It was race day for Kiowa County Cub Scout Troop as the local pinewood derby, delayed due to early-March snowstorms, brought its share of triumphs and tragedies to the Kiowa County Community building on Sunday afternoon.
“It is a silver car,” said local Bear Scout Tanner Newell. “We didn’t test it but I know it is fast. I think it could beat Bo’s car.”
Newell, who placed third in last year’s contest, was among more than a dozen Cub Scouts and outlaws, looking to bump veteran pinewood derby champ Bo West from the winner’s circle.
“I hope I win again this year,” said West, the pinewood derby progeny who took the top spot the last two years. “We named it ‘Freedom Car’ because it is red, white and blue and we put eagle stickers on it.”
Newell and West would eventually come face-to-face in a winner-take-all final, following a scorching victory run by both scouts.
West blew through the competition, facing a gauntlet of worthy challengers including Kade Trummel’s “Batman Car,” Wyatt Lothman’s sparkling blue speedster and Webelo Koby West’s purple people eater.
Newell was impressive against a pair of tough Wolf Scouts, second-year stand out Blaine Zimmerman’s “Rhino-saurus” car and Boyd Lothman’s dark-blue speedster.
Lothman seemed to have the momentum entering his quarterfinal match against Newell, having bested Parker Stauth’s quick-draw car and Caydan Pore’s crimson rocket to open the day.
Newell was undefeated on the day, apart from a pair of double-elimination losses to B. West’s “Freedom Car” earning him a second place spot trip to district competition.
West, earning his third win in consecutive seasons never had a loss, despite some photo-finish close calls against Newell.
In the open-class outlaw races, Cohan West took first place with his neon-green roadster, Bryson Brown took second place with his police car and third place went to Brett West.
“Best in Show” judge Leighton Miller, moonlighting from his day job as nurse practitioner at the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, handed the honor to Trummel’s dark knight car, but praised the creativity of Zimmerman’s rhinoceros.
All of the racers took him trophies and/or ribbons for placing in their troop and a number of them will compete in the Quivira District Pinewood Derby Regionals in St. John in April.
“This is a pretty special year for some of these kids, because it’ll be their last year racing,” said scout den leader Jason West.
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