WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — It was a busy day for some competitive drivers in our area, and we’re not talking about Pocono Raceway.
Ten-year-old Ryan Hunsberger from Williamsport participated in his first soap box derby Saturday and agreed to let Newswatch 16 tag along for the ride down Market Street in Williamsport.
“You’re supposed to tuck your head down, and you don’t ride the break really, and you always want to stay straight,” Hunsberger explained.
Hunsberger and 63 other boys and girls all took to the pavement, racing derby cars they had to put together themselves. The stock cars, with the driver inside, weigh 200 pounds, while the super stock weighs 240 pounds.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Williamsport Soap Box Derby. It was a tradition from race director Jim Campbell’s childhood he wanted others to be able to experience.
“We returned it in 2010, and we did that thinking there would be community interest in soap box derby racing again here in Williamsport,” said Campbell.
While there is a competitive nature to the races—the winner of the stock and super stock heats will race later this summer in Akron, Ohio—the spirit of the event is all in fun.
“It’s a family event. It’s intended to be fun. We have a mission statement that says we are trying to provide a meaningful, positive, experience for children,” explained Campbell.
And while Ryan Hunsberger didn’t win Saturday’s soap box derby, he says he will definitely be entering next year.