Napa’s Krider Racing is going directly from the racetrack to the grave. No, not literally.
The team is going to compete in Napa’s first annual Coffin Races to be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., presented by the Napa City Firefighters Association. Coffin Races, which are similar to Bed Races (a yearly downtown Napa staple in the 1980s), is an event in which teams of four runners push a coffin down the street with a driver over the age of 12 driving the coffin. This year’s race will see teams competing head to head in a two coffin drag race, 211 yards, beginning at First and Main streets in downtown Napa.
Napa’s Krider Racing, which doesn’t shy away from any sort of competition, whether it be auto racing, soap box derby, the demolition derby or pushing a coffin down a street, is currently busy designing and building the fastest coffin possible.
“Our design is simple, lightweight for speed, but nice enough you wouldn’t mind being buried in it for eternity.” says Rob Krider. The Krider Racing coffin is being modified at Performance In-Frame Tuning where bars will be welded in place for the runners to push the coffin down the street.
“This is a very cool event for downtown Napa,” says Napa City Councilmember Jim Krider. “I loved the Bed Races back in the 80s, and now we have a Halloween event with proceeds which will benefit the Napa Library literacy campaign. I’m super proud of our Napa City Firefighters Association who are working hard to put on and promote this thing.” Councilmember Krider was asked about his team’s chances in the race, “Well, we do have a secret weapon, my grandson, the soap box derby champion, will be driving.” Gus Krider who just finished third at the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron, Ohio, will be piloting the Krider Racing coffin down First Street as the team’s pit crew pushes as fast as they can.
Having time to prepare for this event has been stressful for Krider Racing, their racing schedule has been hectic and doesn’t leave much time for coffin building. Last weekend Randy Krider finished first while road racing in the National Auto Sport Association Performance Touring D class at Sonoma and the team is busy finishing the details and preparation on two cars for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in December, the longest road race in North America. Next weekend the Gravity Division of the team will be racing soap box derby in Tuolumne, Calif. The following weekend will be the Coffin Races in Napa.
“Yeah, we don’t have much in the way of time,” said Rob Krider. “We couldn’t possibly do any of this without lots of local help. That’s where Performance In-Frame Tuning, Napa Valley Muffler, T.E.M. Machine Shop, B&G Tires, Miracle Auto Body, Bottlers Unlimited, Napa Valley Transmissions, Bay Ex, C.J. Fix Co., and most importantly our pit crew make this all happen. Without them we would be sitting on the couch racing video games instead of cars, or … now coffins.”
Viewing the race will be free to the public. For more information on the 1st Annual Napa Valley Coffin Races presented by the Napa City Firefighters Association, or if you are looking for rules and entry fees, go to napavalleycoffinraces.weebly.com.