I met Bill Frietag and his family in the early 90's when they were involved with Soap Box Derby.
Now Bill and family are working on a similar but new concept, with the inaugural Phoenix
Gravity Race slated for April 2019.
Here's what Bill had to say ..
"As a kid, it is the night before the big race and I can hardly sleep. I am thinking about waiting for the starting gate to drop, feeling the wind blowing in my face and crossing the finish line in the car that I built with my own two hands.
This new race called the "Phoenix Gravity Race" will be a test year to see if kids will put down their electronics, and see if they can create the next best car design. This race is to get back to the original ideas that the Soap Box Derby was all about. It is about putting your Ideas into building your car and having the Exciting Fun of Racing. We want to give the kids a chance to build their own cars again with their own creative design.
My wife’s family and my family built cars and raced in the Soap Box Derby. We learned so many skills from building our cars. We also learned skills when racing our car. Every year we were designing what we thought would be the next best car. We wanted our two girls to also learn those skills. The girls built their cars and to this day are still using the skills they learned. Something changed with The All American Soap Box Derby. They stopped letting children build and design their own cars. Now you are required to buy the car kit from Akron in order to race. It is a Pre-built Car, and everybody races the exact same car, they are expensive.
It is time to start designing and building your car. Be Creative. We want to encourage kids to learn how to take their design ideas and then build their car from scratch. It's all about learning how to use tools and skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. The Phoenix Gravity Race will be held at the Tempe Diablo Stadium, April 27 and 28th. There will be Three Divisions:
1) 8 to 15-year-old Division. Awards for Most Creative, Most Unique, Best Design, Best Idea, Best Brake, Best Steering.
2) Pro-Challenge Division for children who need assistance. This is a dual control car that we provide. Award for Most Improved Driver.
3) Adult Division, Let the kids build their own cars and you build yours. Awards for Most Unique and Best Constructed.
We are in the planning stages and will also be seeking Volunteers and Sponsors to help with the Race. For more information call 480-332-4167"
I spoke with Bill for our iHeartMedia Valley Views program. You can hear that interview below, and then
start working on your race car!