Photo Credit: IG @Beingbekkah
Women have been involved in the demolition derby from the start — and one individual specifically — has made her mark on the sport. Bekkah Doyle is the crush-em queen powered by high-adrenaline on the track.
Bekkah drives in three different classes of demolition derbies — ranging from compact cars to full size, big-car derbies. She is a member of the Damsel’s of Destruction driving team and drives in a variety of events. Bekkah is thriving in her sport and loves being an inspiration for the next generation of female drivers.
We recently sat down for an exclusive interview with the GFG ambassador.
How Did You Get Started as a Demolition Derby Driver?
My mom started taking me to our local demolition derby when I was 5 years old every summer at the Ventura Raceway and I was immediately hooked we never missed going for over 20 years. I always said I wanted to do it, I wanted to get out there and drive in the event but growing up I never saw any women competing, I never saw someone who I could relate to so it almost felt somewhat out of reach, but I always had that dream. It takes a certain type of person to strap themselves into a car they know they are about to intentionally crash, and I always felt I had that touch wild in me. In 2019 I was unfortunately involved in an actual car accident that left me with severe anxiety in cars, which was such a foreign and frightening feeling after loving cars and driving my whole life. I told myself it was time to face my fears and chase my dreams and I did just that. I made good on my lifelong dream, and I drove in the Ventura Raceway demolition derby, the very same one my Mom took me to for decades, and I was the only woman driving in it. I knew I would be the only woman competing so I really wanted to have a car so that every woman and little girl finally had someone that they could relate to. I painted my car with teal and pink glitter flames, and I wore my signature hot pink helmet, I really embraced being a female driver and that it's OKAY to do so in motorsports.
What Goes Through Your Mind at the Starting Line?
I always take a moment to soak it in, really let myself hear the crowds cheering and their excitement and appreciate the fact I have the opportunity to be in the car. Then a stillness washes over me as I listen to the announcers count down from 5, it gives me goosebumps each time I hear that countdown.
What’s Your Favorite Thing About the Demolition Derby?
My favorite part of Demolition Derbies is at the end when I crawl out of my car, and I can take in just how twisted and destroyed it got. It's always shocking the condition your car ends up in, holes ripped in the doors, wheels missing, rear ends bashed upwards etc. It is a surreal moment to think that you were just driving that car, and it's such an empowering feeling because you got through all that destruction, you didn't tap out. It's a moment where you really understand your own grit and strength. Then you get to hear the spectator's reactions of disbelief at how mangled the vehicles are and their shock that someone got out of that car in one piece. Especially as a woman, people tend to categorize women as delicate, but we are tough as they come.
What Advice Would You Give a Beginner Female Driver?
I would tell a beginner female driver that someone must be in that driver's seat and there is no reason it can't or shouldn't be you.
What’s Your Favorite Thing to Do Outside of the Demolition Derby?
My favorite thing to do outside of competing in demolition derbies is spending time learning to drift with my boyfriend. We both have such a strong passion for racing and driving in general, but in race cars and demolition derby cars, it's just you in that car. You are alone with just your car, and only you will ever be able to understand what that experience was like. With drifting we can both be in the car and share the experience, I get to see his passion shining through and he gets to see my progress while I continue to learn from him. It's a special intimate thing to be able to share your passions with the people you care most about, to be able to see their passion and it is shared together.
What’s Next on Your Derby Schedule?
My next event is the Chino Challenge Demolition Derby, I will be competing in an all-women’s division. To be honest, I'm always so proud when I compete in all women's divisions, and I've competed in several. In my lifetime it has gone from no women out there for the next generation to look up, to whole demolition derbies with only women.
What’s Your Favorite GFG Racing Apparel?
I love the Go Fast Girls Racing Division Gear. I think I own every item from that line, it feels like such a badge of honor to wear it and to know you are at the forefront of helping women claim their space in motorsports.
Tell Us What ‘Be Brave Enough to Live Creatively’ Means to You?
To me to be brave enough to live creatively means to live outside of the box life will try to put you in, challenge the boundaries, and create your own way in the world. Expectations are just opinions and standards are outdated, be unapologetically you.