Southeast Texas Soap Box Derby awarded top honors

Southeast Texas Soap Box Derby awarded top honors

The winner of the Spindletop Rotary Club’s Annual Soap Box Derby has taken fourth place in an international competition. Ruben Navarro of Austin represented the club in Akron, Ohio, in July at the 80th International All American Soap Box Derby Championship.

Spindletop Rotary hosts the regional race as its club project each year. By winning in the local competition, Navarro was one of three local derby division champions who traveled to Akron for the international races. Kids from 110 cities around the U.S. represented their communities in the week-long event, culminating with the championship races Saturday, July 22. The Spindletop Rotary Club was also recognized as Outstanding Race Organization, an award presented to only seven of the 110 race cities represented. Spindletop Race director Bobby Chapman was also recognized as Outstanding Race Director.

The Spindletop Club hosts the Southeast Texas Soap Box Derby each year in May. This year’s derby was the only All American Soap Box Derby-sanctioned race in the state of Texas. Children ages 7-18 build cars with the assistance of an adult mentor and bring them to race during the Derby.

With no hills in Beaumont, late club president Jack Hauser had to convince the city of Beaumont to close the Maury Meyers Bridge over I-10 for the annual race. This bridge gives the club the 1,000 feet of track racers need in order to pick up speed to get across the finish line.