NEWPORT, VT – Dr. Normand Turcotte began organizing the Soap Box Derby in Newport in 1979, and has no intention of stopping the tradition. His daughter Lisa Turcotte-Thomas raced in the event in 1983 and now his grandchildren participate.
His 10-year-old granddaughter Destiny Larocque won the event in Newport Sunday. This is her fourth year participating. Like all participants, she built her car herself, with help from her dad Ken Larocque.
Destiny said she has a winning strategy that she learned from talking with her step-brother Dominick Turcotte. Dominick raced Sunday and took sixth place, while her other brother Daniel Thomas Jr., who is 10, took third. Destiny, No. 270, beat out Hunter Poginy, 929, for the win.
Destiny is now eligible to compete in the All American World Championship Race in Akron, Ohio.
Anyone can participate in the Soap Box Derby, said Dr. Turcotte. Those who wish to participate in next year's event should call Dr. Turcotte at 334-2970 between now and before the Home Show next year, which takes place in April. Those ages 9 through 17 can participate.
Most rent car kits to built, but buying a kit for a car is also an option. No child has been turned away because he or she can't afford the rental fee on the car.
This year's participating drivers were Caleb Stevens, Brandon Sheltra, Dustin Judd, Tucker Bouffard, Destiny Larocque, Daniel Thomas, Clint Duncan, Corey Duncan, Preston Judd, Dominick Turcotte, Hunter Poginy and Eliazabeth Stevens.