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Soap Box Derby back for a second run

If there were two things Jocelynn Wright took away from her first experience in a Soap Box Derby car in 2003, it was she needed to drive straight and have fun.

Jocelynn was a rookie when she climbed in her green and blue flame decorated DONOBi-sponsored car at the minimum age of 9 on Ridgetop Boulevard for the first Silverdale Soap Box Derby. She got to race down the hill twice — losing both times and was relegated to the sidelines for the rest of the day.

“I was a little disappointed,” Jocelynn, now 10, recalled on Wednesday after taking a few practice trips down a hill near her family’s Central Valley home. “But I got to cheer on my friends and I knew I was going to do it again this year.”

She said her goal, like all of the racers who will be in Sunday’s race, is to make it to the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron, Ohio at the end of July.

Winning the right to take that trip will be tougher now that the word is out there’s a Soap Box Derby in Silverdale.

“The word is spreading,” said Jocelynn’s dad, Bill Wright, who is an organizer of the races along with several other members of the Silverdale Sunrise Rotary Club. “We’re up 30 percent in drivers (38) this year and there’s more sponsors so more people are getting involved. And what’s not to like about a Soap Box Derby? It’s good, clean fun.”

The Silverdale group also pays to ship out the race winner, their car and a parent to the championships.

Shutting down a portion of Ridgetop Boulevard between Myhre and Mickelberry roads for a most of Sunday morning and afternoon doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem this time around either as nearby businesses have embraced the racers.

“The county has been very cooperative and we’re very appreciative of the local businesses as well,” Bill Wright said. “Dairy Queen and Wendy’s offered to give the kids ice cream and Best Buy and Sportsman’s Warehouse have been gracious in letting us use portions of their parking lots.” Additional parking is available in front of the former Good Guy’s store.

Sunday’s weather forecast is calling for clouds with a 20 percent chance of rain which won’t stop the races which go on rain or shine.

“This is a good tie-in with the community,” Bill Wright said. “There’s just a joy you see with the kids and the parents that’s great to see.”

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