dtwheel2.gif (1405 bytes)The DerbyTech Track Guide - 2004 Edition

This is an incomplete listing of track directions, websites, and tips that we have collected.  If you have any additional information regarding tracks listed or unlisted, please send the information to: jmcmillan757@hotmail.com

Yahoo Maps or MapQuest web sites for maps to these cities and tracks.

Akron, Ohio - permanent track  (Smooth - track was repaved in 1999)

Tips:  Derby Downs, home of the All-American.  See the DerbyTech article The Ups and Downs of the Akron Hill by James H. McElhiney - September, 1985  for complete information about this track.

Derby Downs is located next to the Rubber Bowl football stadium.  Here are directions to the Rubber Bowl.

From the North:
Take Interstate 77 South to Interstate 277/U. S. Route 224 East. Follow I-277/U.S. 224 to George Washington Boulevard (Ohio Route 241). Turn left on George Washington Boulevard. Entrance and parking for Rubber Bowl on the left.

From the East:
Take Interstate 76 West to Interstate 77 South. Follow I-77 to Interstate 277/U. S. Route 224 East. Follow I-277/U.S. 224 to George Washington Boulevard (Ohio Route 241). Turn left on George Washington Boulevard. Entrance and parking for Rubber Bowl on the left.

From the South:
Take Interstate 77 North to Interstate 277/U. S. Route 224 East. Follow I-277/U.S. 224 to George Washington Boulevard (Ohio Route 241). Turn left on George Washington Boulevard. Entrance and parking for Rubber Bowl on the left.

From the West:
Take Interstate 76 East and continue on Interstate 277/U. S. Route 224 East. Follow I-277/U.S. 224 to George Washington Boulevard (Ohio Route 241). Turn left on George Washington Boulevard. Entrance and parking for Rubber Bowl on the left.

Picture of Derby Downs.

Albuquerque (Rio Rancho), New Mexico - permanent track.

Tips and directions thanks to Dan Brown: The track itself is a nice two-lane track that is in surprisingly good condition for the years we have been racing on it. It is still fairly smooth. Lane #1 tends to be faster in the morning and Lane #2 tends to be faster in the afternoon. I have been told that we have one of the steeper tracks in the country and the cars really fly down the hill.

The track is pretty easy to find, it is at the Vista Verde Memorial Park (yes a cemetery). The address is 4310 Sara Rd SE in Rio Rancho. General directions are: take NM 528 (Rio Rancho Blvd) to Sara Rd. Turn East on Sara. The cemetery (and the track) are located directly behind the huge INTEL plant in Rio Rancho.

Picture of Rio Rancho track.

Anderson, Indiana - permanent track. 

Anderson, Indiana Soap Box Derby website: http://hometown.aol.com/yarekin/index.html

The legendary Townsend Hill.

Bristol, Connecticut - street track.  Fast and medium rough to smooth.  Good uphill braking area.

Tips: Bristol is almost always run as an All-American rally race.  Therefore, a lot of cars run the full 15 pounds tail heavy.  Also, bring your insect repellant.  The gnats were nasty in the morning when we went to a race there in June.   They use very small cones to mark the racing area so many of the locals drive right out to them and "pop" them out of the way.

Route 81 North to Route 84 East to Exit 31 (Bristol West Street)
Left at end of ramp on Route 229 North to Route 6
Left to Route 69 North (Burlington Avenue) to first traffic light
Left on James P. Casey Road to the street track

Charleston, West Virginia (really in South Charleston) - permanent track.  Fast and smooth.

Tips: One of the best tracks around.  It was repaved in 1998.  They have an automatic timing and light system that automatically shows the phase winner and announces the time differential.  Good race organization.  It tends to rain there so bring along some plastic to cover your car.

At South Charleston take the Jefferson Road exit off I-64, turn onto Jefferson Road off Route 60.  Go past the McDonald's and West Virginia State Police Headquarters.  Cross the railroad tracks and at the signal light turn right.  Travel about one quarter mile until you see the signs to turn left toward Little Creek Park.  Go approximately 1 mile, and turn left at the top of the hill and enter the Park under the "Arch".  The track is located at the back of the park on top of the mountain.  There are signs in the park to direct you to the track.  The pits are located at the bottom of the hill.

Picture of the South Charleston track Picture of South Charleston "under the lights"

Thanks to Team Garnhart for the picture

Cleveland, Ohio - permanent track.  New and smooth.

Cleveland Soap Box Derby Association website: http://www.clevelandsoapboxderby.com/

Columbus, Ohio - permanent track. 

