MARTINS FERRY - Members of the Martins Ferry Soap Box Derby Committee met Wednesday to wrap up the year and begin making plans for the 22nd running of the Great Race in 2013.
Race Director Ralph King thanked everyone involved in this year's race, which he deemed a success. He also made official his decision to step down as race chairman after serving five years as director.
"We had a good committee, everything went well this year, but it is just time for me to step down," King stated. He said he will remain on the committee and take over timing duties at next year's event.
T-L Photo/MIKE PALMER
BRIAN DAWES, left, shows Ralph King the ropes of running the timing system he designed and built for the Martins Ferry Soap Box Derby during the recent race. Dawes is retiring after 12 years and King is stepping down as race director but will remain on the committee and take over timing duties on race day.
King said he would continue to serve on the committee and replace fellow committee member Brian Dawes at the bottom of the hill in the timer's tent next year. Dawes, who built the current timing system and has been the timer for every race in the past 12 years, was honored with a plaque at the close of his final committee meeting.
"I will miss it, but it is just time for me to move on," said Dawes. The president of James C. Dawes Welding Supply in Martins Ferry, he also built and donated the trailers used to transport the cars back to the top of the track on race day, among his many contributions over the past decade.
"I am still willing to help out if you need me for anything," Dawes added.
During the meeting, the members discussed eliminating time trials next year, but after some discussion decided to leave the current system in place, citing that practice runs would delay the start on race day and ultimately would not save any time.
The committee decided that there will be a rule change which would limit the total number of championship titles for any racer to two. The rule was drafted last year but was not included in the handbook but will be included in the revised rules next year and will be implemented beginning in 2014.
The new director will be named at the committee's next meeting scheduled in January.
Palmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org