Iowa Derby Car Jump

Photograph by Joel Sartore

Iowa's derby stunts are always a blast: Gregory "Dr. Danger" Carpenter performed the Suicide Car Jump—a 50-foot, 60 mile-an-hour leap from a flaming ramp into a four-stack of junked cars—38 times last year, with three hospital trips and no life or health insurance. Despite cracked bones and burns, "I squeak by each time," he says.

See more photographs from the July 2009 National Geographic feature story "Top Ten State Fair Joys."