(Mike Rushing ~ Submitted photo)
AKRON, Ohio -- April Little finished in the top 20 Saturday in the Super Stock division of the 70th annual All-American Soap Box Derby. April outlasted most of the 150-person field, but came up just short in her third race of the day.
While the Cape Girardeau 13-year-old said was disappointed about her elimination, April said she had a great time during the derby week.
"I kind of had a feeling I wasn't going to win the last race," April said. "But it was just a whim, and it doesn't matter because I had so much fun this week."
April said she enjoyed the races and the free days the most while in Akron, because she didn't have to move her heavy Soap Box Derby car on those days.
April's mother, Beth, said she was proud of April and happy that she advanced as far as she did.
"We said all week, 'Let's just get two trips down the track,'" Beth said. "Well, we got three, so we passed our goal."
April said Beth was more anxious about the races than she was.
"My mom kept asking me if I was nervous when I was waiting at the starting line, and I told her I wasn't," April said. "But I could tell she was."
The cars were weighed before each race. April's sponsor, Mike Rushing, said her car weighed more each time it was measured, causing her to have to remove weight from the racer.
"I don't know how she could have gained that much weight between races," Rushing said. "But it's a disadvantage to have to remove weight from the car."
April's brother, Jordan, 9, competed in the Stock division. He lost his first heat by mere thousandths of a second.
Jordan's car will be put on display at the Cape Girardeau Rotary Club as a demonstration model for future Soap Box Derby contestants.
Rushing said a car cannot be used again in the Stock and Super Stock divisions after being run in a local race.
April and Jordan said they both planned to race again next year.