DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s race day at Ewing Park. The first Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby rally races concluded Sunday.
That’s how 7-year-old Jayce Kingkade described soap box racing.
“Going down the hill, I feel like I’m flying,” he said.
Jayce started last year and has found a new passion to share with his dad, Jeremy.
“It’s a lot of fun to see him get ready and kind of prepare mentally to go down the hill, to see the smile on his face and kind of see it all come together from all the work and then all the time spent out here,” Jeremy Kingkade said.
The Kingkades aren’t the only ones sharing the experience of soap box racing. This year, the Super Kids section was added to the program full-time.
That means children with special needs also get to feel the thrill of going down the race hill.
“It’s kiddos that can’t quite pilot a car themselves due to some sort of a physical or mental disability and so we have them with a co-pilot and they work together and they drive the car down the hill,” Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby President Jason Kilby said.
A former racer himself, Kilby said seeing the next generation of kids of all abilities racing down the hill is why he keeps giving his time at the track.
“It’s part of why we do what we do is to keep sharing the love of this sport,” he said. “There’s no sport like it. It’s an opportunity for parents to interact and work with their kids and coach their kids. And every kid that comes out here to race races. Every child has that opportunity.”
That opportunity is part of why Jeremy Kingkade loves bringing his son back to the track.
“It’s very rewarding for myself as a parent to have the opportunity to teach him and then to see his hard work kind of pay off as well,” he said.
The Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby hosts three rallies throughout the summer. The next one is on June 10 at Ewing Park. It’s free to attend.
Families interested in racing can learn more on the Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby’s website.