Soup Box Derby was pretty slick this year
By MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY
South Whidbey Record Island Life
September 23, 2008 · Updated 5:00 PM
LANGLEY — Persistent rain did not keep racers away Saturday as the Langley Soup Box Derby rolled down First Street.
Fewer people than usual showed up, and the event wrapped up at about 11 a.m., but the atmosphere was still electrifying.
“We got 14 entries into the race,” said Tucker Stevens, one of the organizers from the Langley Community Club.
“It didn’t affect us much until right at the end, when we handed out the trophies,” he added.
However, the organizers did start to be worried toward the end about wet wheels and brakes as a number of racers smashed a little more forcefully than usual into the hay bales at the end of the racetrack.
“It just kept going,” Stevens said. “It’s kind of a family affair. People embrace it a little more each year. Our attendance was low because of the rain, but our local support was up. It all washed out in the end.”
He said the derby had a number of great new volunteers who worked tirelessly. And on the racetrack, lots of old favorites returned.
“The old 1972 T-Bird returned,” Stevens said of a racer that had competed in the first-ever Soup Box Derby 36 years ago.
He also said he was glad to see 86-year-old Peter Lawlor, who crashed last year, in the starter field.
This year, Lawlor made it down the hill in his new racer “Le Coffin” unharmed and in one piece.
“I loved seeing him and his crew come back. He is like the famous Timex watch: ‘He takes a licking but he keeps on ticking,’” Stevens said.
Next year’s derby is scheduled for Sept. 19.
“Same time, same place,” Stevens said.Contact South Whidbey Record Island Life Michaela Marx Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 221-5300.