Local Soap Box Derby racers make history in Akron

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – In the 83-year history of the All American Soap Box Derby World Championship, no local Soap Box Derby race city has ever had three local champions in the top three in the world until Saturday when Bowling Green racers made history.

A large contingent of people gathered Sunday night at Hillvue Heights Church to cheer for the local returning champs as they were escorted into town by police and firefighters as music blared.

For the Soap Box Derby, three local kids were sent to the world championship competing in six different races, three for rally races and three for local stock races.

This year was the very first year that one local race city was able to have a student place in the top three in all three local stock car races ever in the world.

One of the kids that placed top three, Nathan Christian, placed first as the world champion in the local super stock race in Akron Saturday.

“At first it was kind of shocking. I mean, it’s always been a dream come true since like 2013, so I probably dreamed of this moment for, I mean, eight and a half to about nine years now and still, to this day, it still doesn’t feel real. It’s still sinking in after about 24 to 30 hours, you know, so it definitely is a dream come true,” said Christian.

Cameron Martin finished second in local masters. Kelsey Sanford finished third in local stock division. Chase Schlafke finished eighth in rally super stock.

In the national races, there are 54 placing champions in total and Kentucky claimed 14 of those, with four coming out of Bowling Green.

This accomplishment is a huge deal, according to Ron Cummings, a Warren County Magistrate and long time mentor to students competing in stock car racing.