Open house planned at Derby Park
By BOB RUGGIERO
Northwest Harris County residents can view the new Soap Box Derby track during an open house Saturday, Feb. 20, at Hockley Derby Park.
Residents can take guided tours of the track and view an array of Soap Box Derby cars during the free event hosted by the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby Association. Residents can learn about participating, volunteering and Derby history.
The course, which was built by Precinct 3 and will host its first races on March 27, features a two-lane track with an almost 50-foot incline from top to bottom and a course length of 950 feet.
I am really excited to go down that hill for the first time," said 9-year-old racer Steven Stolz.
I can't wait."
Steven's dad, David Stolz, is just as anxious as his son to put wheel to asphalt.
Unlike a lot of sport activities, parents don't just sit on the sidelines we're right in there with them, experiencing everything," he said.
Rick Higginbotham, president of the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby, estimates there are 60 active racers in Houston, though the number should increase with the opening of the track.
Having a permanent hill is a big deal," he said. And organizers at the national level who have seen the track are amazed."
The Hockley track is a replica of the one in Akron, Ohio, where the World Championships contests are held each July.
Higginbotham said it will allow Houston-area kids to train to compete on the national level, and is a step up from racing on a railroad pass on Westpark.