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New Course, New Cars and Super Kids This past April, 56 drivers gathered at Partin Park to compete in the 25th Annual Southeast Georgia Soap Box Derby. For years, the event has been held on South Victory Drive in Lyons, but this year, Director Michael Williamson was please to unveil the event’s new course located at the park. The track was constructed after the unanimous approval from the Lyons City Council and much support from local businesses and community members. It features a 6 foot starting ramp, a permanent finish line, and, thanks to Sikes Brothers, a very smooth, newly repaved surface perfect for racing. The park setting is a huge plus for onlookers as well with accommodations like bathrooms, concessions and picnic areas nearby. This year’s event was full of “firsts.” In addition to the new track, the Derby held its first annual Super Kids Race. This race was designed so that mentally or physically challenged children could participate in the Soap Box Derby. Specially constructed Super Kids cars, designed by Jay Hutcheson and sponsored by local businesses, allowed each participant to be accompanied by an experienced driver. The carts were then covered in colorful superhero graphics. For this year’s race, Tucker Copeland of Toombs County won the super stock division, and Thayne Hayes of Summerville, South Carolina, won the stock division. Both received an invitation to attend the National Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, in July. In addition, two dozen drivers participated in the newly added Super Kids division with the winner of that category being Shaunna Hutcheson. Shaunna also went on to compete in Akron in July and won the competition earning her the title of 2016 Super Kids National Champion. As Michael puts it, “There is only one in the nation, and we have her!” Probably no one appreciates the support of this community as much as Michael. “This community has had our back for the past 25 years,” he said. “I never realized how lucky we are until I started talking to other race cities. We are truly blessed to live in Lyons, Georgia.” Congratulations 2016 National Super Kids winner Shaunna Hutcheson


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