Columbus Soap Box Derby website with picture of the track: http://www.columbussoapboxderby.com/

Picture of the Columbus track - Thanks to Team Garnhart for the picture

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania - street track

Thanks to the Keystone Rally Association website for this information.

From the West:  Take Turnpike Rt. 76 East to Valley Forge Exit.  Look for signs for Rt. 422, West Pottstown /Rt. 202 South.  Take Rt. 422 West and get off at Rt 363, Audubon/Trooper.  Go straight at the traffic light.  Look for next road on left, Monroe Blvd.  Turn left onto Monroe Blvd.  Track is at the bottom of the hill.

From the North (Pottstown): Take Rt. 422 East.  Take Oaks exit.  At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Egypt Road.  Go past three traffic lights and after you pass the George Washington Country Club, look for Rittenhouse Road on the right.  Turn right onto Rittenhouse Road.  Take the first road on the left, Van Buren Road.  At the next intersection turn right onto Adams Road.  Follow Adams to Monroe Blvd.  Track is at the bottom of the hill.

From the East and South:  Take I-76 West to Route 202 South exit.  Look for Route 422 West Pottstown.  Follow directions above from the West.

Dayton, Ohio - permanent track.  Medium fast - rough.

Tips: This is a nice track located on Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  It is out in the open with no trees so bring shade (the track is located on an old Air Force base runway).  It hasn't been repaved for quite awhile so the track surface has deteriorated.

From South & East

I-675 to Exit 15, Colonel Glenn Highway.  Follow the signs to the Air Force Museum.  Pass the museum and enter Gate 1B.  The guard will give you directions to the track from the gate.

From North

I-75 to Exit 54-C, Route 4 North Springfield to Harshman Road.  Exit South to Springfield Pike.  Follow the signs to the Air Force Museum.  Pass the museum and enter Gate 1B.  The guard will give you directions to the track from the gate.

Picture of the Dayton track

Des Moines, Iowa - permanent track.  Smooth - repaved in 1999..

Des Moines Soap Box Derby website: http://www.dmsoapbox.com/

Originally built in 1967, the track is located in Ewing Park on the south side of Des Moines.  From I-235, get off on exit for East 14th, so south to S.E. McKinley Ave., go east on McKinley 1/2 mile.  The track is located on the south side of McKinley in Ewing Park.

Emmaus, Pennsylvania - street track

From I-78: Exit Lehigh St to Emmaus. Go straight through 5 traffic lights. Turn right at next light onto Ridge St.

From Route 100 North to Shimerville: Bear right on Route 29 to Emmaus. Travel through Emmaus on Chestnut Turn left onto Ridge St.

Picture of the Emmaus track (courtesy of Ryan Harrigan)

Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island), Florida - street track. 

Thanks to Ron Wise for the directions:  The track is on 8th street at Center and Atlantic Ave, downtown Fernandina Beach. From I-95, take exit #129 (A1A), head East on A1A crossing Intracoastal waterway bridge to Amelia Island, continue on A1A (8th street) to Center Street and Atlantic Ave.

Thanks to Chuck Calin for the following information: Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach), 18 mph hill, 3' ramps, city street both lanes drive outside but the outside gets progressively rougher. Right side has cracks which can cost you a heat if your wheel finds one. Left side has a side street which produces a up/down dip which if you drive it right gives you some extra speed. The track goes by a grave yard but no one there bothers you. The races are run smoothly unless there's a parade which interrupts racing. Don Neal does a nice job of accommodating everyone.

Flint, Michigan - "Cronin Downs" - permanent track.

Thanks to Mark West for the tips and history:  The track was built in the early 70's as a potential relocation of the All-American by General Motors (Chevrolet Division), at least that is the story told around here. It is located behind a local middle school, Southwestern Academy in Flint, and has other sport fields on the grounds. The track itself is identical to Derby Downs in terms of grade and length. It has built in starting gates and the ramps are only about 3 inches off of the ground. The track itself could be in better shape. It is a traditional 3-lane track with curbing and an uphill grade past the finish from which cars to not have to use their brakes. The track surface has deteriorated over the years and cracks have been patched to correct some of this. According to people who are very familiar with the track (i.e. Dennis Smith), the track today looks better than it has in the past 20 years. The only disadvantage to the track is the lack of any real pits or staging area. This puts an enormous strain on staging heats. We are now trying to correct this problem as it is the one factor preventing us from hosting larger, more organized events. The address is as follows:

Flint Southwestern Academy; 1420 12th St., Flint, MI 48507

Picture of the Flint track

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - street track. Medium fast - medium rough.

