Posted by: gbake783 | February 27, 2011

AWANA Grand Prix Part Deux

On Saturday our AWANA club hosted its annual Grand Prix. For those who don’t know, kids (supposedly) race toy cars made from pinewood – prizes are awarded for the fastest and the best designed. In a previous post, I noted that Neil Armstrong and I were helping four youngsters. Since the experience of exactly one AWANA Grand Prix was enough to humble my speed aspirations, I convinced the kids that we wanted to ride the ramp with style, not speed. And everyone seemed good with that. We’d rather be cool than fast. Right? 

It didn’t take long to discover one immutible truth: both kids and Pastor Greg wanted to be cool AND fast. Some cars yesterday proved one can be both. Our’s, unfortunately, did not.

Jeffrey, the youngest, was in the first heat. The starting blocks dropped, the cars zoomed down the ramp,  hit the flat . . . . and Jeffrey’s stopped. Literally. The car skidded to a halt five feet or so from the finish line. Jeffrey looked at me like I’d failed him. And, frankly, I had. No worries, Luis’s car, the Tiger, was up next. But El Tigre stopped  short , too. Then Sonia’s Heart Car crawled across, barely, and in last place.

Panic time. 

So, before Cisco’s Shark Car even had the opportunity to take the Stop of Shame, I did what any good pastor would do: I cheated. Kind of. I wanted to make some adjustments to the wheels just to compete. Not win. Just finish. The AWANA Commander warned me that if I did, they’d be disqualified from the speed division.

“Um, Steve. I understand your concern, but we just recorded two DNFs and a last. I don’t think any of the other kids (or their dads) are about to file a formal protest.” We could’ve strapped a rocket to the back of Cisco’s and it wouldn’t have made much difference.

Neil and I pulled off each wheel, scraped the axles clean, emptied almost the entire bottle of graphite (lubricant), re-glued the axles and told the kids to have at it. Bingo! All the cars finished from that point forward (the Baker Racing Team sets modest goals). And Jeffrey’s even won a heat.

Like I said before, we were shooting for the design award. And design awards (note the plural) we got! Jeffrey got second in Sparks for his tricked out SUV and Luis was second in T&T for El Tigre. We might have scored another trophy, but Sonia’s, Luis’s, and Cisco’s were all the same category.

Below are the pics with the kiddos, their cars, and their trophies. We had a great time. Thanks to all the volunteers who made the Grand Prix happen. It was awesome.

And, yes, I spent all day thinking about how I, er, the kids can win a speed trophy next year.

(from the left) Luis, Jeffrey, Cisco, Sonia, and Neil Armstrong next to me in the back. Yep, those are not one, but two trophies.



  1. Congrats to Neil, Pastor Dr. Baker, and the kids!

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