It's soap box derby time
     2013-06-13      By Elizabeth Gross    elizabethgross@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Derby driver Olivia Albright zips past the competition in her stock car at a race last year held at the monument. Albright was one of 15 racers to take to the slope for an old-fashioned derby. The Oregon Trail Soap Box Derby Club plans to participate in three races this season, and members compete for the chance to advance to the National Soap Box Derby race in Akron, Ohio. 
The season has begun for the pine box racers of the Oregon Trail Soap Box Derby. The club is looking up to having another successful season. Last summer, racers took to the Monument for the Gering 125th birthday celebration and sent racer T.J. Albright to the National Derby Race in Akron, Ohio.

“We have a bunch of new kids this year,” said Terry Schank. The group has picked up at least five more racers this season. There are a total of 25 racers in both the stock and super stock division. They are a little light on Super Stock racers this year. The Super Stock division is a larger car for children between the ages of 10 to 16. There needs to be a total of 13 in the Super Stock division in order for those racers to qualify for Nationals.

The group has three races planned for this season. June 22 will be the local race. Members of the Oregon Trail Soap Box Derby compete for the chance to advance to the National Soap Box Derby race in Akron, Ohio. The season may have started but there is still time to get involved. The deadline has passed for the local race but racers can still get involved with the other two races. Car kits are still available for those who wish to sponsor a racer or get involved.

July 20-21 and Aug.17-18 will be open races. These races allow contenders to gain points by placing. If they are able to gain enough points they can qualify for the national race.

It’s been an ongoing project to try and get the track in good shape. This year they were able to get the track overlaid but always have projects going on. The group hopes to get bleachers for spectators and a bathroom. If you would like to help, they will be doing a banner fundraiser again this season. For $300 companies can purchase a vinyl banner that will be on display during every race. The group could always use volunteers to help during the races. It takes about 10-15 people to help make a race run smoothly.

The soap box derby track is located on Highland Road on County Road 22 at the corner of Lacy Park. For more information or help sponsor the group call Terry Schank at (308) 631-0171 or Louis Spencer at (308) 631-7049.



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