On a cool Saturday morning, the Leesville community took part in one of the most celebrated traditions in American culture. The 11th annual Lulu’s Boxcar Derby was held in downtown Leesville.
Eighteen racers competed in two different divisions to see who could bring home a trophy.
The event saw racers, families and spectators supporting each other in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
The first division was the Factory Kit Division. This division saw a number of close races and a few photo finishes.
In the end, it was Devan Williams who took home the first place trophy.
Factory Kit Division Places:
1st: Devan Williams
2nd: Emily Hoglund
3rd: Luke Moss
The second division was the Home Built Division. This division saw uniquely designed derby racers test their racing skills, and showcase their craftsmanship.
It was Jason Hunt who placed first in his homebuilt racer.
What made Jason’s car unique was that it had a Nos energy drink canister made to look like a fuel tank. Second Place winner Marshall Lambright’s was a blue racer that drew inspiration from Formula One race cars for its design.
Perhaps the most visually unique box car racer was the “Baby Shark” driven by former derby champion Tesla Putnam.
The car was painted and designed to resemble a shark from its teeth to its menacing fin.
Although Putnam placed third in her race this year, she won praise from fans in attendance for her unique derby racer and overall showmanship.
Home Built Division Places:
1st: Jason Hunt
2nd: Marshall Lambright
3rd: Tesla Putnam
The final race saw the two division champions compete in a race to see who was the best overall.
In the race, Factory Division Champion Devan Williams placed first against Home Built Division Champion Jason Hunt, winning the Grand Championship and closing out a day filled with nonstop derby action.
Fans in attendance were very happy with how the day went on. Trophies were presented to the winners and all competitors were very supportive of one another.
It was announced during the event that there are plans to do another race in the Spring, much to the delight of all in attendance.
One thing is for sure, the longstanding tradition of the soapbox derby is alive and well in Leesville.