Myers finishes second at All-American

AKRON – In 73 years of soap box derby racing only once has a local driver placed at the national championship races in Akron.

Kallie Myers, making her fifth appearance at Derby Downs, placed seventh in the Masters Division in 2010.

That was until her brother did her one better – five actually – when Quinn Myers finished runner-up Sunday in the Masters Rally division.

It was the younger Myers’ fourth trip to Akron. But it marked the first he made it past the opening race.

”They place nine and anytime you can make it on that stage it’s something,” his father Matt Myers said. ”He’s been (to Akron) four times and it was h is first time on the stage; his first time to win a heat and he was able to pull out a second-place finish.”

Myers fell to New Philadelphia’s Meghan Frantz in the final race. Frantz finished in 29.18 with Nicole Stout of Sagamore Hills coming in third.

It was a tough loss for Myers, who had defeated Frantz previously in rally races earlier this season.

Rally differs from the Stock, Super Stock and Masters local races in that, with the locals, if you win, you advance to Akron. Rally racing takes drivers across the country to try an accumulate points, similar to the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.

Any driver who earns 180 points or more is considered 180 points or more is considered a rally regional champion and earns a spot, although anyone with 100 points or more could qualify for the finals.

Myers finished the rally regular season with 180 points. Frantz had 126 and in head-to-head battles in New Philadelphia, Myers always came out on top.

Until Sunday.

”She did a nice job,” Myers said. ”I don’t know what happened. I was right with her and we came to the finish and she just pulled ahead of me by a nose length.

”Still, it gives me confidence to run the local (Masters Division race) next year and win again.

”I’m proud that I advanced. I’ve never won a heat before and my goal was to win a heat and place in the All-American.”

Myers credits his knowledgeable pit crew, consisting of his father and sister, with aiding in his success. That, and a quality set of wheels, adding ”If you don’t get a good set of wheels, you’re out in the first round.”

Another boost has been his familiarity with his car. Unlike the local races, which at best, sees you racing competitively on two days, rally racing affords the driver multiple opportunities to learn the ins and outs of his car … and how to handle it.

”Rally is a little better because you get more experience and really learn what you need to about your car before you get to (Akron),” he said. ”If you mess up, you’re in the loser’s bracket. If you swerve, or hit something you can go back and try again.”

And Myers will try again. Next year, he’ll be competing in the Masters Local division, followed by finishing up his derby racing career in the Super Stock Local division the following year.

Myers wasn’t the lone local racer in Akron on Sunday,although his valley counterparts didn’t fare as well.

Devin Yano in Super Stock and Joseph Carter in Stock, both of whom captured the St. Clairsville derby race this spring, were eliminated after their first heat races.

Hughes may be reached at