Soap box races won by a pair of brothers in East Elmhurst

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Photo gallery

Children speed down 23rd Avenue during one of the heats. Photo by Bill Parry
Two drivers get ready for one of the heats during Saturday's Flushing Meadows Soap Box Derby. Photo by Bill Parry
The NYPD closes off a block-long section of 23rd Avenue at 94th Street so the 30 kids could race all day. Photo by Bill Parry
Kathy Taylor helps Tai Govantes, 12, with the mechanics of racing. Photo by Christina Santucci
Laurelton resident Colby Barnave, 10, gets some help from his father, Craig. Photo by Christina Santucci
Sanaa Clements, 9, decorates her car with stickers. Photo by Christina Santucci
Chris Belcher, 12, uses a drill to ready his vehicle for racing. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mir Nazeeba of East Elmhurst tests out her ride. Photo by Christina Santucci
Isiah Walker of Long Island City carries a pair of wheels. Photo by Christina Santucci

A pair of brothers from East Elmhurst will represent New York City at the National All-American Race in Akron, Ohio, in July after capturing both divisions at the annual Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby Saturday.

Myles Warner, 15, won the Superstock Division while his 7-year-old brother Zander, who was racing for the first time, took the checkered flag in the Stock Division.

Myles and Zander are among eight Warner brothers from 104th Street.

The derby, held every year since 1986, features fiberglass cars assembled by boys and girls ages 7 to 17 with the help of their parents.

The cars can reach speeds of 30 mph depending on the slope of the hill they are racing on. The NYPD closed off a block-long portion of 23rd Avenue at 94th Street in East Elmhurst for the five hours of racing in numerous heats by 30 racers.

Each car is sponsored by a community group, church or elected official. GNB Auto Repair, at 85-05 Astoria Blvd. sponsored Myles’ soap box racer.

“We’ve been doing it for a few years now,” manager Guiseppe Bargellino said. “We’re really happy for Myles and his family, they’re good people.”

The First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst sponsored Zander’s car. “It’s always exciting to help the young people in the community,” Rev. Patrick Henry Young said. “It’s such a great event every year. It gives the children a chance to show off their skill and their character and that’s the greatest reward you can get.”

The Soap Box Derby is also a fun event for the residents of the neighborhood. Along both sides of the road were family and friends of the soap box racers in picnic chairs and blankets. There was barbecue from several grills and a DJ blasted music all afternoon.

“It was a real nice event,” FMSBD Director Henry Foster said. “We have as much fun as the kids and the community really supports us and has a good time, too.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 9:42 am, April 28, 2017
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Reader feedback

Henry Foster from St Albans says:
One of the best competitions I have seen for kids where the guys and girls challenge one another on and equal field.

Thanks for covering the positive side of growing up in the City.
June 25, 2014, 12:50 am

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