Local racer edged out at national derby

By Kevin Baird

CNJ STAFF WRITER

kbaird@cnjonline.com

They say baseball is a game of inches. So apparently is Soap Box Derby racing.

7-31-Hailey-Renfro

Courtesy photo: Chris Crawford
Hailey Renfro races “The Spider-Man Car” down the track at the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday. Renfro placed second in her heat, needing a first-place finish to advance to the second round. Renfro qualified for the national derby thanks to her win at the Clovis Soapbox Derby in June.

“We lost by this much,” Chris Crawford said as he held his thumb and index finger half an inch apart to describe how close his stepdaughter, Hailey Renfro, came to advancing out of her heat Saturday at the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.

Renfro, 13, finished second out of three racers in her heat.

“I had a few tears here and there,” Renfro said. “I was kind of sad.”

However, Renfro said she would not have changed the way she raced.

In June, Renfro beat 11-year-old Cody Little by 0.12 seconds to win the Clovis Soap Box Derby, sponsored by the Clovis Rotary Club. Every year the winner of the Clovis Soap Box Derby is awarded the opportunity to race in the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, which features local champions from all over the country.

Renfro said she enjoyed her trip to Ohio, which included traveling through 12 states.

“It was fun. We got to explore things like Niagara Falls, Lake Erie, and the Cleveland Zoo,” Renfro said.