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May 13, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Thirty-six youngsters ages 8 to 17  will race on Saturday, May 21, as they compete in the 9th Annual Drew Ford/Kiwanis Club of La Mesa Soap Box Derby.

The race cars, which are built from kits, achieve 24 mph as the roll down Junior High Drive adjacent to Highwood Park and La Mesa Middle School.

The double-elimination races get underway about 9 am and continue until about 3 pm with trophy presentations.  Winners of the two divisions — stock and superstock — in this derby are sent by the club to Akron, Ohio, to compete in the National All-American Soap Box Derby in July.

Derby Director Dennis Wilkes termed this event the “local race”  as contrasted with the two Rally Races conducted by the La Mesa Kiwanis Club each year in November and March.  “Our local race is the big one,” Wilkes said.  “We send the winners, along with their cars and one parent, to Akron for a week, while our Rally Races in March and November are opportunities for the kids to gain experience and confidence.”  

The public is invited to come watch the races.  Support of the business community is vital to the continuation of the family-oriented event.

“We really appreciate the support of Drew Ford, our title sponsor, and the many other businesses and individuials who sponsor a race car or place an advertisement in the derby program booklet,” Wilkes emphasized.

To enter the May 21 derby, sponsor a car, or advertise at the event 

contact Wilkes at 619-469-7353 ordwilkes1@cox.net.

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