A newspaper appearance eased the loss.
BY JULY 1965, AKRON, OHIO, had already hosted three decades of All-American Soap Box Derby races, but this would be the first local derby for Corning, New York. The race, with about 100 participants, was a single-elimination, bracketstyle tournament with two cars at a time squaring off. The winner, Joey Dudick, earned a trip to the world tournament in Akron.
I had spent months building my derby car. Eddie Hyder, owner of Hyder’s Grocery on Market Street, was my sponsor. Even though I lost my first heat and was eliminated, I found short-lived fame when my picture was taken during trial runs and it appeared in The Corning Leader, our local newspaper.
TOM WAS 15 and wore No. 50 when he entered the inaugural Corning, NY, Soap Box Derby race.