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Racers get final tune up

By Staff
A LITTLE ADVICE – Courtney Ratcliff gets some tips from her coach, Heather Riddle, while Kristin Jenkins gets in her derby car. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ryan Satcher/staff writer
May 26, 2002
The day may have started with fear and some nervous faces but soon excitement and anticipation took over.
Saturday morning the drivers practiced with the soap box derby cars for the first and last time before the big race.
The American Soap Box Derby Association's Soap Box Derby will be run in Meridian on June 8 and the practice was set up to give the drivers a feel for the course and cars.
The kids started the day with fear on their faces but after a few runs smiles took over.
With the excitement of going down the hill came the anticipation of the big race.
The course goes down 23rd Avenue and starts near Central United Methodist with the finish near the Bible Bookstore.
The kids weren't the only ones excited as parents watched with cameras and joked about wanting a soap box derby for adults. There was also some coaching going on from the parents involved.
14 cars will be entered into the race. At this time 10 boys and four girls, all from the Meridian area, are set to race in the derby.
The cars will be arranged in heats and brackets. The winners will be determined by time and not by the actual race with another car. There will be a winners' bracket and losers' bracket for the cars to advance in and a car has to lose four times before being eliminated.
Two lanes are set up for the cars to race in and ramps are set at the top of the hill to make the start fair. One lane seemed to be faster than the other in practice but that will not affect the races since the drivers will switch sides and go by the time in a particular lane.
Everyone is expecting a great time and it should be a great event for the city.

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