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Profile of a derby driver

July 22, 2006

Name, age and hometown: Matt Rhoderick, 18, Hagerstown

Number of years participating in the derby: Three, including this year

Where did your car come from, and how did you prepare it for the derby? Rhoderick's Chevrolet Nova was donated by a Smithsburg service station. To prepare it for the derby, he stripped its interior, leaving intact little more than the driver's seat. He also had to remove all of the windows and chain the doors shut. As a member of Team Green Zebra, he painted the car in black and green stripes.

What's the appeal of getting into a car and smashing into other cars? "It's an adrenaline rush," Rhoderick said. "You get to hit people."

What does a person have to do to win a derby? "Still (be) running after everybody else quits," he said. "If you're running and moving and no one else is, you're the winner."

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Are you afraid of getting hurt? "It's a possibility, but it comes with it," Rhoderick said. "If it happens, it happens. It wouldn't be fun if it wasn't dangerous."

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