Top Nine In World: St. Mary's Catholic School Sixth-Grader Places High In All-American Soap Box Derby Race
ALTON - The Pollock family is on top of the world this week, after Kayleigh Pollock, 11, an incoming St. Mary’s Catholic School sixth-grader, placed ninth last weekend in the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron, Ohio.
Kayleigh was so excited to place in the top nine with her soapbox derby car and told her mom she “couldn’t believe it.”
“I did it,” she said of achieving her goal of a top placing in world soap box competition.
Answer Midwest Inc., Chrissy’s employer, graciously agreed to sponsor Kayleigh in the world soap box derby.
During the long car drive from Akron, Ohio, Kayleigh’s mom, Chrissy, sat with her in the backseat, and Kayleigh said she was going to work to try to win the entire competition next year. Chrissy told her daughter they needed to savor this special moment, but also encouraged her.
“I was so proud of Kayleigh,” her mom said. “I cried when she advanced into the final rounds and placed in the top nine. I saw all her year of work and determination pay off. She is always wanting to learn more about gravity, and it is awe-inspiring to watch her learn and achieve her goals.”
Chrissy and her husband, Don, also have a younger daughter Peyton, 9, who is competing in the soap box events. To qualify for the world event, it is necessary to compete in many other events across the country to earn points. Only the best in soap box derby racing compete at the world event.
Chrissy and Don both work endless hours with their daughters perfecting their cars so they can compete. The entire family continually researches how to make the soap box car faster.
Kayleigh has two more years in the Super Car category, then will move up to Super Stock and ultimately Masters, where $36,000 in college scholarships this past year were up for grabs.
The Akron Derby Downs track has undergone several upgrades this year, and the 989-foot track has been repaved. It had been 12 years since the track was last paved.
Over time, the Pollack family has continued with tool additions for work on the soap box derby car.
“We have read more on inertia and things to make the car faster,” Chrissy said. “We have friends from the competitions across different states in the U.S. The friends you make in the soapbox derby are now really like part of our family. It is so fun to watch the girls compete. Kayleigh is determined to place even higher in the world event next year.”