“It’s just so much fun,” the 10-year-old Stanwood Elementary School student said. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to race.”
Black, who would go on to finish fourth in the Super Stock Division, was one of 72 kids racing down the new track Saturday at the 11th annual Windermere Stanwood-Camano Soap Box Derby.
Addison Inman, 11, of Camano Island, won the Stock Division in the Crow’s Nest car, and Adrina Kuehlwein, 9, of Stanwood won the Super Stock Division racing the Oso Strong car. It’s Inman’s second year racing and Kuehlwein’s first.
Both champions and their families win a paid trip to Akron, Ohio, for a week in July to compete in the 81st All American Soap Box Derby. Champions at the All-American compete each year for the title of world champion and more than $36,000 in college scholarships.
The Stanwood-Camano derby hosted competitors ages 7 to 17 in two groups. In the stock division, the combined weight of the stock car, wheels and driver cannot exceed 200 pounds. For the super stock division, the combined weight cannot exceed 240 pounds. Stock division drivers must be age 7-13; super stock drivers must be ages 9-17.
The derby was held for the first time at Arrowhead Ranch on Camano Island, moving from Stanwood. The event attracted more than 1,000 spectators to the sun-soaked ranch for a day of racing, food and fun, said Christie Connors, Stanwood Camano Soap Box Derby director.
“The community came out, even people who weren’t attached to racers,” Conner said. “It was a real positive family experience.”
In addition, the 1,000-foot long track is at a more gradual grade than the Stanwood street, getting a big thumbs up from the racers.
“The other track (in Stanwood) is faster, this is a more steady speed,” said 12-year-old Jenna Sanders, who has raced the past five years. “You’ve got to stay straight and stay low.”
Kuper Stoner, 9, agrees.
“It’s all about staying low and going straight,” the Utsalady Elementary student said. “It’s fun. I feel like it tests me if I can become a real driver. And I love the breeze on my face as I go down.”
As the only soap box derby in Washington, this event attracts racers from throughout the Northwest.
First-time racer Tabatha Holm, driving the Davis Place Teen Center Car, won the Sportsmanship Award. Best in Show went to Adam Garcia of the Gerber Collision car in the Stock Division and to Micah Knowles the Spartan Warrior car in the Show Super Division.
1st Place Addison Inman
2nd Place Bella Siddle
3rd Place Graham Gilday
4th Place Carter Priszner
5th Place Bentley Knowles
6th Place Ryan Slusser
7th Place Lillian Jacobson
8th Place Anthony Yuchasz
1st Place Adrina Kuehlwein
2nd Place Auroaru Bosecker
3rd Place Braddock Johnson
4th Place Mattea Black
5th Place Ryker Belles
6th Place Cheyenne McNeely
7th Place Ellie Mac Donald
8th Place Jenna Sanders
Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.