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Local boy puts in good showing at Soap Box Derby

By By Scottye Carter/The Meridian Star
July 31, 2001
Even though 13-year-old Daniel Gardner of Meridian came within inches of winning a national Soap Box Derby race, nothing can take away his pride in winning the state title.
Gardner and his family were in Akron, Ohio, last weekend for the All-American Soap Box Derby competition. Gardner earned the chance to represent Mississippi after winning the state competition in Hattiesburg earlier this year.
Close finish
The All-American is single elimination, meaning that a contestant drops out if he loses one race. More than 121 boys and girls competed in Gardner's division; he lost his first race Saturday in a photo finish.
Daniel Gardner spent the week prior to his race camping and making friends with the other racers.
The race
The boys and girls at the camp raced in four different divisions. Gardner raced in the super stock division, and he described how he steered his car.
Gardner's car is sponsored by three local businesses.
M&M Auto Supply has been Gardner's sponsor since his first race; the company began Gardner's racing career by offering him a chance to race their Soap Box Derby car.
Gardner also is sponsored by Pittsburgh Plate Glass and CertifiedFirst.
Gerard Hansen, Gardner's sponsor from PPG and CertifiedFirst, was the regional director at the state race in Hattiesburg. Hansen attended the race in Akron.
Besides that, Gardner also had the support of friends.