LIMA — American tradition will roll into Lima’s Faurot Park this weekend with the annual Soap Box Derby.
“This is part of America, I think. It can’t get more American than the Soap Box Derby,” said director Steve Skinner.
Skinner never raced himself but got involved when his kids started racing and has been the director for seven years. He will have one daughter still competing in this year’s Stock Division.
“This event is generation after generation, it seems like,” Skinner said. “We have upwards of 15 people working the event that were previous racers. But we’ve got some new faces this year. I think there’s about five new cars this year.”
Racers have been competing in the Lima derby since 1934, and the event is part of the the nationwide All-American Soap Box Derby.
This year, 29 racers between the ages of 7 and 18 are registered for the two divisions, the Stock and Super Stock. The Masters Division, arranged for older, more experienced competitors between the age of 10 to 20, was eliminated due to low registration this year.
“To put this on, it’s about $8,000 to $10,000 a year,” Skinner said. “We have to buy the franchise fee from the All-American Soap Box Derby, and there’s a lot of work involved in just getting it ready and lining up the help.”
But the event coordinators aren’t the only ones putting in months of work for the derby.
Each racer is required to build their own soap box car or kit and pass a final inspection prior to the race. Each car in a division cannot exceed a certain weight combined between the weight of the car and the racer.
The winner of each division will advance to Akron for the world championships.
Further information on the Lima and All-American Soap Box Derby and registration forms can be found at www.limasoapboxderby.com.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.