Downie, Pol­lard earn Soap Box Derby ti­tles

Will travel to Akron to com­pete in world cham­pi­onships

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— 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.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

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