FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

Local History

The Southeast Texas Soap Box Derby (SETSBD) began in 2002. Originally fostered by the late Jack Hauser, it is sponsored and conducted by the Spindletop Rotary Club of Beaumont. With assistance by the YMBL in its first year, it was the largest soapbox derby in Texas in the number of participants. 26 stock and 26 super stock cars competed for $10,000 in scholarships and as well a trip to Akron, Ohio to represent Southeast Texas in the World Championships. Race Director Jack Hauser was awarded “Outstanding First Year Derby Director” by the AASBD in Akron, Ohio.

Jack Large

 In 2003, the SETSBD built on the successes of the first year. It was the largest derby race in Texas with 29 Stock and 31 Super Stock cars entered and $11,000 awarded in college scholarships. The Super Kids Division, for special needs children, was added with 7 racers entered to complete the field. The SETSBD champion, Joe Sanders from Vidor, represented the area in Akron, Ohio and won the inaugural World Championship. The AASBD recognized the local derby by awarding it the “Outstanding Achievement by a Race City” award. Beaumont was the only race city to receive the award world wide.

The 2004 derby saw more growth. By this time, it was well established as the largest race in Texas. 31 Stock, 32 Super Stock and 18 Super Kids competed for scholarships and trips to the World Championships in Akron. Local stock champion Kayla Bass of Nederland finished 10th in the world and the super kid champion Parker Noble of Pinewood finished 4th in the world. The super stock champion once again was awarded the VIP award. The SETSBD awarded $14,750 in college scholarships.

The Southeast Texas Soap Box Derby has continued to be a part of Southeast Texas's annual springtime events completing its 16th year of racing in 2017! We continue to streamline, upgrade and improve the races for the enjoyment of the kids and spectators. The winners of each division are still sent to Akron, Ohio to compete in the SBD World Championship. Community businesses and over 100 volunteers come back every year to work and support the Spindletop Rotary's efforts of helping to provide a fun family event as well as scholarships for the continuing education of our local youth.

Wayne Large

We are grateful that Jack Hauser had the vision of this event for our kids, and that Wayne Chesser continued Jack's dream by stepping in as Race Director. All the race directors and Spindletop Rotary members continue this event because it fits perfectly with Rotary's fundamental "4 Way Test"; #3 Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships.