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McCordsville kindergartners race in cardboard box cars in the 'Kindy 500'

The kids decorated cardboard cars at home, then wore them for a running race for the title.

MCCORDSVILLE, Ind. — Call it the "Greatest Spectacle in Cuteness."

The "Kindy 500" at McCordsville Elementary School Friday morning featured 120 kindergartners running races against their classmates while wearing cardboard boxes decorated to look like race cars.   

"Kids take the boxes home with their families," said kindergarten lead teacher Courtney Treon. "They decorate the boxes however they like to show their personalities."

This is the seventh year for the Kindy 500 at McCordsville Elementary. Every kindergartener designs a cardboard box race car, then tries to race to the head of their class. 

Seven-year-old Whistler Johnson won her class race while wearing a bright yellow car decorated with flowers.   

"It's a car but with flowers because it's a daisy car," Johnson explained.

Veteran race announcer Paul Page served as emcee for heat races in each class, while 500 Festival princesses cheered on the racers.

"Community is one of our life skills that we teach — how things that you learn in kindergarten are going to help you in life," Treon said. "So, we just decided that that would be a great way to show them how proud we are of Indiana and celebrate it with our own version of the Indy 500."

The winner in each class qualified for the final race. Six-year-old Austin Skaggs won the Kindy 500 in a Pacers-themed car.

"I designed the Pacers car because my brother had it last year and he won with it," Skaggs said.

Credit: WTHR/Rich Nye
Austin Skaggs, a kindergartner at McCordsville Elementary School, won the Kindy 500 championship on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Skaggs received a trophy, an Indy 500 flag, and of course, a bottle of milk to celebrate his victory. 

Skaggs said he doesn't want to drive a real race car. 

"It's going to slow me down," Skaggs said. "I'm way faster when I don't have a car."

That's true when your race car is cardboard box with shoulder straps you have to carry across the finish line.

MORE: 500 Festival Parade tickets on sale


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