SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –“I just want to try to beat people,” said Jamal, a Soap Box Derby competitor.
“I’m looking forward to winning this year,” said Khaleed Abrahams, Soap Box Derby competitor.
The Capital Region Soap Box Derby puts kid drivers against each other for a shot at heading to the World Championships in Akron, Ohio. All of these racers were hoping to punch their ticket.
“I’ve done nothing like this before so it’s going to be cool,” said Shaunaisha, Soap Box Derby competitor.
“I love the competition. I love that everyone has an equal chance of racing and winning,” said Taylor Vandenburg, a 9-year-old Box Derby participant.
Taylor Vandenburg has been to the championships in Akron twice. She built her car with her dad, who made it to the championships back in 1967.
“You get kind of an ego boost. You’re like oh this is my car, it’s so pretty. But then you’re like it’s competition, I have to make sure I’m doing what I need to do. It’s like any other sport,” said Vandenburg.
Some of these cars are individually owned and others are sponsored. A local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has a soap box team and they sponsored nine cars.
“The kids are learning discipline. They are learning how to compete; they are learning how to work with stem, science, technology, engineering and math. They are learning about the physics of gravity and racing and they are learning how to be competitors out here, which is important,” said Orville Abrahams, team leader of Alpha Phi Alpha George Biddle Kelly Soap Box Team.
Race Director Ginger Miller said each car is held to strict regulations and safety guidelines, which caused races to be decided by just fractions of a second.
“It’s bringing families together. It’s something that the family has to do altogether, all year long. We have meetings, different functions like the parades, and the fairs. It’s really great all the way around,” said Miller.