NewsAAA Akron Auto Club Will Sponsor Soap Box Derby Local Challenge Race03.12.2019The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD), an Akron-based non-profit organization, will enter its second-year partnership with AAA Akron Auto Club to sponsor the 2019 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby AAA Local Challenge Race. This year’s Local Challenge Race will be held on Wednesday, July 17, during world championship week at Derby Downs. The Challenge Races are additional opportunities for the champions to race in the week leading up to the world championships. These races are a three-lane, wheel- and lane- swap race. Top finishers receive their awards during the 82nd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby awards ceremony at the Akron Civic Theatre on Saturday evening, July 20, 2019. AAA volunteers also will assist at the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition presented by the University of Akron College of Engineering to be held on Saturday, May 18. The AAA volunteers with be responsible for the “AAA Wheel Swap Area.” The Wheel Swap Area is where the racers receive a set of four wheels provided by the ISBD for their first heat. The champions then exchange their wheels with another competitor for the next round of heats. "AAA Akron is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Local Challenge Race during All-American week at Derby Downs. We remain steadfast in our decades-long support of the International Soap Box Derby and its outstanding mission,” said Kevin Thomas, president and chief executive officer of AAA Akron Auto Club. “As a local motor club, we know how important business community partnership, sponsorship, engagement and volunteerism are to the success of local community Derby races and supporting events throughout North America, and around the world,” Thomas said. “We are excited that AAA is back with us to support our racers in the AAA Local Challenge. AAA is the longest-tenured sponsor of the Derby and we appreciate its on-going support,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer of the Derby.