All year long kids race in hopes of earning their way to Akron and the All American Soap Box Derby World Championships. This year Salem sent three Local Champs, Aubrey McClaran in Stock, Tucker McClaran in Super Stock and Ryan Wixson in Masters. Two Region One Rally Champs from Salem also qualified, Jarritt Youngers and Cullen Tucker, both in Stock Rally.
But before our Champs could head out, the cars had to be crated, shipped and funds had to be raised at the Salem Art Fair where the SSBDA operates a food booth with kids and families volunteering their time.
The Champs made their way to Akron arriving in time for Wes Foster's annual Sunday night dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Akron where our kids and families met their friends from Washington, Alaska and California.
Monday morning all the Champs from around the country and world lined up in downtown Akron and traded buttons before getting their ceremonial chauffeur driven, police escorted tour of Akron, arriving to cheers in front of the Akron Aero's stadium, where the Champs signed in, tossed out souvenirs and checked for their lane / heat draw.
An extra practice run was added this year on Tuesday, giving all the Champs an extra trial run down the big hill. All the final alignment and adjustments were made after the Wednesday practice run and then the Champs crossed their fingers, held their best good luck charm and chose what they hoped would be the fast set of wheels. Time for fun, meeting up with old and new friends. Even some of the grownups got a trip down the big hill.
The weather was very hot and humid on race day. The day started out well for Region One Champs with Cullen, Anthony, Danielle and Tucker all winning their opening heats. And at the end of the day Anthony Poggi from Poulsbo had won 8th Place in Stock, our friend from California Maddie Quinn won 2nd place in masters Rally and Salem's Tucker McClaran was the Super Stock World Champion.
It was a fantastic week of racing fun. Most importantly we can be proud of all of our kids for the way they represented Salem and the Northwest demonstrating to the rest of the country our core values of good sportsmanship.