Summit Academy Parma and Akron Middle School racing teams competed in this year’s Soap Box Derby Gravity Challenge race on Saturday May 19, 2012, at Derby Downs in Akron. There were 65 cars in this year’s race and spectators were treated to an exciting day!
Parma’s driver, Tristan Straus, was on the first part of the fourth heat when his opponent’s steering broke, causing his opponent’s car to cross over two lanes and crash into Tristan’s car! Tristan’s car was pushed 180 degrees around and went down the track backwards before crashing into the sidewall. Tristan and the other driver were both shaken up but fine. Unfortunately, Parma’s car was not so lucky. The wheels were smashed and the axle bent.
The Summit Academy Akron Middle School racing team, who was eliminated in the 3rd heat, offered Parma its car to finish out the race. The officials talked it over and decided that they would allow Parma to use Akron’s car. Akron Middle took over as Parma’s starting line pit crew, setting Tristan up for his next seven races down the hill. In the end, Tristan and Summit Academy Parma took 4th place out of 65 entries!
Parma Secondary Science Teacher and Soap Box Derby Coach Charlotte Ray said, “My eyes filled with tears of pride as I watched Akron and Parma work together, forming one team out of what was once two. This show of sportsmanship is just another example of how when we work together, we can achieve anything!”