The state of Maine Soap Box Derby Racing Program starts on top of a hill in Houlton Maine's Community Park.
"Derby Hill" is where Maine boys and girls gravity race kit cars in two lanes. The same racers swap derby car racing wheels and change lanes to run in a two phase "heat". The fastest time of the two runs means that car and driver move on. Rise in to another bracket to race again.
The kit cars for derby racing come from Akron Ohio, home of the well known, nationally famous All American Soap Box Derby Program. Each year updates for safety and to make sure the races are kept even, competitive and interesting happen. It means part purchases to comply with updates. Fund the national program.
Heat race phases are decided by thousandths of a second to keep it exciting.
The 74th All American Soap Box Derby Race is July 23rd, 2011. The first USA soap box derby race was held in 1934.
Houlton Maine's northern venue race program has been the largest in the country five years in a row and recognized by the All American headquarters in Akron Ohio. The Derby Hill specially engineer hill means set up and tear down of the course is quick, easy. More time can be spent on teching and chekcing. Helping new racers and whoever assisted them building the stock, superstock or master division racing cars. The Houlton Maine derby race also has a division for handicap, special need racers.Sponsors for Maine soap box derby racing cars are always sought. I am always impressed most with boys and girls that beat the pavement. Really work hard to secure more than just a few company, business sponsors for a ride. Those drivers stay in the program. After racing help out to keep our strong Maine derby program going too.
Click the link to watch, hear and take a Maine soap box derby ride down Derby Hill. Learn the "thrill of the hill". I am still involved with the local Maine soap box derby program. All four of my kids raced. We would do the local race, travel to derby rallies around New England with a special trailer loaded with up to five cars.
Daughter Amanda won the 1998 local, her brother Alex got the checkered flag in 2001. Each Houlton Mine race was the largest in the country with 180 and 172 total racers in each. Those were very big races. Took 60 race volunteers, many sponsors and plenty of planning meetings to pull off the event smoothly. Racing in the rain, hosting rally runs that are held under the stars. Or racing inside in a warehouse in the winter. It all means you and your drivers test positive for Derbymania.
It never goes away.
The sound of spinning wheels, leaving the launch on the top of a hill and watching a driver bent low behind the wheel to reduce wind drag. As he heads, drives to the outside lane cones efficiently, quickly to pick up speed from the crown of the road and the hill itself. I am excited to be helping in this weekend's Houlton Maine race. It's like NASCAR, except no smell of high octane gas, exhaust, or noise of high RPM blue printed, punched and ported engines. Gravity is your engine, friend or foe.