By Susan Motander
For many years in the 1990s and until 2002, soapbox derby style racing was a part of the Monrovia Days festivities under the watchful eye of then Police Chief Joe Santoro. It rolled back into Old Town on Saturday with initial running of the Old Town Derby.
The race was run to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills and was held in honor of Diane and Fred Bowden with Delaware Financial as its principal sponsor. The races were run in conjunction with and the cooperation of the Street Rods Forever Car Show in Old Town. It brought out a lot of young people to the show. There was even a “mini-blocks” race in the style of a pine wood derby à la Boy Scouts. In fact, the “mini-blocks” races were conducted by students from St. Francis Academy as a part of their community service hours.
Mayor Tom Adams said the event was “outstanding” and said it was good to see parents and children working together on a fun physical family activity. Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board President said the day was great fun and praised Jeff Hunt of The Finish Line Automotive for spearheading the derby. Kristin Miller of Charlie’s House in Old Town and another MOTAB board member said that the derby “exceeded expectations.”
And there were even winners:
1st Aiden Jeppsen #71 B&H Signs.
2nd Avery Ripperger #79 Brkich Const.
3rd Ryan Kasner #21 Kasner’s Korner.
Super Stock Class
1st Rylei “Q” Steiner # 17 General Driveshaft.
2nd Ashton Burkhalter #10 Monrovia PD.
3rd Rudy Acosta #13 Ferrari Bros.
1st Madison Wheeler #11.
2nd Roger Felix #25.
3rd Isabel Henkels #12.
Perhaps the most fun were the “grudge matches,” those races that did not count in the competition. And perhaps the best of these pitted Detective Javier Leon and Officer Rosendo Ramos, of the Monrovia Police Department, against one another. Ramos won. Jeff Hunt mentioned that it took three men to wedge Ramos into the racer. “I will not be responsible for the WD-40 stains on his holster,” Hunt said.
Photos of the event are available for a nominal fee at Photoworks by Rick. Please call (626) 303-5555 for more information.