FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown
Gravity Racing Challenge logo

Gravity Racing Challenge
STEM Team Competition

Competition Guidelines

1. Soap Box Derby car construction, painting, and decorating must be done according to construction plans.

NOTE: Starting in 2017, any teams still having painted stock shells will have to purchase new shells. These purchased shells must be decorated according to Stock Car construction plans to be able to compete in any future GRC race. 

2. The racing divisions are as follows: Stock, grades 3 - 5; Super Stock, grades 5 - 8

3. Any Soap Box Derby car competing in a GRC race must attend an official inspection date prior to competing.

4. A Soap Box Derby car, with driver, must not exceed these maximum weight limits:
Stock Car:  200 lbs.   Super Stock:  240 lbs.   High School Engineering Design Challenge:  280 lbs.

5. All team drivers must have a minimum of one test drive using the team Soap Box Derby car before the race.

6. **Drivers may not drive in a division in which they have previously raced. 

7. If your Team is planning on competing in the different GRC races scheduled throughout Ohio, and you will be using a different driver for each race, your team car may require different weight set ups for the different drivers. Teams should have extra 5/16” weight bolts to make any seat weight adjustments.  Before each race competition, the team should have the new weight set up as complete as possible for the GRC race. Also, please remember to cut and file weight bolts level to the seat weight to insure driver safety.

8. Any GRC Soap Box Derby car and designated driver is encouraged to compete in his or her Local Soap Box Derby race.  A driver winning his or her Local Soap Box Derby race will then have the opportunity to compete in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship at Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio.  For more information about the nearest and closest Local SBD race, please visit

9. A waiver must be signed by a parent/guardian and provided to ISBD staff representative the day of the GRC race, test drive, or other event that requires a youth to drive a Soap Box Derby Car. Youth who do not have a signed waiver will not be permitted to drive a Soap Box Derby Car.

10. Wheels:

  • Wheels cannot be altered in ANY way
  • There is a maximum of 2 washers per spindle
  • There can be no spinning of the wheels during competition
  • Absolutely NO LUBRICATION OF ANY KIND can be placed on the wheels, bearings, or spindles. This includeds lighter fluid or any liquid used to clean the spindles. 

**The purpose of the driver rule is to provide different team members the opportunity to drive and compete in GRC races as well as to participate in various roles as GRC team members.