Logan and Nicholas Gongaware pulled off a rare feat Saturday at Derby Downs.

The 11-year-old twins from Perry Township raced against each other — something that hasn’t happened in the Akron Area Soap Box Derby for at least 50 years, organizers said.

“It’s like competing against yourself,” Nicholas said afterward.

“It’s always going to be close because we’re twins,” Logan added.

In their head-to-head battle, Logan edged Nicholas in the suburban stock division. Logan ended up finishing fourth overall, while Nicholas was sixth.

Parents Lee and Tammie Gongaware have to play it straight when the two are racing each other.

“You can’t cheer for either one,” Tammie said. “You just try to be fair.”

Nicholas and Logan claimed that going head to head was like competing against any other racer. But both smiled and laughed when asked if it’s more special beating each other.

Of course, there can be temporary hard feelings whenever they compete.

“The other one is mad for a week, or two weeks, and they hate you for a while until they beat you and then they get happy,” Logan said laughing.

Akron Derby President Jeff Iula, co-author of the book How I Saw It: My Photographic Memory of the Soap Box Derby, couldn’t recall twins competing against each other in Akron since the 1960s.

While Nicholas and Logan didn’t win the stock division, both will be back at the 77th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby on July 26 in the rally division.

“We are looking forward to it,” Nicholas said.

Their sister, Megan, 16, also has qualified with rally points and will be at All-American. She finished third Saturday in the super stock division.

Overall, about 40 cars were entered in the suburban competition.

The local champions were:

•?Amy Getz, 12, of North Canton, in the stock division.

•?Stephanie Getz, 13, of North Canton, in the super stock division. The Getzes are sisters and it’s the first time since 2001 that local siblings qualified as champions for the All-American race.

•?Sarah Whitaker, 15, of Norton, in the masters division. She is a 2009 world champion.

Two more local champions will be determined today as qualifying continues with the metro stock and super stock races.

The competition is expected to begin around 9 a.m. at Derby Downs. The races are free to the public.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.