The 19th local soap box derby race for the Northern Maine area is this weekend.
Today stock and super stock cars are inspected for safety and rule compliance for fair competitive racing. Drivers, especially new ones are given race instructions. What to expect for the big race Saturday is discussed one on one as the cars are checked over.
Trial runs for first time drivers also help ease the derby car racing jitters.
Butterflies, nervousness quickly disappears by the time the driver and car are released from the gates Topside. To when members of the zoo crew shout “BRAKE” at the bottom finish line. As the pair cross over, run through the electronic timer area.
There used to be five soap box derby race locals in Maine.
Houlton Maine is the lone wolf now. It’s 19th year for a race is due to a couple factors. After earning the largest soap box derby race city award five years straight, the momentum continues. From days of close to 200 cars loaded into the starting gates, the interest to continue the tradition has not died off.
Building our own race hill and avoiding the cumbersome, manpower hungry job of taking over a public street. Setting up and the tear down to restore a neighborhood location is one big logistically feat.
By having our own engineered Derby Hill, the running a race is simplified. The program does not suffer burn out from worn out committee members developing hernias with all the lugging, tugging, racing to make the race happen year after year.
Built specifically for running a smooth, safe Maine soap box derby race.
With easy set up, tear down. Storage of race equipment, materials in a specially built garage Topside in the staging area of the derby race in the Shiretown of Aroostook County each June. And for rally races in spring and fall on the same asphalt lanes.
So concentrating on just the soap box derby race itself details get all the attention when you have a hill idling.
Not lugging barriers off site, setting up detours around a public street course. Everything transported to the chosen hill in a small Maine town. That cross country caravan of resources and time consumption is delightfully missing.
That major effort is all removed, thankfully gone. When your hill is waiting, always ready to go go go. With a little preliminary house keeping that can be done with a small team of seasoned derby committee members.
Race winners are decided by individual times in heats A and B.
Where lane 1 and 2 drivers work hard to get to the bottom of the hill first. The driver with the fastest, best time in averaging two heats where drivers swap lanes and wheels, is the winner. Advances from that race bracket up the ladder to the next pairing.
With the eventual winner of the local Maine state soap box derby racing getting to head to Akron, Ohio. For the All American Soap Box Derby world series of downhill kit car racing. A national tradition since 1934. Right up there with hot dogs, baseball, Chevrolet.
The Houlton Maine soap box derby race started with a spark from watching one held on a hill in Camden Maine.
Their race program funded with seed money, $20,000 from MBNA, the credit card financial company during it’s hay day in Maine. Soon soap box derby car race locals in Camden, Houlton, South Portand, Rumford and Brewer Maine were rolling. Good luck to all racers in the big state race in Houlton Maine this weekend. Learn more about the Houlton Maine derby race.