It’s time to ‘get on the soap box’

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 18, 2000

Features Editor

Dec. 18, 2000 10 PM

"Getting on a soap box" took on new meaning in Troy last year when the Troy Soap Box Derby Committee was organized and the first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Troy.

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Once again it’s time to get on your "soapbox" and start making plans to participate in the Troy Soap Box Derby 2001 which will be bigger and better than the inaugural event, said Nancy Brooks, derby director.

The Troy Soap Box Derby directors met Dec. 7

to make tentative plans for the 2001 derby. The directors set dates for ordering soap box cars and dates for construction clinics.

Soap box cars for all divisions must be ordered by Feb. 15, so Brooks said it is very important that all of those who wish to participate begin making plans now. Cars must be in-hand and ready to build by March 1, 2001 in order to qualify for this year’s race, March 31. The practice race has been set for March 24.

This year there will be a pre-race banquet March 30, which will include the introduction of last year’s Troy Soap Box Derby Champions, Ellen Dragsten and Austin Bennett, and the 2001 directors. Car numbers and heat/lane drawings will be held after the meal.

Brooks said, not only is the Soap Box Derby and exciting competition and a great learning experience for the drivers, it is also an opportunity to compete for $10,000 in college scholarships as they race in their home built, engine-less cars at

Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. The winners in each division in the Troy Soap Box Derby will qualify for the All-American Soap Box Derby 2001 in Akron in July.

The All-American Soap Box Derby began in 1933 and has seen cars go from pieced-together scrap heaps to sophisticated, kit-built racers.

Brooks said Akron has changed the minimum number of cars allowed to have a sanctioned race, up to 10 super stocks cars and 12 stock cars and raised the prices of all the kits.

"Right now we need five new entries in the stock car division and three in the super stock divisions," she said. "We have one master’s car entered and will need five more for that division."

The cost for stock and super stock kits will be $540 and master’s cars will be $600. The cars may be used for up to five years, but must be dismantled and "rebuilt" each year.

Brooks said corporate and business sponsors are welcomed.

"It will be great to see our business community involved in this very worthwhile youth program," she said. "However, parents and interested individuals are also encouraged to be sponsors."

Directors are urgently needed to help with anticipated increased interest this year. The next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Jan. 11, 2001 at Sanders Lead Company. All interested persons are invited to attend.