Saturday is Derby race day

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2005

The City of Troy along with the Troy Soapbox Derby will be play host to the Seventh Annual Soapbox Derby race this Saturday at 8 a.m. on the Elm Street Hill.

A group of 26 racers, ages 8 to 14, will compete in the down-hill race for a chance to represent Troy at the national competition in Akron, Ohio in July.

This year's competition will include two different classes of competition, Stock and Super Stock.

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"In Stock the car and driver cannot exceed 200 pounds," Nancy Brooks, race director of the Troy Soapbox Derby, said. "In Super Stock they cannot exceed 230 pounds."

In order to compete in the Soapbox Derby both the competitors and the sponsors have to go through a strict process.

"The kids who compete must build their own derby car, with the help of only one adult, out of the kits they bought from the National Soapbox Derby," Brooks said. "The City of Troy helps us out by paying the $1600 fee to be able to compete for a spot on the national level."

There are several different rules that the competitors must follow in order to compete. The cars are propelled by gravity only and must have both steering capabilities and brakes.

"It's going to be a double-elimination tournament," Brooks said. "There will be trophies for the first, second and third place winners and consolation prizes for everyone else."

The car kits that the kids use are made primarily of fiberglass. In order to be eligible for the national competition the local Soapbox Derby must use both the kits supplied by the National Soapbox Derby and its official rule book.

While the event has mostly been about families watching their children race, Brooks said that all are welcome.

"We want the whole community to come out and see what the kids have done," Brooks said. "They've worked hard to build their cars and the race is always exciting."

Admission to the event is free, but there will be charges for concessions.

"Everyone should bring a lawn chair and come enjoy a day of racing," Brooks said.

The Troy Soapbox Derby has also gotten some help from other organizations.

Randy Bryant, Troy University football kickers' coach, said nine members of the team have volunteered to assist with the Soapbox Derby.

"We'll have four player at the top of the Derby Hill and four at the bottom from 8 a.m. until noon," Bryant said. "They will help the kids move their cars and also put them on the truck and taking them off and with hauling them. These guys have volunteered because they want to help out and they'll have a lot of fun doing it."

According to Brooks, the Troy Police Department and the Chamber of Commerce have also helped out.

"We couldn't put this on if it weren't for the police helping us to close the road," Brooks said. "The Chamber has helped us with publicity and promotion and we're very grateful for their help as well."