Downie, Pollard earn Soap Box Derby titles
Will travel to Akron to compete in world championships
— Sometimes the long way is the fast way, and the long way proved to be the way to victory lane in the 16th annual Delmarva Soap Box Derby Saturday, June 3, in Federalsburg.
Stock driver Aydan Downie, of Federalsburg, and Super Stock driver Caden Pollard, of Preston each suffered early defeats in the double-elimination tournament but came back to win their respective championships, earning a berth to Akron, Ohio, for World Soap Box Derby Championships on July 22.
The Stock class featured 7- to 13-year-old racers in 200-pound car and driver combinations. Race officials add weight to the cars so all car and driver combinations weigh 200 pounds. The Super Stock class has 10- to 17-year-old racers in 240-pound car and driver combinations.
In each round, drivers race twice down West Central Avenue in each lane, and the driver with the best combined time moves on to the next round.
Downie’s first race of the day saw him go against Annie Phillips, and she beat Downie by 0.156 seconds. The defeat would force Downie to win nine-straight races to win the Stock championship.
“You could see Aydan mature as a driver right before your eyes,” said Downie’s car chief William Greenage. “This is only Aydan’s third year racing, and his goal was to be better than last year when he finished seventh.
“He hit the grate in the road, which slowed him
down in the first race, but he really did a great job learning the course throughout the day,” he added. “Once he got at least sixth place, I just kept telling him to focus on the next race. Races are won in the slow lane, and he did outstanding maneuvering around the bumps, grates, and manhole covers all day.”
In the semifinals, Downie faced last year’s runner-up, Aiden Russell, who fell to finalist Phillips in the winner’s final. Downie defeated Russell by 0.147 for a rematch with Phillips.
Downie needed to beat Phillips twice to take the title. He won the first race final by a mere 0.092. Then he bested Phillips again by 0.053 to win the championship.
“I’m so proud of him,” said Downie’s mom Nancy Downie who was in tears when he was announced as the winner.
Greenage thanked Danny Pollard for helping set the weight on Aydan’s car.
“Danny deserves so much credit because he did a great job getting the weight correct,” he said.
Danny Pollard also enjoyed victory Saturday when his son Caden won the Super Stock class over Meggie Jordan.
Caden was defeated by Jess Ramey in the second round, and went a similar road to the title as Downie. He won three races in a row, including one over 2016 Stock champion Saleta Nichols, to earn a rematch again Ramey, the 2016 Super Stock runnerup.
He bested Ramey by 0.319, then knocked off Aiden Liles to reach the finals against Jordan.
He then narrowly beat Jordan by 0.057 to earn a winner-take-all match. He took the crown by beating Jordan by 0.188.
The win gives Pollard a Super Stock title to go along with his 2014 Stock championship.
“I’m so thankful to win again,” Caden Pollard said. “I’m very happy because there are so many great races and fast cars I had to go against. It was a great day.”
He also received the Kent Smith Sportsmanship Award.
The two winners each received $125 gift cards from Provident State Bank. The Federalsburg Volunteer Fire Company, Preston Automotive Group, Win Transport, Tri Gas and Oil, Sisk Fulfillment, Hoffman Irrigation, AccuTrench, Tracy’s Cuttin Up, Danny’s Auto Body, Murph’s Auto Body, and Provident State Bank were among the race sponsors.
Caden Pollard, front, gains on Meggie Jordan in the Super Stock finals of the Delmarva Soap Box Derby on Saturday in Federalsburg.
Nancy Downie hugs her son Aydan after Aydan won the Stock championship in the Delmarva Soap Box Derby Saturday, June 3, in Federalsburg.
Delmarva Soap Box Derby participates receive their trophies Saturday, June 3, along West Central Avenue in Federalsburg.
Aydan Downie races down West Central Avenue in the Stock finals of the Delmarva Soap Box Derby Saturday, June 3, in Federalsburg with his car chief William Greenage and his mom Nancy Downie looking on.
Aydan Downie, back, pulls ahead of Annie Phillips in the Stock finals of the Delmarva Soap Box Derby on Saturday in Federalsburg.
Saleta Nichols sports the Greensboro Police Department colors during the Delmarva Soap Box Derby Saturday, June 3, in Federalsburg.
Scott Phillips, left, and Nancy Downie watch Phillips’ daughter Annie, and Downie’s son Aydan race in the Stock finals of Delmarva Soap Box Derby Saturday, June 3, in Federalsburg.