Rim Country residents with a need for speed need only go as far as Green Valley Park. Soap box derby cars can go as fast as 35 mph.
On Saturday, June 10, the Payson Main Street Program, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Parks and Recreation Department will host the State Championship Soap Box Derby for the first time in Payson.
The race, which begins at 9 a.m. and takes place on Green Valley Parkway, is the official All American Qualifying Race to determine Arizona's entries into the July 22 National Soapbox Derby in Akron, Ohio.
Contestants from around the state, as well as Rim Country competitors, will participate in three divisions. So far, 22 competitors have registered and most of those are from the Rim Country.
Competing in the Soap Box Derby can be an expensive affair and cost prohibitive for many families. Car kits cost $500 with additional cost for shipping and custom paint jobs.
For many, participation is made possible by local business sponsors. This year, several local businesses sponsored cars, including the Main Street Grille, Payson Regional Medical Center, PostNet, the Payson Roundup, Computech, Southridge Homes, Swiss Beauty Connection, The Mutt Boutique, Against the Wind Superb Aircraft Maintenance, Better Health for Life, Legacy Home Furnishings, Brahm's Electrical Contracting and Chase Bank.
"Legacy Home Furnishings is also helping bring up some of the race cars from Superior," said Carol McCauley, director of the Main Street Office and coordinator of the event.
Drivers range in age from 8 to 17 and the divisions are determined by weight, not age.
The divisions are: Stock, for those weighing up to 135 pounds; Super Stock, for racers between 135 and 165 pounds; and Masters, for those between 165 and 190 pounds, and no taller than 6 foot 2 inches.
The race is expected to run until 4 p.m.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, and KCMA radio will provide entertainment with its "Big Red Boombox," McCauley said. Bring a lawn chair and blankets and relax on the cool grass of Green Valley Park to cheer on the racers in the Arizona "gravity grand prix."