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Local youth, state winner, in Soap Box Derby finals

By By Scottye Carter/The Meridian Star
July 29, 2001
Most 13-year-old boys enjoy participating in many typical activities playing soccer and other sports, fishing, riding 4-wheelers and hanging out with friends.
Daniel Gardner, one of those typical boys, likes to do all of those things, too. But his usual hobbies took a back seat when he was introduced to Soap Box Derby racing.
Daniel's mother, Susan Gardner, a kindergarten assistant at Lamar School, said Daniel's friends introduced him to Soap Box racing.
Susan stated that building Daniel's award-winning car required effort from nearly every family member.
After winning the state competition in Hattiesburg, Daniel was invited to race in the national finals this weekend, called the All-American Competition, which was held in Akron, Ohio. All of the kids in the competition camped together until just before the races began on Saturday.
Even though Daniel's test run in Akron on Friday brought him to speeds near 40 miles per hour, his mother was not worried about his safety.
The cars are rated based on how well they are put together, and an award, called the VIP award, is given to all perfectly assembled cars.
There are four different types of car races at the All-American stock, super stock, masters and rally. Daniel competes in the intermediate super stock division.
Daniel's parents took him to Akron last Sunday, and his older brother, Jeremy, joined them on Friday. Susan stated that she never believed Daniel would make it this far.
Scottye Carter is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551.