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Derby Planning Documents

Quick Note on Our Vision
The under-girding and overarching principle behind this event is fun. That's it. If it's not fun, what's the point?

Everything we do can be traced back to that.

  • Safety. It's no fun to get hurt.
    The sport has inherent risks--if it didn't have it wouldn't be racing and it wouldn't be fun. Recognizing that, we try very hard to establish building and racing guidelines that keep parts of humans from contacting mechanical things and roads in a way that tears up the humans.
  • Fairness. It's no fun to feel cheated.
    This is why we have the classes and most importantly the spec wheels. If you think we're restrictive you've never raced Pinewood Derby cars and you know nothing about NASCAR. If you don't have a level playing field--perhaps a bad metaphor in downhill racing--you don't have a competition. You can have an event, but if someone has an advantage that someone else doesn't have access to, you can't pretend it's a competition.
  • Accessibility. It's no fun to be left out.
    We've tried very hard to make the threshold to entry as low as we can without compromising safety. Derby cars are not hard to build with the skills and tools available to anyone. If you don't have them it's a good excuse to get involved in the sport with a friend or neighbor. The wheels are cheap, but they're the same crappy wheel for everyone (see above). We don't want anyone to be left out because they couldn't afford to be competitive.
That's it. World Peace doesn't hang in the balance. Other than details of making the cars fit on the ramp and get moved around, every rule we have targets one of those areas. If it doesn't, it's just in the way and we need to look at it.

Payson City contacted me asking if there was any interest in continuing the race. They are making plans for Onion Days right now so I need to get back with them soon. Maybe Labor Day weekend is a bad time for people to be in town and to spend time on the race.

Spanish Fork is done with the derby. Payson is the last holdout. If we don't race this year I'm afraid it's gone for good. That thought doesn't trouble me as much as it should; I don't have the energy for this that I used to. I'm willing to do the work if people have the interest, but I'm not going to force my hobby on anyone.

Looks like my little pipe dream of a Utah Valley Racing League is not going to happen.

If you have any questions please contact me at:
      fleany 'at'

Derby Planning Documents     |     Our Guiding Principles

2018 Posts

Payson Derby 2018 Update

Well, that was a first. Not one racer showed up this year. Not one. The only cars there were the two I brought.

I think the weekend may be bad for a lot of people--they go out of town for Labor Day or have other things going on.

Please give me feedback on whether there's a better time or day for the race. Payson City is willing to work with us on this. They said they are willing to try again next year. That kind of surprised me. If I had been them I would have dumped the event and not looked back.

Please let me know if there's something better we can do to keep this thing alive.

2017 Posts

Payson Derby Race: 2 September, 2017
Payson is going to host the race again this year as part of Golden Onion Days. It will be held Saturday, September 2nd, 3:00 pm.

There is NO FEE to race. We are trying to keep it simple, so in addition to having no registration fee, you show up by 2:00 pm on Saturday to register.

Disregard anything in the rules or Racer's Packet that is different from that information. I will update the racer's packet as soon as I can.

Please tell everyone you know about this.

Here is the .pdf file of the rules for the race this year (Clicking on "Racer's Packet" above gets you the same thing). As I said, disregard the registration.

Meet on the north side of 100 S on 500 E by 2:00 if you plan to race. That's the street just west of Peteetneet at the bottom of the hill.

Even though there is not a pre-registration it would be very helpful if you contact me if you are planning to race. Also, please ask about any questions or concerns you have about the rules. Above all we want this to be a safe event.

The new electronic scoring system made everything go much smoother and faster. We hope to be able to implement some more improvements to that this year. One upgrade we are hoping to have finished is the ability for spectators to follow the results on their smart phones in real time.

Flyer (.jpg)

Flyer (.pdf)

. . . and the bad news is . . .

I guess Spanish Fork won't have have a race this year, either. Maybe you should let them know how you feel about that if you get a chance.

2013 Posts

Results of the 2013 Race
You need to check out this story Fox 13 Utah did on the race.
1. Porter Black
2. William Black
3. Shaylee Leftwich
Jacob Stueck
Ranson McConahay
Alyssa McConahay
1. Taten McConahay
2. Calen
3. Andrew Jones
Preston McConahay
Heather Hope
1. Russ McConahay
2. Jordan Leany
3. Eric McConahay
Roger Hope
Roxanne Miller
Randy McKean

Race will be held at noon
Race has been pushed back to noon on Saturday. With any luck this will be the last change.

