Racers get thumbs up for going downhill

"It is cool and exciting and sometimes scary," she said.

She was hooked on the idea of racing ever since she first saw the car she said.

"My dad showed me the shell and I was like, 'Oh, cool!'" she said.

Burgdick said she enjoyed racing in the local races, and sometimes it is more of a challenge than Akron.

"The road by the museum is really, really, bumpy," Burgdick said.

Michael Morawski, who made it to Akron in the stock division in 2006, said he experienced a roller coaster of emotions before racing in the championship.

"I really wasn't nervous, but once you get on the block you get pretty nervous," he said.

Michael said teamwork is one of the most important aspects of racing.

"It really matters if you have people that work well together," he said.

Christine Morawski, an inspector in the Capital District derby, and Steve Burdgick, an engineer, are the parents of the respective winners. They explained the strategy for a successful run:

"You have to follow either the curve of the track or get away from the bumps. They have to be very good at what they do," Steve said.

"[Ally's] a very good driver," he added.

Christine Morawski explained how the bumps, cracks and weather conditions will affect each lane and each driver's strategy.

"Each lane has an ideal run," she said. "It's knowing where to drive on that lane and doing it."

The cars adjustments, such as routine alignments, depend on communication between the driver and the pit crew to determine what needs fixing.

"Even one-sixteenth of an inch is going to make a difference," she said.

Steve comes from a long tradition of boxcar derby racers. He said his dad is responsible for getting him started and his sister, brother as well as him have all competed in the championship in Akron. His brother even won once.

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