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MINERAL RIDGE At Soap Box Derby rally race, youths can expect fast track



Published: Fri, May 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



MINERAL RIDGE -- The Mahoning Valley will have its first Soap Box Derby rally race Saturday and Sunday on Seaborn Street.

Thirty-one local racers will compete among more than 90 entries from five states.

They could all end up chasing two pretty successful local competitors, Jenny Rodway of Boardman and Brooke Shaffer of Mineral Ridge.

Jenny is third in rally points and Brooke is fifth.

On the rally circuit, drivers gain points as they compete in races around their region in an effort to qualify for a championship in Akron in July. The top four qualify.

Local derby director Bob Neapolitan said the Mineral Ridge track is fast, with racers expected to reach speeds of 35 to 40 mph.

"It's not a track for the faint of heart," he said.

What competitor says: Brooke, 11, agrees. She has taken a test run down the course, which is minutes from her home. "The whole brake pad on my car, half of it was gone after one run," she said.

Brooke has been racing two years and she enjoys both the competition and family aspect of racing.

"Most every weekend we're gone," she said. "We bought a motor home and whenever we're in it, we talk a lot."

Racing begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. each day. The Greater Youngstown SoapBox Derby is next on tap, June 16-17 on Fifth Avenue near Youngstown State University.

For more information, call the derby office at (330) 726-5443.




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