes from watching cars smash each other to smithereens. “If you've ever been in a red light and somebody’s cut you off, and you've thought in your mind, ‘Boy for five dollars I'd run right over that son of a gun’...that's what people are here for,” says the owner of the demolition derby, Frank Roberts. It’s addictive, he says, and on a Saturday night it’s what people do. “You get to take your frustrations out, on everything,” adds Eric Beard, a driver. We traveled to Dothan to get a glimpse of the demolition derby lifestyle, and capture exactly what’s so cathartic about this all-American tradition. This is the fourth episode in The Atlantic’s video series “Saturday Night in America,” which uncovers pockets of nightlife across the nation.

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Author: Nicolas Pollock

About This Series

An exploration of nightlife culture across the country