FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

2017 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby

FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby logo

2016 Soap Box Derby Champions (1)

2016 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Champions
L-R: Rally Stock Champion Karlye Murphy, Hilton, N.Y.; Rally Super Stock
Champion Peyton Van Gruensven, Menasha Wis.; Rally Masters Champion
Peyton Strand, New Milford Conn.; Ultimate Speed Champion Kristi Murphy,
Concord Township Ohio; National Super Kids Classic Champion Shawna
Hutcheson, Lyons, Ga.; Local Stock Champion Joseph Kratochvil, Piedmont
Area, Va.; Local Super Stock Champion Mallory Bruen, Northern Maine;
Not pictured - Local Masters Champion Kathryn Lindsey, Winter Park, Fla.

Soap Box Derby champions from around the globe earn a trip to Akron, Ohio each year to compete in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby® at the world famous Derby Downs Track.

Upon their arrival, each of the young champions receive their official racing clothing and sign the official champions banner that will hang permanently in the Derby's Hall of Fame and Museum. The champions are welcomed at a parade in their honor on Main Street in downtown Akron followed by opening ceremonies at Lock 3. Once at Lock 3 each champion is introduced on stage. While on stage each champion has the opportunity to throw out trinkets and souvenirs.

As the week progresses, the young champions are reunited with their race cars which have been shipped from home. The cars are weighed and thoroughly inspected to make certain they meet all the safety regulations. The champs get their first look at Derby Downs, a 989 foot racing track designed specifically for Soap Box Derby competition. Each of the contestants gets a trial run down the course to become familiar with the track. Parents and families of the Derby champs, as well as local Derby officials and fans who visit the All-American, also have a busy week. There are special entertainment programs for champions, families, and friends, while Derby officials attend meetings.

Racing gets started early in the week with the DQ Rally Challenge and the SUBWAY® Challenge races. These races are a three lane wheel and lane swap race. 

The week's festivities lead up to Race Day when the anxious champions prime their race cars for a chance at the winner's circle. Race Day activities kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony.

There will be three divisions at the All-American in the Local Championship and three divisions in the Rally Championship. By the afternoon's end, six new winners emerge to wear the traditonal gold jackets (local champions) and scarlet jackets (rally champions) signifying they are the world champions of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters divisions of the All-American Soap Box Derby. Champions are also crowned in the Ultimate Speed Division, Super Kids and the annual Mayor's Cup race, pitting top executives from Derby partners against each other in adult Soap Box Derby cars. 

All awards are presented on Saturday evening as the champions, their families and friends, Derby officials, and business and civic leaders gather to pay tribute to all the contestants in the All-American Soap Box Derby.

In Derby circles, all contestants who compete at the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby are considered Champions. These kids greatly enrich their lives through the experiences they have in Akron during Race Week and through the lessons they learn while building their cars and racing them in local Derby programs back home.

The Soap Box Derby is looking for energetic, dedicated individuals who are willing to volunteer for the 80th annual race week. More than 450 gravity racing champions will be participating in fun filled events during the week of July 16-22, 2017. To ensure the success of this event, volunteers like you are needed! Volunteer positions include:

  • Ticket Operations
  • Preferred Check-In Crew Members
  • Program Sales
  • Champ Support
  • Rock the Rec at the University of Akron
  • Hospitality Team
  • Champ Check in/Check out
  • Awards Show Team
  • Car Handling (Must be able to lift 25 lbs)

July 16-22, 2017 80th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship Race Week Festivities

Register to volunteer here!