Derby racing returning to Flint's Cronin Derby Downs - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Derby racing returning to Flint's Cronin Derby Downs

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(07/24/12) - Forget about Daytona and Michigan International Speedway. Saturday morning, Flint's Cronin Derby Downs will see it's first derby racing action in nearly 20 years.

"It's going to be like the Indy 500. We're ready to see the kids coming down that hill," said Derby Promotional Committee Member Harold Woodson.

Bethel United Methodist Church is hosting its first ever Go-Kart Derby, and racers are ready to go.

"I'm going to come and hope to walk away with the first place trophy. On a good day, I can get this kart up to 30 mph," said derby participant Christopher Smiley Hall.

Cronin Downs is hidden behind Flint Southwestern Academy, and there's no denying that the track has seen better days. Organizers have been attracting plenty of attention while cleaning it up.

"Some people were jogging by the track yesterday, and one of the gentleman asked if he could ride one of our cars down the hill, so we let him take it down the hill. He was talking about how it used to be back in the day, and that's what we want, to relive how it used to be," Woodson said.

Cronin Downs was once a hot spot for derby, and the plan is for Saturday's event to be the first of many more to come.

"This is one of the best tracks around. It used to have the Soap Box Derby and this is a nice facility. We just want to restore it to where it was so kids can use it," Woodson said.

Crystal Thomas says just getting ready to race has been a bonding experience for her family.

"My husband helped my son build his car and my grandfather helped him paint it. It really brought a lot of great memories, so hopefully we can start a new tradition," Thomas said.

The competition is designed for kids ages eight to 16. Derby races begin at 9 Saturday morning, and Go-Karts will be available to borrow on site.

For more information, click HERE.

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