Tips: Harrisburg has a great pit area that is provided by AMP Industries.  One problem that they have had is with the scales that tend to run light (i.e. it takes about a 256 pound car to make weight at 264 in masters.  Many cars have had problems making weight or balancing for NDR races in the past).  Harrisburg uses medium sized cones to mark the lanes.  Hitting the cones won't help you here.  They also have the best "chili" dogs around.

Located next to the Harrisburg East Mall. 

From Penn Turnpike -Exit 19, Take I-283 toward Harrisburg for approximately 1 1/2 miles to Swatara Exit, Exit #1.  Turn left at stop sign and go to the next light.   Turn right at the light on Eisenhower Blvd.  Go approximately 3/4 mile and turn left just past Swatara Township Building.  Go to the stop sign.  Turn left and go 1 block and turn right on 40th Street.  Go approximately 1/4 mile and turn left at our signs (enter into the AMP business park) and following road and through parking lots to pits along Friendship Road.

From York and South - Take I-83 North to Harrisburg.  Exit 26, Paxton Street.   Go straight off the exit ramp to the light.  Turn left onto Paxton Street.   Go through 2 lights past the Harrisburg East Mall.  1/2 mile past the 2nd light turn right onto Friendship Road.

Picture of the Harrisburg track

Houlton, Maine - permanant track. New.

Houlton, Maine Soap Box Derby website: http://samhahockey.tripod.com/nmsbd/index.html

Houston, Texas - street track.

The Houston track is located on Westpark Drive between Wesleyan and Newcastle.

Houston Soap Box Derby Association website: http://www.dodson-hydro.com/ghsbd2/

Indianapolis, Indiana - permanent track.  Smooth and fast.

Wilbur Shaw Memorial Soap Box Derby Hill is located on the corner of Cold Spring Road and 30th Street.  Please enter the track at the bottom of the hill.

Thanks to Bill Morrison for the following information

Directions: http://www.mapquest.com  - use track address of 2500 W 30th Street

From Charleston W.VA.
1. From Charleston take I-64 west to Grayson KY (AA Highway Rt 10)
2. Take the AA to I-275 in Alexandria, KY (Cincinnati)
3. Follow I-275 West to I-74 West
4. I-74 to I-465 (South or West)
5a. To Motels
Follow I-465 around the south side and up the west side to Crawfordsville Rd.
5b. To Track
Follow I-465 South or West to I-65 North
I-65 North through downtown to 30th street.
30th street west across the River on the right.

From Dayton OH
I-70 west to I-65 North
I-65 North through downtown to 30th street.
30th street west across the River on the right

From Chicago, IL
1. South on I-65 to West 38th (West 38th parallels I-65 for about a mile)
2. Turn right at 1st light Cold Springs Rd
3. Follow Cold Springs road to 30th street (1st light)
4. Left on 30th Street and then the next left on Riverside Dr to the Pit area.

Picture 1 of the Indianapolis track Picture 2 of the Indianapolis track (courtesy of Ryan Harrigan)

Kansas City, Missouri - permanent track

Information courtesy of the KC Soap Box Derby website: http://www.kcsbd.com/

The Kansas City Soap Box Derby Track is located at 4600 Eastern Ave., Kansas City, MO, just southwest of the Sports Complex. It is one of the fastest tracks in the country. Cars generally reach speeds of up to 30 mph at the finish line.

Lancaster, Ohio - permanent track

Lancaster, Ohio Soap Box Derby website: http://www.lancastersoapboxderby.com/

Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania - street track. Slow (Nickname is Slower Bucks)

Picture of the Lower Bucks track 

Muncie, Indiana - permanent track.

The Muncie, Indiana Soap Box Derby website is: http://www.muncieindianasoapboxderby.com/

Omaha, Nebraska - permanent track. Smooth and fast.

Omaha Soap Box Derby Website: http://www.omahasoapboxderby.org/

The Nebraska Soap Box Derby Track is located in Seymour Smith Park that is located at 72nd and Washington in Omaha, Nebraska

  Picture of the Omaha track

Racine, Wisconsin - street track

Information courtesy of Web Temple's Soap Box Derby web site:  Our hill is Hoffert Drive (in North Beach Park). It is 752.3 feet long and has a vertical drop of 23.6 feet. We use ramps about 4 feet high and 10 feet long. Race times are 28 to 30 seconds depending on class of car. Being in a park our hill is very smooth - there is light traffic in summer and no traffic during the winter months. Our runout area is slightly uphill and about 200 feet long. For emergency stopping at the end we use old dock bumpers and plastic snow fencing. We use a computerized timing system which times to thousandths of a second.

