The back parking lot of Atlanta First Baptist Church in Dunwoody hardly looks like a place where soap box derby dreams are made.
But six young drivers June 2 conquered the 900-foot downhill track in a qualifying event and will participate in the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) race in Akron, Ohio in July.
Participants qualified in four categories in the event sponsored by the Dunwoody/North Georgia Soap Box Derby Association. This is the fourth year the Dunwoody race has been a qualifier for the national race.
Seven-year-old Malena Shipley who attends Cliff Valley School on Clairmont Road in DeKalb County won the stock division. Shipley won a drawing at the Lemonade Days Festival in Dunwoody in the spring for a chance to drive one of the Dunwoody Soap Box Association cars.
Mark Cordovado, 12, won the super stock race. Cordovado was sponsored by Kapp Koncepts and attends Immaculate Heart of Mary School on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb.
The masters division champion is 16-year-old Ansley Christensen, who qualified for the AASBD two years ago and is the only county racer to win a round in Akron. Christensen, who lives in Dunwoody and is home-schooled, was sponsored by Will’s Auto Machine.
The Dunwoody race also was the only qualifying event in the Southeast to feature a super kids division for special needs participants. Each entrant rides in a two-seater with a co-pilot who drives. Victoria Wise, 14, of Clover, S.C. won the super kids race and was co-piloted by her brother Isaac. Two others qualified in the super kids division—Andrew Caso of Roswell and Robbie Marra of Dunwoody.