In Your NeighborhoodDeWitt - St. Johns


St. Johns Soap Box Derby races its way back into town

Posted at 9:39 AM, Jun 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-12 09:39:54-04

ST. JOHNS, Mich. — You may remember the Soap Box Derby from last year, and I'm happy to say it's back again! And back at the St. Johns Soap Box Derby were the previous champions from 2022, Henry Bancroft and Kayla Gruber, who went to nationals in Akron and were the first two down the ramp to start Sunday's race day.

"For anyone doing it for the first time this year, just keep low and don't steer very much," said Gruber.

And that knowledge is exactly what is helping first time racer Kyven Teegardin.

"On the practice runs, they honk the horn and release them, like there," said Teegardin

Since 1963, the track starts at the top of downtown St. Johns and finishes at the bottom where community members gather to cheer the kids on. And to some community members of St. Johns, its more than just a race, it's history being made.

"This venue that shares the history has the drivers memorabilia," said Judy Moon, a long-time resident of St. Johns. "We have helmets, we have trophies, we have pictures, we have stories, it was a big part of our growing up."

And with a track that has this much history, you can't have a race if you don't have cars.

"So this is my car, I like the outside of it," said Teegardin.

After everyone was ready to go, the kids came down the hill in heats competing for a qualifying spot to Akron. The kids with the best timed runs advanced from the super stock class and stock class.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Russell Shellberg

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