Yvonne Henderson is all smiles as she waves the checkered flag Saturday afternoon in Houlton. Henderson won the Super Stock division of the 23rd annual Northern Maine Soap Box Derby and earned a spot in the nationals in Akron, Ohio. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

HOULTON, Maine — It is on to Akron, Ohio, for two youngsters after a busy day of racing Saturday in the 23rd annual Northern Maine Soap Box Derby race.

Stephen Bruen and Yvonne Henderson both qualified to represent the state at the 81st annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron July 15-21.

Thirty-two young racers between the ages of 8 and 18 converged on Derby Hill in Houlton for the state’s only Soap Box Derby race.

Henderson captured the super stock division, which is for 9- to 18-year-olds, while Bruen was champion of the stock division for children ages 7 through 13.

“It’s awesome,” Henderson said. “I am looking forward to going back. I love everything about derby racing … the atmosphere, the people. It’s just a lot of fun.”

For Bruen, an 11-year-old from Hampden, heading to nationals is a bit of a family tradition. Two years ago, his older sister Mallory won the state crown and went on to win the national title.

“My brother has won states, and my sister won nationals, so there was some pressure on me,” he said. “This year, I was a bit big so getting in and out of the car was tough. It’s just really fun racing down the hill.”

The Bangor Daily News is pleased to feature content from our sister company The County. To read the rest of “Henderson, Bruen conquer Derby Hill,” an article by The County staff writer Joseph Cyr, please follow this link to The County online.

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