Troy derby champions travel to Debytown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 22, 2001

Features Editor

Participating in the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio was a new experience for Ellen Dragsten last year.

This year, one might think it will be old hat, rather old helmet, for her, but she is even more excited this year than last.

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Ellen left Saturday for her second run at Derby Downs. She would like to win and she’ll give it all she’s got, but she knows, win or lose, it will be a great week.

Her dad and mom, Roger and Ginny Dragsten will enjoy

Derby week with her along with Nancy Brooks, director of the Troy Soap Box Derby Association.

"We’re all looking forward to our second Derby, even more than last year, because we know now how much fun it is and how exciting," Dragsten said.

Driving for Troy Children’s Center, Ellen won the Super Stock division of the Troy Derby in March and Heather Sanders, driving for SARHA, won the Stock division.

However, a conflict prevented Heather from competing in the All-American Derby in Akron.

"When Heather could not compete, the opportunity went to the second place winner in her division," Dragsten said. "That was Carson Borchert from Louisiana."

The Borchert Racing Team has had cars in both of Troy derbies and Dragsten said they were overjoyed by the opportunity.

"They had been wanting to get to Akron for a long time and they are very excited to be going," Dragsten said "I am happy for them to have this opportunity."

The two Troy champions and their parents are planning to have a great time and to take advantage of all the activities planned for them.

Ellen and Carson will spend a week at Camp Christopher, which is much like any summer camp.

"They have water activities, horseback riding, games, sporting events, just anything to make the champions’ stay fun," Dragsten said.

Of course, the Derby won’t be all fun and no work.

"There will be car inspections and weigh-ins and

test runs and alignments, all gearing up for race day," Dragsten said. "There are activities planned for parents, including a picnic and open house at Derbytown. There will be plenty to keep us busy, and the drivers always enjoy the souvenir shops – the parents, too."

On "Race Day" Saturday July 28, the drivers will get off to a good start with a pancake breakfast prior to the opening ceremonies. The race will begin at 11 a.m. and the awards presentation will be at 7 p.m.

The race is scheduled to be televised on ESPN 2 and everyone is encouraged to tune in and watch Troy’s Soapbox Derby Champions as they compete for the title of All-American Soap Box Derby Champion.