Soap Box Derby Takes Over State Street - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Soap Box Derby Takes Over State Street

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Soap box derby cars took over part State Street Saturday afternoon.

46 cars cruised down the east lane near 38th Street for the Erie All-American Soap Box Derby, all contending for a spot at the First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship in Akron, Ohio.

Kids and teens ages 7 to 17-years-old competed in three different divisions; stock, super-stock and masters. Associate Derby Director Adam Johnson says it takes months of preparation for the once-a-year event.

"To build a brand new kit and car is usually anywhere 10 to 15 hours with the kids' help," Johnson explained. "And then the masters cars obviously take a little bit more time. They're around 50 to 100 hours."
 
Building a car isn't the only difficult part of the derby, maneuvering down the street takes practice and patience.

"The hardest part is the bending your legs," said derby racer Devin Pitt."The steering is kind of hard because you have to keep it right where you want it," said derby racer Adam Johnson." Christian Jeffery said, "You have to see through a tiny hole so it's kind of hard to see, and breaking."

For many, the Erie All-American is a tradition that spans back generations.

"My family has been involved for 22 years now I believe; it's just a tradition," said Johnson. "We've got a lot of family members racing today and keeping the younger generations coming through is a good thing."

One winner from each division will represent Erie at the world championship coming up in July.
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