Quincy News

Record 210 entrants set for 14th Soap Box Derby

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 14, 2018 9:05 am

QUINCY -- A record number of entrants will roll down Derby Hill near Bob Mays Park on Friday and Saturday.

The Quincy Optimist Club's 14th annual Soap Box Derby boasts 210 entrees in its Super Stock, Stock and Super Kids divisions. Action begins about 9 a.m. each day, following warm-ups and opening ceremonies.

"This should be a remarkable weekend," said Ray Wilson, who has been involved with the event since 2005 and has served as director since 2012.

"This is the biggest derby we've had, and the response from sponsors and the community in general continues to be phenomenal."

Proceeds from the event go toward supporting Optimist Club-sponsored programs for youth.

The Super Kids class, which features youngsters with physical or emotional issues, has mushroomed to 97 entries, close to five times the size of its inaugural division of 21 in 2015.

The 60 Super Stock entrees is an event record, and the 53 Stock racers are two shy of a record for that division.

"I don't know how large this event will eventually be, but we're going to keep on building," Wilson said.

The Super Stock and Stock divisions will run Saturday on a longer course than is used for the Super Kids on Friday. Wilson said the 1,025-foot Super Stock and Stock course is believed to be the longest in the nation. The Super Kids' course is about 200 feet shorter.

Quincy drivers have dominated the Super Stock and Stock championships the past two years, sweeping both titles each year. Quincy drivers have won a combined 17 of 26 championships.

The only other town to produce more than one champion is Danville, Iowa, the home of brothers Cooper and Klayton Kleinkopf, who won the 2015 and 2014 Stock titles, respectively.

Klayton Kleinkopf, who is retired from racing, was inducted into the event's Hall of Fame last year. He is second on the derby's all-time victory list (30-14), one ahead of brother Cooper Kleinkopf (29-19), who is racing in both the Super Stock and Stock classes Saturday.

Kaelyn Hess (42-17), the all-time overall derby winner, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. She retired after last year's derby.

Phoenix Martinez, the all-time Super Kids winner (12-3), will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Quincy derby is the largest in the nation outside the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, which expects 400 entrants from 40 states in mid-July.

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