Pictures of the Racine track

Rockford, Illinois - street track

Rockford Area Soap Box Derby web site:  http://www.rasbda.bravepages.com/

Saginaw, Michigan - permanent track

Saginaw Soap Box Derby web site: http://www.ssbd.org/

The Saginaw Soap Box Derby Track is located in Buena Vista Lions Park next to Interstate 75 off of Exit 149-B 

Picture of the Saginow track - Thanks to Team Garnhart for the picture

Salem, Oregon - permanent track

Information supplied by David Gibson:  

Salem has a permanent track built in the mid-1950's and repaved in September 2000 for the NDR Championships.  The City also added new curbs the entire length and repaved the staging area at the top and the run-out area.  The Salem Soap Box Derby Association hosts numerous rallies (approximately 6-8 full weekends) each year at the track and it is the home of six AASBD World Champions and several more who have placed in the top nine at Akron and in the NDR Championships.

The track is approximately 950 long with a relatively long and flat run-out area.  The track is 30 feet wide because for many years it was used for three lanes.  Currently, only the outside two lanes are used.  The hill has a nice slope for the first 600 or so feet and then flattens out after a significant, but smooth, dip.  Speeds approach 25-30 MPH for stock to Masters.  I assume this would qualify as a "fast" track. 

Currently, the top 1/4 of the track is in the sun for most of the day, although the large trees do provide shade in these areas late in the day.  Consequently, wind is seldom a factor.  Even on hot days there is plenty of shade at the track and in the park.  In planning for the NDR Championships, we hope to "help" the park crew with some selective prunning of the massive Oak trees to permit better top to bottom viewing.

The track is located in picturesque Bush's Pasture Park near downtown Salem.  Two playgrounds for children are within a very short walk, one near topside and one near the finish line.  Baseball fields, tennis courts, and places for soccer and volleyball are located throughout the park. 

The track is located at the corner of Mission and High Streets.  Exit West off of I-5 onto Highway 22 which becomes Mission Street.  The track is about 3 miles off of I-5 on the left side next to Willamette University's football stadium.  There is parking at the bottom of the track and a limited amount in the pit area next to the run-out area.

More information can be found at the association's web site: www.salemsbd.org

Sanford, Florida - permanent track

Central Florida Soap Box Derby website: http://home.earthlink.net/~jcadiz/

Thanks to Chuck Calin for the tips: Sanford, 15 to 20 mph, short run out, permanent track with some transition off the starting line. Manually operated starting paddles, track position on bottom portion is critical or you drive up hill.

Ventura, California - street track.

Thanks to Chuck Calin for the following tips: Ventura, city street, 20 to 25 mph hill depending on ramp placement. Minimal ramps, left side drives straight, right side has crown but is rough ( like driving in a mine field ) so you have to drive to the outside and the path is critical because you can easily lose .150 if you guess wrong. The track is located next to a mental institution but you have to be more concerned with the Derby Nuts that you're racing against. ( Bruce, Ollie, Big Bucks Kanomata, etc.)

Picture of the Ventura track

Westminster, Maryland - street track.  

The location of this race is in transition. 

Winston-Salem, NC - permanent track.  Very, very fast & smooth.  Good uphill braking area.

Tips:  All serious racers love this track.  However, the steep starting area can be intimidating to even seasoned veterans. But the run-out area is very long and uphill so it is also a safe track.  Bring your heater and blankets to the Thanksgiving races, it can get pretty cold there.  In 1999 they even set up lights for night racing.

Located in Hobby Park off Clemmonsville Road between South Stratford Road and Ebert Street.

Picture of the Winston-Salem track

York, Pennsylvania - permanent track.  Very fast  & smooth except for one rough spot in left lane.  Very wide lanes.

Tips: There is a downhill braking area, bring plenty of extra brake pads.  This is a very fast track and may not be suitable for very young or rookie drivers for their first time out.

I-83 to York, PA
Take Exit 6-W to Queen Street
North on Queen Street approximately 1 1/2 miles to Raphton Road (there is a traffic light)
Right on Raphton

Less than 1/4 mile turn Left on Edgar (the sign is hard to see because of trees)
Approximately 1/3 mile past shopping center to first stop sign. 

Turn right to enter park where track is located.  You may have to pay $2.00 for parking some weekends.

Picture of the York track (courtesy of Ryan Harrigan)

 


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