Editors Note: One day after this story was printed, it was learned that Mark Takourians winning car had been disqualified by the Port Jervis Soap Box Derby directors due to multiple rules violations.
Among them were bolts that had been recessed into the cars floorboards and airfoils on the front of the axles that had been sanded down.
In addition, Takourians car lacked a required adjustable weight bolt and the nose of the cars shell was not placed flush against the front of the floorboard as the rules stipulate.
Takourian was asked to return all of his prizes a trophy, championship banner and bicycle as well as hotel expenses and $500 spending money for the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.
The second place finisher to Takourian in the Port Jervis Soap Box Derbys Super Stock Division, 11-year-old Alec Martell of Port Jervis, will now represent the city in Akron. That national competition is scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 30.
By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY June 28, 2005 Winning is becoming a tradition in the Takourian family.
On June 12, 13-year-old Mark Takourian and his 9-year-old brother Robert, both of whom live in White Lake with their parents Gary and Monica Takourian, participated in the Sixth Annual Port Jervis Soap Box Derby City Championship.
From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on that Sunday, the brothers joined scores of other young area competitors in racing down Essex Street in Port Jervis. Mark was a perfect 12-0 in heat races in the Super Stock Division. As a result, he claimed that divisions overall championship.
Robert placed 10th overall in the Stock Division.
After earning second place finishes in the Stock Division last year and in 2003, Mark moved up to the Super Stock Division this year.
Clearly, Mark, who recently completed the seventh grade, quickly adjusted to the new division.
It was fun, he said of winning the Super Stock title.
Gary Takourian noted it is the first time that a Sullivan County racer has won the Port Jervis city championship.
By winning the Port Jervis Super Stock title, Mark Takourian qualified for the NASCAR-sponsored All-American Soap Box Derby, which will be held next month in Akron, Ohio.
There will be about 500 to 600 racers from all over the county there, Gary Takourian said.
While the Tarkourians were happy with the results on June 12 and are busily preparing for next months national competition in Akron, they noted that the recent Port Jervis championships were bittersweet for all of the competitors.
Before the races began, the event organizers held a special ceremony during which they planted a tree in honor of Elizabeth Boo Bisland, who passed away last August. The daughter of James and Tammy Bisland of Glen Spey, Boo competed in the Port Jervis Soapbox Derby in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
She always had a smile on her face, Mark Takourian said.
Mark added that Bislands brother Matthew raced in this years Port Jervis championships.