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Young soap box racer from N.B. to compete at the world championships

Click to play video: '11-year-old from Saint John, N.B., set to represent Canada at soap box derby in Ohio'
11-year-old from Saint John, N.B., set to represent Canada at soap box derby in Ohio
WATCH: An 11-year-old boy from Saint John, N.B., is gearing up to represent Canada at the All-American Soap Box Derby World championships in Ohio. Shelley Steeves has more on how Walker McInerney came a long way in such a short period of time. – Jun 28, 2023

A boy from New Brunswick is hoping to defy the odds and become the first Canadian to bring home a world title at the All-American Soap Box World Championships.

Walker McInerney, 11, from Grand Bay-Westfield, will be representing Canada and his school, Westfield Elementary School, at the world championships in Ohio next month.

“Now he has the opportunity to compete on a much larger scale,” said Deborah Lawton, Lily Lake Pavilion race co-ordinator.

Walker’s journey began only a few weeks ago, at his first race meet in Saint John. Despite his lack of prior race experience, Walker crossed the finish line first in every one of his 10-plus races.

“I won and I was very surprised,” said Walker.

Lydia Melanson was a member of Walker’s all-girl pit crew for the races said she was in awe of his performance.

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“He just kept going and going, and we were like, ‘Wow, he is winning.'”

Walker’s mother, Alyssa McInerney, said she is proud of her son’s accomplishments.

“My heart was just pounding out of my chest, feeling almost nervous for him and how he was feeling in the car,” she said.

With a quiet confidence, Walker aims to accomplish what no other Canadian driver has done before: win a world title. He will be racing in the local category at the world meet.

“Put your head down because it is more aerodynamic, and the wind just blows off of your head,” he said, adding that the experience “is going to be pretty great” no matter what the outcome.

Grace McColluch, a member of the pit crew that cheered on the derby driver and pushed his car back into position after every race, said “it is really hard, but it is all worth it to watch your teammates do all this stuff and Walker win and everything.”

“It is a great honour to be in the pit crew,” McColluch said.

When Walker heads to the world championships, he won’t have his pit crew by his side. But McColluch said they cheer him on, hoping he can defy the odds once again and bring a coveted world title north of the border.

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