Rule Changes for 2013
Rules are essentially the same as last year with the following exceptions:
  1. Minimum wheelbase has been shortened to 42"
  2. Brackets will not be used; all races will be timed. Racers will be placed by lowest overall time.
  3. Race will not be held during Salem Days. It will be Saturday, August 24

I will update the rules document soon, but some of the schedule issues are still going to be pending.

Fees have been reduced
We are reducing the fees for the race. Entry fees are $10.00 per car and $5.00 per driver. Prizes may not be extravagant this year, but we hope the lower costs encourage participation.

Race This Year to be August 17th
The race this year will not be during Salem Days. The mayor wants to try something different and hold it the weekend after. That date is August 17, 2013. I guess the idea is to alleviate some of the burden on the city during Salem Days, make the race a bigger event, and provide another weekend to draw people into town.

Details have yet to be worked out, but it will probably run about four hours in the middle of the day and probably down Center Street Salem to the ball park. This gives us two full blocks of race track and much more time.

Our Build Clinic will be held on June 29th in Salem. I'll post more details as we get closer.

The Utah State Lawn Mower Racing Association will be helping us this year, towing our cars back with lawn mowers. We hope this is the beginning of mutually beneficial alliance between our two sports. I know I want to get into lawn mower racing and they have a group that is building cars for our race. Depending on the interest, we will probably end up with a new category for lawn mower derby racers.

Support them by attending their races and visiting their web site for more information.

If you need any other information please contact me by e-mail (fleany "at" or on our Facebook page. We are called Salem Derby.

Older Posts

Results of 2012 Race
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this year's race a success. We had 13 cars and 23 drivers. The results are as follows:
Colt Class:
1st. Michelle Beal
2nd. Ranson McConahay
3rd. Jacob Stueck

Other Racers:
Sam Beal

Mustang Class:
1st. Shaylee Leftwich
2nd. Kenyon McConahay
3rd. Taten McConahay

Other Racers:
Cassie Strong
Jayden Sperry
Caden Miller
Ryan Buirley
Thayne Scott
Hyrum Beal

Stallion Class:
1st. Abbey Leftwich
2nd. Dave Hill
3rd. Russ McConahay

Other Racers:
Jordan Leany
Jared Beal
Jordan Kodel
Amie Hill
Kyle Curtis
Tyson Scott

People's Choice: Jeff Stueck's Tron Car
Results of all past races can be found in this spreadsheet.

Results of 2011 Race
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this year's race a success. We had 9 cars and 17 drivers. The results are as follows:
Colt Class:
1st. Tyler Babbel
2nd. Porter Black
3rd. Ranson McConahay

Other Racers:
Cassie Strong
Jacob Stueck
Hyrum Beal
Travis Redmond

Mustang Class:
1st. Taten McConahay
2nd. Kenyon McConahay
3rd. Dallin Hanchett

Other Racers:
Jason Strong
Colton Redmond

Stallion Class:
1st. Dave Hill
2nd. Russ McConahay
3rd. Amie Hill

Other Racers:
Jordan Leany
Jared Beal

People's Choice Car(s): Russ's Dragster and Jeff Stueck's Shark Attack

Inspection Tonight
The preliminary inspection is tonight at 6:00 pm in the parking lot by Knoll Park.

Race in American Fork
American Fork City is having a soap box derby race on July 5th. It's too late to register to race, but you can go watch. For more information visit this link where you can download the rules and entry form.

With any luck this may be the start of a valley-wide league.

New rules posted
I've posted the rules for 2011 in pdf format. The text is also posted below.

We are now on Facebook
Please post your feedback and suggestions on our Facebook page. We are called Salem Derby.

Older posts

2010 Race Evaluation Notes

Basic Plans for Building a Car

This is a simple plan for a derby car (click on the image to enlarge). It shows a good way to do the steering. You could also run the steering column vertically (see below) then the cables would come out the same side as they pull on (as opposed to the opposite side as they do in the below design).

Note that the brakes shown here are not allowed under the rules. The brakes must stop the wheels.

Design Tips

Salem City Gravity Gran Prix has no affiliation with The All-American Soap Box Derby



Recommended Steering Design
Types of steering for soap box derby cars