ANDERSON, Ind. — The Anderson Soap Box Derby program got a shot in the arm recently from the city, just in time for today’s All-American Local race.
That shot came in the form of the City of Anderson re-paving the soap box derby track located at 2 N. Madison Avenue.
“This is the biggest thing that has happened for us in I don’t know how long,” derby director Rick Isom said. “Just this little shot in the arm will help us immensely.”
The track faced major issues in the area where racers brake their derby cars. The pavement had sunk over the years, creating dips toward the end of the track.
Derby cars stop when the driver puts a rubber plunger down under the car. The plunger scrapes the ground and slows the car down. While the cars can travel over almost any terrain, the dips posed a major problem for the plungers, breaking both them and entire cars and exposing drivers to danger.
“The biggest issue was safety,” Isom said. “This is really a turn in the right direction for us.”
Isom said the club has reached out to Anderson administrations in the past for help with the track, and this year the city and Mayor Kevin Smith were very receptive to the idea.
“Kudos to this administration,” Isom said. “The mayor was very interested to help us out and to do what the city could do. We need city involvement and then involvement from parents and kids in the area.”
Repairing the derby track fits in with Smith’s comprehensive plan for Anderson.
“The mayor’s office focuses on activities for kids and activities that bring kids and their families together,” spokeswoman Charlee Turner said. “The soap box derby program is an organization that aims to do that and improves the quality of life of the community.”