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boxcar derby. batavia

Photo-finishes and racing excitement mark historic return of boxcar derby to Ellicott Avenue

By Howard B. Owens
Aug 28, 2022, 4:01pm
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Brett Doward (top photo) and Levi Bennett (second photo) might want a rematch in next year's boxcar derby -- assuming there is one, and by all indications, there will be -- after facing off against each other in both each other's first heat of the day and in the finals for their age bracket.

That finals race had to be run twice after the first race wound up in a tie.  

In the first match of the Doward/Bennett rivalry, Doward won by a wheel.  In the first heat of the finals, the race ended in a tie.

In that second race for the Suozzi Memorial Trophy, Doward won handily. 

The day was also marked by an appearance by Roger Martin with a boxcar he built himself in the late 1930s and which took him to the national championships in 1940.  His son ran it once down the Ellicott Avenue hill, where Martin's car had seen past glory.

There were 28 competitors running against each other in pairs with double-elimination until the final rounds.

The derby was sponsored by the Business Improvement District and Glow With Your Hands.


Dominic Darch and Brett Doward, winners of the 7-10 and 11-13-year-old brackets.

The start of the first run of the finals race for the 11-13 bracket. Levi Bennet on the left, Brett Doward on the right.

Bennett on the left and Doward on the right.

Doward in the lead at the end of the first race.

Lilly Gray glances back at Shannon Maute, BID director, as she beats her in an exhibition race at the end of the event.

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