Silverthorne’s Murphy races to soap box title, nationals berth
DILLON – Racecar drivers wear racing jackets. Why would soap box derby drivers be any different?The winners of Saturday’s 10th annual Dillon Soap Box Derby earned a trip to the national championships in Akron, Ohio, but the blue satin champions jacket was the most coveted prize by the 26 competitors.Silverthorne’s Elizabeth Murphy, 11, and Centennial’s Conor Evans, 12, won the Stock and Super Stock divisions, respectively, to earn the right to don their new blue status symbol.”I really wanted the jacket,” said Murphy, who plans to wear it as often as possible. “It just looks really cool.”
In a double-elimination format with a consolation bracket, Murphy won six straight head-to-head races to capture the Stock title. Each round was made up of two phases in which each driver would race once from each side of the track. The driver with the better overall time advanced.In the final round, Murphy won by just over a tenth of a second after winning the first phase by .695 seconds and losing the second by .524.”It was just a good day of racing,” Murphy said.Evans didn’t need the consolation bracket either, also going undefeated on Lake Dillon Drive. The towheaded champion beat Silverthorne resident Kimberly Bouchard by just .074 seconds in the final.
“I was running good all day,” Evans said. To elaborate on why his blue car was moving faster than the others, Evans pointed to its appearance.”The spindles were really shiny,” he said. Bouchard, who also finished second in last year’s Super Stock division, lost in the first round on Saturday, but won the next five consolation matchups to reach the finals.
“I found my place on the track,” Bouchard said. “On lane one, you followed right in the middle and on lane two you followed along the pipe. Lane two was definitely faster.”Both Murphy and Evans said they don’t plan on changing much when they travel to Akron for the 68th annual All-American Soap Box Derby. “I will use the same car,” Evans said. “I want to win in Akron.”Other Summit County drivers were also competitive in Dillon on Saturday. Because of the derby’s location, a large proportion of the racers each year hail from Summit.
Breckenridge’s Kenady Cummings finished fourth and Elizabeth’s sister Molly Murphy took fifth in the Stock division. In the Super Stock division, Breckenridge’s Brandon Gregory, last year’s Stock champion, lost to Bouchard to finish third.”It’s harder to race in the Super Stock, because the drivers are more competitive,” Gregory said. “I just couldn’t go fast enough.”Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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