Young racers head for the hills of Naperville for soap box derby glory

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. — They may not have licenses yet, but a group of young drivers raced for glory at the Greater Chicago Soap Box Derby in Naperville Sunday.

There are no engines in the soap box cars, which are all made by hand. While most of the racers can't legally drive a car yet, they can still get behind the wheel of a soap box vehicle— which some say is the best part of the derby.

Armed with a brake and a small steering wheel, racers start on a ramp standing 4' to 6' tall atop a hill. Once they get going they can  reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

Drivers in the Stock Division, between the ages of seven and 14, ride in cars with a top maximum combined weight of 200 pounds. Races in the Super Kids Division feature drivers with physical and mental challenges.

While this event is competitive, it's really a family affair, racers say.

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