Megan Drabek might not have Danica Patrick’s driving skills, but she knows her way around a soapbox derby.
Drabek is the driver of Drabek and Hill’s team in Rebuilding Together OKC’s Construction Derby event, set for Oct. 4.
Rebuilding Together OKC works to provide critical home repairs for people who can’t afford them. The Derby is the organization’s annual fundraiser and attracts about 1,000 people to downtown Oklahoma City.
Since 1992, about 50,000 volunteers have helped Rebuilding Together update and refurbish more than 2,000 homes, 30 nonprofit facilities and eight public school buildings.
Drabek and Hill is one of the 32 teams that will be entered. There are still spots available.
Rebuilding Together OKC will hold a Construction Derby Newbie workshop on how to build a car safely on Wednesday at their offices at 730 W Wilshire Blvd., Suite 108. The event is open to anyone interested in building a car.
For Drabek, who has raced for several years, it’s fun way to raise money for a good cause.
It’s a great team event,” she said. “There are so many people that each add their own touch. There are four people that push the car and there are a couple more at the bottom of the hill to make sure you stop OK. It does have brakes, fortunately, but it’s good to have them down there.”
Drivers wear helmets and long sleeves. The cars are built from common household items. Drabek and Hill’s has handrails that are made from copper tubing, an air conditioning return vent serves as a grill and the lights on the back are fashioned from doorknobs.
“From what I’ve learned you have to keep as low as possible in the car while still being able to see what you’re doing,” she said. “It’s pretty nerve-racking the first time you go down the hill but after that it’s a lot of fun.”
Executive Director Jennifer Thurman said the construction workshop is to help those who might want to enter the derby but have reservations because they don’t know how to build a car.
“We have heard that from people over the years who are intimidated by the process of building a car so this year we decided to do a workshop to show them how from someone who knows how to do it,” she said.
“There are things that are easy as far as physics of cars and there are some things that are not. We have had people who have put tiny wheels on huge cars and that doesn’t work very well.”
The entry fee for the race is $500 per car. Thurman said while many of the entries are businesses or organizations, but anyone can enter. For more information about the workshop on Wednesday or to register for the October race, call 607-0464 or go online to www.rebuildingtogetherokc.org.