La Mesa Races Adding Instant Digital Results

LA MESA -- Steering a Soap Box Derby race car downhill just got a little more exciting for kids in San Diego East County.

Zipping down the race course on Junior High Drive adjacent to La Mesa Middle School on Saturday, May 18, each driver’s finish time will be displayed in digital lights over their lanes, giving an extra thrill to family and friends at the top of the hill. The heats will get underway around 9 am after each car and driver is weighed in, and continue to the trophy presentations at around 5 pm.

La Mesa Kiwanis Club member and Derby Director Steve Blake (photo left) explains: “Ours is a double-bracket derby, meaning in each heat two drivers compete, the time difference is recorded, they switch lanes, and race each other again. The winner of the heat continues in the winner’s bracket, the loser goes to the loser’s bracket. Eventually the winners of both brackets race each other in the final heat for the division — stock or superstock.

“Having their race times in digital lights over their lanes will give the scorekeepers— as well as the families and friends — instant awareness of the times of each driver,” he said, adding that this is the first time the La Mesa Derby will use the digital display.

Winners of the May 18 Local Race will be eligible to be sent to the National All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, which takes place during the last week of July each year.

Sponsored by Drew Ford and conducted by the Kiwanis Club of La Mesa for the past 13 years, the Annual Local All-American Soap Box Derby is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 17 who reside in East County.

The club conducts rally races each year as well, when competitors come from communities throughout Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Competing in the rally races provides valuable experience and builds confidence in the drivers.

To sponsor a race car or enter the derby, contact Blake at 619-461-1608.

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Tags: La Mesa Kiwanis, La Mesa Soap Box Derby, La Mesa news,, Steve Blake


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