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THE INDIANAPOLIS SOAP BOX DERBY

One racer's passion for a lost art
December 7, 2011

In Indianapolis, the Soap Box Derby, a sport where children and teens race motorless cars down a sloped track, has been active since 1936, just two years after the race began in Ohio.

The Derby came to Y-Press' attention this fall when actor/director Corbin Bernsen came to town to promote his film 25 Hill Bernsen was inspired to make the film, in which a boy racer saves the national All-American Soap Box Derby from financial collapse, when he read about the Derby's real debt woes. 

Y-Press journalists visited the local race track at Major Taylor Velodrome Park on an October Sunday where kids were practicing their racing skills in cars they built. They spoke with 17-year-old Katherine "Kat" Cole of Westfield, Ind. about her passion for the Derby, her family's history of racing, and the special considerations of a race where everything is based on physics. Kat competed in the 2011 world championship at the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, where she made it into one of the race's final rounds.

Copyright 2011 Y-Press

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