Sports

Thrill show's last hurrah?

After six decades of wowing audiences by flipping cars, crashing through walls of flame and nearly breaking every bone in his body - and those of others he's trained to do such death-defying stunts - Bob Hanna is tired.

And so, with those years under his belt and most of his body intact, the thrill show mastermind is considering calling it quits.

"It's so hard to find and train drivers," Hanna says. "And it is tremendously risky."

He pauses. Like a good magician or comic, Hanna, known as Dusty Russell in daredevil show circles, has a near-perfect sense of timing.

"I've always loved a challenge."

Hanna brings his auto daredevil thrill show back to the Port Angeles Speedway, possibly for the last time, on July 30.

On tap are a full slate of crowd-pleasing stunts, from the Slide for Life to the Outlaw T-Bone, the Domino and Head-On crashes and the AllForm Welding Rollover Contest, a stunt that asks drivers to intentionally roll their vehicles as many times as possible as they vie for a trophy.

New this year is the Pit Shack Jump, a stunt that asks Tyler Moore to launch a car over the building on the infield at the speedway.

"I had to post a bond (for the stunt); if I take it out, I'll pay them," Hanna says, considering the prospect of buying the speedway a new pit crew facility.

He calls the new stunt particularly dangerous, noting that it's a "blind stunt." Moore won't be seeing the end of the track where the car presumably will land, as drivers do in the popular Dive Bomber stunt. Instead, Moore will see just the front of the shack and hope the landing goes well.



As in previous years - Hanna's brought the thrill show to Port Angeles Speedway the past five years - the 2010 thrill show is much more than just stunts. The band Chantilly Lace opens the festivities at 6:30 p.m. with rock music and Naomi Foley, aka Peaches the Clown, entertains the crowd with her own brand of comedy.

This year's show also features an exhibition from District 3 volunteer firefighters who are scheduled to tear the roof off a car to show some rescue techniques.

Show sponsors include Pen Print, 7 Cedars Casino, Wilder Auto and Wilder Auto Center.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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