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February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – By affiliating with National Derby Rallies (NDR), the Drew Ford/Kiwanis Club of La Mesa Soap Box Derby Rally Races set for March 2 and 3 on Junior High Drive in La Mesa, will allow drivers up to age 21 – if they can still fit in the race cars. The cut-off with All American Soap Box Derby is age 17.

“By affiliating with NDR, we are also gaining exposure of our La Mesa races to the NDR family of soap box derby,” said Derby Director Steve Blake.  “NDR, which is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, focuses on rally races.

By upping the age range, NDR also extends the number of years young people can participate.  “As long as they can reasonably and safely operate their cars,” Blake added.

Also for the March 2 and 3 races, a new and more precise electronic timer system will add to the excitement of each two-car heat.  Plus, by the time of the annual local race May 18, the electronic timer system will incorporate a flashing red light to indicate the winner.

“Our racers have always been timed electronically,” stated Blake.  “But for the May race we will have the added feature of a flashing red light over the winner’s lane.  It should be a lot of fun for the drivers.”

The derby operates as a double-elimination tournament, with cars changing lanes and the winner being determined by the greatest time difference between each pair.  Then there is a winners bracket and a losers bracket in each of the three divisions – stock, super stock, and masters, Blake explained.

“Rally races are a great opportunity for the kids and their families to gain experience in participating in the event and in steering and braking the race car,” Blake said.

La Mesa’s rally races draw entrants from throughout Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.  Rally races take place in November and March, while the Local Annual All-American Soap Box Derby, which is open to East County residents only, is held in May.

Division winners of the local May race, are eligible to compete in the National All American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, in late July.

The public is invited to come and watch this traditional American family event.  For information, contact Blake at 619-461-1608.


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