Local News

Soap Box Derby Champion From N.C. Stripped Of Title

Posted July 28, 2003 11:34 a.m. EDT

— For the first time in 30 years, a champion at the All-American Soap Box Derby has been stripped of his title.

Thirteen-year-old rally stock championship winner Wilton Blakely of Huntersville, North Carolina, lost his title late Saturday after officials discovered violations in the way his car was built.

Eleven-year-old Koby Garnhart of Winnebago, Illinois, has been declared the new winner in that division.

The violations were discovered during a mandatory post-race inspection.

Officials say Blakely used extra materials and glue to give his car an unfair advantage.

Soap Box Derby general manager Jeff Iula says Blakely's father admitted he'd used illegal materials, but might have just misinterpreted the rules.