Allysa Goon was one of several local Tullahoma soap box derby racers who qualified to take part in the 80th Annual All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships on July 22 in Akron, Ohio.
After winning the Local Stock Division at the Tullahoma Soap Box Derby in May, Allysa had the opportunity to compete against racers from all over the world, including some from Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Out of a total 85 racers in her division, the 9-year-old Tullahoma native finished eighth overall.
In her first round of competition, Allysa was pitted against Japan’s best stock car champion, Toramaru Kido. Allysa came away victorious, while also having the fastest finishing time out of all 400 racers at the derby.
Allysa followed with three-straight narrow victories, guaranteeing her a spot to be named a top-nine champion in the stock division. Included in those wins were victories against Florida’s Logan Webb and Kentucky’s Elizabeth Johnson Those victories also assured Allysa would receive a large trophy, one that is nearly as tall as she is.
In her final matchup, Allysa and her opponent found themselves in a dead heat, actually tying at the finish, prompting the competitors to have one more race down the track. That allowed her to take eighth place during the derby.
“I was honored to be able to represent the City of Tullahoma, among all of the great racers who were present,” Alyssa said in a letter. “I also had the privilege of racing side by side with Tullahoma’s local super stock division champion, Olivia Thomasson… I am very eager to return to Akron (next year) and hope to continue to be a representative of Tullahoma in this awesome sport.”
Allysa wasn’t the first in her family to qualify to the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships. Three years ago, her sister Trinity, qualified for the 77th annual championships, where she placed 12th overall.
Seeing her sister compete at that level inspired Allysa. After thanking all of the local businesses for their support, she also had to thank Trinity.
“Most of all, I couldn’t have done it without my Pit Crew Manager and former Tullahoma Soap Box Derby champ, my big sister Trinity L. Goon,” Allysa said.
Several businesses sponsored Allysa during the race. The gold sponsors included: The Seafood Place, Buttinski’s BBQ, Dr. Kim Glick, Dr. Larry Woods and the staff at Glick & Woods Dentistry.
“I’d like to thank the gold sponsors for investing in this awesome opportunity and being an amazing support system for me during the championship even,” Alyssa said. “I truly hope that my participation was a perfect representational for all your businesses.”
Allysa also wanted to give special thanks to Dr. Hunter Norris, for donating weights and calibration tools for her car. He also supplied knowledge and experience of the Akron track.
She also wanted to thank the Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick and his staff for putting on the local derby.
“Without your fantastic work in making our local race successful, every year, so many of us children would not have the opportunity to take part in this great event,” Allysa said.
Allysa had one final mention, wanting to thank Greg Beitel, who helped with Trinity’s car in the family’s first trip to Akron in 2014.
“We are very grateful to his family and his memory for all that he did for us and for our local Soap Box Derby program,” Allysa said. “I proudly displayed my ‘GB’ sticker on my car in Akron.”
List of other sponsors for the Goon Racing Team include: 21st Century Tile Works, Bill Faulkner Small Engines, Branching Out, Builder’s Plumbing, Electric & Hardware, McMurr’s Printing, Courtesy Dry Cleaners, Don Rhoton, Flowers by Rare Earth, Frio’s, Hawkins Equipment, Heath Automotive Tire Pros, IST Services, Life Communications & Security, Line-X, Memories Antique and Arts, Mike’s Gold & Loans, Mikes Tire, Brake & Muffler, Inc, Paint Works, Randall Morrison, Russell Barnett Ford Tullahoma, Sign A Rama, Sunoco (North Collins Street) and Wallace Rowland.