Feature Article, Other Motorsports, Washington — May 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Phil King (Issue 105)


IT-105 Phil King slamfest

By Steve Heeb

Phil “Killer” King began racing in Walton, New York, during the 1970s.

“I had older friends that were into demolition derby,” he says of competing at the Deleware County Fair. “It looked like a blast.”

In 1982, Phil headed north to Alaska in search of work and discovered the demolition derby program at Capitol Speedway in the town of Willow.

Phil’s racing travels have spanned the country from California to New York, though winning a Monster Jam event in front of a sold-out crowd in the Kingdome remains his favorite.

He also enjoys the Can-Am events at Western Speedway, where a 10-car Canadian contingent competes against their American challengers.

“It’s like full-contact roller derby on the half-mile,” he says of the 15-minute duel. “There’s a lot of strategy because it is the car with the most laps at the end of 15 minutes that wins for their team.”

Phil has participated in 18 years of Can-Am races.

He also has entered the demo derby arena in the truck division.

“I ran the same truck six times and never placed under third,” he says of the ’64 Ford F250. “That was a good truck.”

In addition to sponsorship from LeMasters Autobody in Sultan, Wash., Phil credits the family support of wife Allison and son Cole.

“And my friend Pat King,” he adds. “He has been with me for years.”

For the recent 2014 Slamfest weekend in Puyallup, Phil picked up a ’80 Oldsmobile.

“I got it for free,” he said before Saturday’s feature. “It had been backed into by a back hoe.”

By the end of the night, the Olds would suffer worse collisions than that.

The event in Puyallup coincided with the approach of the Blood Moon in mid-April.

“When it is a full moon it seems like there are bigger hits,” Phil laughs.

His advice for avoiding car-wrecking blows is to stay in the middle of the arena.

“Don’t get out on the edge,” he counsels. “A guy coming all the way across will deliver a big hit. Next thing you know, you’re done.”

The 301 Pontiac motor outlasted the field and secured a win for Phil in the big cars feature.

Phil plans to keep collecting wins at as many events as he can for as long as he can.

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