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Rock Candy 500 recap

The results.

HIGHLY DECORATED: Ward winners "Gross," "What Can Brown Do For You," and "General Lee Jr." cross the finish line.
  • HIGHLY DECORATED: Ward winners "Gross," "What Can Brown Do For You," and "General Lee Jr." cross the finish line.

We had big fun at the Rock Candy 500 last Thursday. Thanks to a Pinewood Derby Bracket genius in Washington State, we were able to lean heavily on an Excel spreadsheet and run all of the cars at least three times and, a good chunk of them, six times. So everyone got a chance to say “on your mark, get set ...” until the novelty of that wore off. Which, for our youngest competitors sitting wide-eyed closest to the track, was never.

Robert Roling, of Kustoms Royale retro restoration body shop, once again came through with killer flames-of-metal trophies that, at least at the event, didn't impale anyone. Here's who took them home:

Best of Show: Kyle Rimkus' “What Can Brown Do for You?”

Fastest: William Purifoy's “Viper Car”

Best Design: Wes Daniels' “Eat My Wake!”

Best Kid's: James David Plataka's “General Lee Jr.”

Best Paint: Dennis Gross' “Gross”

Among the crowd that came to spectate and participate, we had one guy who showed up, pretended not to know what was going on and, after we told him, said that he happened to have his “grandson's car” in his car. Then, because we wouldn't allow him to weigh his car while he added weight, he put his car back in his carrying case and withdrew, but stayed to watch the entire race.

Also, let the record show that my car, “The World's Fastest Slug” (which, admittedly, could've been mistaken for “Sick Turd with Horns”), beat two cars designed by Arkansas Times master woodworker/handy man David Koon, even though I didn't put my wheels on until about 30 seconds before we started racing.

Because it's important that Koon's shame is immortalized in print, let the record further show that he made one car that he proudly brought into the office on race day that was about 10” long. When I reminded him that the rules that he'd written capped the length at 7”, he went home and threw together a really nice looking, parade-float-style car called “Johnny Depp Arrives in Heaven and Discovers That God is a Large Octopus.” He stole from his kid's toy box.

Thanks to everyone who entered and came out and supported. We raised more than twice as much money as we did last year. All proceeds benefit the Centers for Youth and Families Troop 726, which was at the race, helping transport cars to and fro.

It's never too early to start prepping for next year. Here's a preview: no rules.

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