Steamboat Springs The absence of a local race didn't keep six Routt County youths from greasing the gears on their soap box derby cars earlier this month.
The group of six competed in a soap box derby race June 9 in Dillon, where young racers gathered for a competition staged under clear blue skies and in the midst of the towering Rocky Mountains.
Each of the Yampa Valley racers competed in the Super Stock Division against nine Summit County children in what amounted to a North vs. South showdown, said John Mertz, a Steamboat Springs resident and the father of racers Morgan and Hudsen Mertz.
The Routt County racers used their first couple of runs to get familiar with the track and determine the fastest lines to the finish. Beginning with the third heat, the racers began improving on their results and moving up the ranks.
Morgan Mertz was the top Routt County finisher, placing fifth overall out of the field of 15 in the Super Stock Division. The final championship race between two Summit County youths was decided by three-thousandths of a second.
In addition to Morgan and Hudsen Mertz, other Routt County participants included Alex Smith, Natalie Smith, Corey Snyder and Cole Wendland.