Similar to judging a book by its cover, it would be wrong to underestimate young Tyler Burmeister’s demolition derby potential based on age or a kind demeanor alone. Nicknamed “Birdman” by his friends, Tyler has been driving anything and everything since the age of five. Ripping up ATV and snowmobile trails built around the family home ever since helps feed his passion, while providing countless hours of flight experience. He simply shrugs and smiles when questioned about driving skills needed for the derby, choosing instead to display some practice maneuvers not unlike anything seen in a Hollywood movie. He’s obviously no stranger to speed, quick reaction times, and maintaining the calm focus necessary to guide this roaring machine in the face of chaos.
When asked about his game plan and the car’s limits he goes over many potential scenarios highlighting that, “It’s amazing to see how tough these things really are when you’re not worried about pushing hard and breaking them”.
“I have to be realistic with this car, though, and honestly don’t care about winning.” Instead, the 16-year-old mentions, “I just want to have fun, put on a good show, and… smash up some cars of course.”
Tyler and his dad Jason may disagree about derby strategy but work in well-coordinated tandem while painting and finishing up final safety tweaks. Their discussion and laughs throughout this process also make it clear just how much they enjoy completing the project together. The two are quick to mention the many family, friends, and neighbors willing to help support the young lad’s first derby attempt. Be sure to join them and come cheer Tyler on as the young “birdman” and others fly around the grandstand this Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The Review thanks Glenn Barton for submitting this article and the photo!