COPPERAS COVE — The drill sawed against a 3-ounce block of wood, turning it into a miniature derby racing car. The boys standing in line grinned. Soon their cars too will be ready for painting and then racing.

“After they learn to build cars, they can get pretty creative with the designs,” said Jack Magill, a member of the Kempner Oak Hill Baptist Church who came to support the church’s workshop on Saturday.

The class was conducted by Seth Taylor, a member of the church’s Royal Ambassadors, and a longtime car derby racer.

The aim is to prepare youngsters for the upcoming third Lampasas Association Royal Racers Pinewood Derby race at Clear Creek Baptist Church on March 22. The winner will advance to the state race in Belton in April.

“We’ve been doing this for four years now,” said Taylor, referring to the local race. “It began as an outreach program but I wanted to include boys and girls and make it a more involved community event.

“The workshops teach them to make better, faster cars so they can be more successful. Also, whoever wins the local race, I’ll sponsor them at the state race.”

Last year, there were close to 25 participants racing on Taylor’s personal 32-foot-long track.

This year, he’s also included a tire changing station, gliders, boat and airplane races, and lunch for participants of the local event.

“The method is simple, to make faster cars you have to polish the axles,” said Larry Herod, a volunteer. “If that’s done right and the weight and where you place the wheels is right, then that equals a winning car.”

“It’s so much fun to be a part of,” said 12-year-old Ethan Taylor. “It’s also a chance to help everyone out and be involved in the community. I’ve been doing it since the beginning, and when I won grand champion that first year, it felt great.”

This year there will be a division for sixth-grade boys and girls, and a seven- to 12-grade division for teenagers.

Car prices are $4 and you must have a car to be eligible to race; however, Taylor will offer financial assistance based on need.

For more information on participating, call Taylor at 354-518-3594.

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro | Herald

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

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