This past weekend the 17th annual Maine State Soap Box Derby Race was held in Houlton Maine.
Rain was not a factor, winners in the stock and super stock divisions were created to represent the state of Maine in Akron Ohio's World Series of downhill kit car gravity racing.
Highlights of the Maine soap box derby car race on Derby Hill in Houlton Maine.
Had six kids to sheperd in this years soap box derby along with two other adults that shared the chores of getting cars and drivers ready to race.
To learn the "thrill of the hill".
A specially engineered 900 foot long two lane hill course that requires no set up and tear down like in a local street situation that has to get blocked off for public use for a time.
With a brand new Rotary club sponsored garage topside to protect kids and derby volunteers from the elements that can put a strain on a race.
There is nothing like the experience of working with a brand new green eight year old racer who is a tad scared, butterfly in the stomach timid of that big long, fast hill.
And overcoming the fear, and as you crouch beside the car with the new Maine soap box derby race driver in the gates for a heat phase of the race.
As after you make your their brake works, steering wheel is straight, their helmet is tight enough to not drop down over their eyes in the race, their hair tucked back, you hear the gate launch operator ask if everyone is ready.
The helmeted driver in race position.
Looking straight down the hill with a serious expression.
And when the "3, 2" and then "1" is said before the lever is pulled you see the biggest grin suddenly blossom, explode on the face of the driver.
Because they have conquered fear and have developed passion, joy and the true spirit of competitive derby racing.
That's why the volunteers, the zoo crew, all the support of the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby group do it.
And have as much fun as the kids in the race that started back in 1996.
And was the largest race in the country five years in a row in a little Maine town of 6700 people and close to 200 sponsored derby racing cars of all colors, personalities just like NASCAR. Maine, big state, fewer people but nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer who pitches in, serves the local home grown community events.