HOLLINS, Va. (WFXR) — This was a big weekend of Soap Box Derby racing in the Roanoke area. The annual Star City Soap Box Derby Fall Rally was run on Saturday and Sunday in Roanoke County. Gravity racers from around the country converged on the Star City track at Walrond Park in Hollins.
While many are familiar with the local annual race to qualify for the All-American Soap Box Derby national championship in Akron, Ohio, there are soap box racing events year-round.
“We have rally season from August to May,” said Star City Soap Box Derby Director Brianna Waldron. “That’s when we have races all over the country that you can travel to and get points.”
Those points are used to qualify for the All-American competition held every July in Akron, Ohio.
In addition to putting the Soap Box spotlight on the Roanoke region, it also means an influx of tourist dollars. The dozens of racers and their teams mean dollars spent on lodging and hospitality in the area.
A number of national champions raced in the Star City event. Roanoke had three local champions advance to the All-American Soap Box Derby over the summer.
Soap box racing is a STEM-based competition for children and young adults. There are no engines used in the cars. They race downhill with only gravity to propel them. A driver’s skill and aerodynamics determine the speed and the ability to win.