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Mar 2019

Good News Church Holds their 20th Annual Derby!

Good News church holds their 20th annual derby – March 2, 2019

BY ROBERT P. BRITTON JR.

On Friday, March 1st, 2019, Dennis Painter was busy preparing for the weekend of Derby fun at Good News Church in Hockessin, DE. For over 20 years now, Good News Church has been holding annual derby races, inviting participants from within the church and even outside of the church to participate. Men and boys, fathers and sons, girls and their dads…all were welcome to participate.

There was a lot of work Dennis and his team had to do in order to prepare for their 20th annual Shape-N-Race (now called StocKar Derby). Tables and chairs were setup. Checkered flags and table coverings were set out along with posters and signs to set the stage. His team brought out their derby race track from storage and put it together. The push button starter and electronic finish line were connected. The track, made of wood, was dusted and examined. Multiple test heats were run to ensure that the track was fully operational.

Dennis knew that many racers took the competition seriously. He knew that many derby teams spent many hours designing and building their cars, ensuring that adequate weight was added, that their cars were aerodynamically designed, and that their car’s wheels and axles had as little friction as possible.  He knew that the competitors wanted to win and he needed to ensure that all the equipment was in good working order. But he also knew that all in attendance wanted to have a great, shared experience together.

At 7:00pm, the invitation for racers had gone out and many racers began to show up. Tonight, they could begin running test heats to ensure their derby cars were optimized and functional. Some die hard racers ran their cars several times, putting their designs and car builds through the paces. Some ran their cars a couple of times, while some derby racers didn’t bother to show up to test their cars ahead of time. The men of Good News liked to teach about the importance of being prepared. They went out of their way to help the young ones learn some important life and Bible lessons through StocKar Derby. After all, the Derby event was more than just about racing cars. It was about faith, family, and fun, and so many teachable moments to help mentor and disciple their youth.

Arden Musselman, Regional Director of CSB Ministries, was in attendance this night. Pledges to the flags and to the Bible were said to open the night just as they do every Friday night. Arden spoke for a few moments about Christian Service Brigade and about Camp Haycock.  Then Friday evening came to close. Racers went home thinking of the exciting day ahead, dreaming and hoping of racing victory (and of winning trophies!)

 (Check out this handsome hopeful derby winner who’s eagerly anticipating the races!)

 

Saturday morning, March 2nd, at 9:00am, the room was filled with eager racers and participants. The room was buzzing with energy and anticipation.

Dennis gave an introduction for the race. A prayer was said by the church’s Director of Outreach, and the theme verse as read out loud. It was Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

There were over sixty racers in attendance. Dennis and the team had opened up the event to racers of all ages and sexes.

There were four divisions:

  • Little Kids (0-Kindergarten)
  • Stockade (1st grade thru 6th grade)
  • JHSH (junior high and senior high)
  • Big Kids (Above high school thru 100 years

Dennis said they even had one racer who was 94 years old who was racing this day!

Racers and audience members grab snacks from a Snack Room…goodies of all kinds from doughnuts, bagels, cookies, milk, and coffee for all.

The races took place in multiple heats. Greg Baker was the MC for the morning. Greg was a long time leader of Good News Church’s derbies, but was also Battalion Captain of the church’s Christian Service Brigade Unit #7660. (Christian Service Brigade is an inter-generational men’s ministry focusing on the mentoring and discipleship of boys and young men.) Greg’s Battalion and Stockade staff were buzzing around the racing area helping to support the event.  There were shouts of joy from victors, and there was some disappointment, too, from competitors who’s cars did not fare as well as they had hoped.

After the main heats,  winners were awarded trophies and ribbons. Dennis awarded medals which were given out for Best Design, Best Finish, and Best Theme. After the winners were determined, a Grand Finals race was held where the top three from each division race and Grand Finals winners are determined. An additional set of trophies were awarded to the Grand Finals winners and Corn Timers were to the slowest car of each division.

The event came to an end at 10:45am. A few stayed behind to help clean up…the roar and cheers of the racers and the audience participants still pleasantly replaying in their heads as they broke the equipment down and put it all back into storage. 

It was 12:15 pm when Dennis and the team turned off the lights and locked the doors. They had survived another year…their twentieth. But they left with a heart full of joy and contentment. Yes, it was a lot of hard work, and many weeks of preparation and effort leading up to today’s derby. But for Dennis and his team, it was a chance to serve, to mentor, to teach, and to disciple. Derby races were a lot of fun. But deep down, it was truly about sharing time together in faith, family and in fun. More than that, it was an opportunity to help build up the church’s youth and to give them great memories as well as teachings to better equip them in their lives.

 

 

 Dennis shared a photo from the previous year’s Derby Half-time show where Greg Baker setup a loop-the-loop and ran several derby cars through the flexible track! The launch was over ten feet up and the derby cars careened down the track, circled the loop and sped off the exit ramp!)

 

A special SHOUT OUT to Dennis Painter, Greg Baker, and his team of young men. We congratulate you on your twentieth derby and hope and pray you have many more years of derby fun!

(Below: some photos of the weekend’s derby event.)

Footnote:

StocKar Derby is the new name of what previously had been known as Shape-N-Race. While some may think StocKar Derby is the same as  what Boy Scouts refer to as Pinewood Derby, it is much more. StocKar Derby uses the fun activities of designing, building and racing pine wood derby cars, but incorporates mentoring and discipleship lessons into it. There are many teachable moments in StocKar Derby. We like to say that “StocKar Derby is about the boy having fun designing, building and racing a derby car, while the man helps to build the boy into a godly man.” StocKar Derby encourages men to actively engage in the mentoring and the discipleship of youth through the fun activities of StocKar Derby.