FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

About Us

Just a reminder - our meeting that is open to the public is March 20, 2018 at 7 p.m. at American Legion Post 94.



Welcome to the Northwest Indiana Soap Box Derby website.  The NWI Soap Box Derby organization is based in Valparaiso Indiana, is sponsored by American Legion Post 94 and is a 5013c non-profit organization.

Three race categories are offered for youths ages 7 through 20 --  stock, super stock and masters.  In addition, the super kids race category is available for special needs youths ages 7-18.  The local race is held on the last Saturday in June.  It is held on Lincolnway in Valparaiso, IN.  Winners in the four categories are eligible to race at the finals on July 21, 2018 at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio and receive financial assistance for attending.

Our organization president and race director is Mike Bottom.  He can be reached by phone at (219)464-0445 or by mail at NWI Soap Box Derby, P.O. Box 268, Valparaiso, IN 46384

Our open meeting for interested racers and sponsors will be March 20 at 7p.m.  It will be held at American Legion Post 94, 4 Monroe Street, Valparaiso, IN 46383  Race applications are due by May 31 by close of business at American Legion Post 94.  Car weigh-ins and inspections will be June 18, 19, and 20. Race day for 2018 will be Saturday, June 23.  More information about the car clinic, practices and weigh-ins will be available by the open meeting on March 20, 2018. Cars AND drivers must be at one of the weigh-in/inspections in order to race on the 23th.

UPDATE - Car practices will be on May 5 and 19 at Old Fairgrounds Park on Calumet and Evans in Valparaiso.  Meet by the Butterfield Pavilion at 9 a.m.  There will possibly be a car clinic on April 14 - same place and time.  The car clinic and practices are optional.  The car & driver weigh-ins/inspections are mandatory and will be on June 18, 19 and 20.   They will be at Coastal Valley Water, 709 Silhavy Rd, Valpo from 5 to 8 pm.   To obtain race application packets, stop by American Legion Post 94, 4 Monroe Street, Valpo or contact Chris Martel at  

FYI - There WILL be a car clinic Saturday April 14 at the Old Fairgrounds Park from 9 am to noon.  Race-day rules to remember - all racers must wear an official helment and official tee shirt, and shorts must be knee length and fit at/near the waist.  Racers need to stay with or near their cars, and parents/guardians need to be with/near their children for supervision.

Information will be posted here and on Facebook as soon as it's available.


Mission Statement

The Soap Box Derby® is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.

Core Vaules and Drivers

• Youth Education and Leadership Development
• Family Engagement and Enrichment
• Honesty, Integrity and Perseverance
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship
• Teamwork and Collaboration
• Mentoring
• Volunteerism
• Commitment to Community

The Derby is the official sanctioning body of Soap Box Derby racing and has exclusive licensing partnerships with more than 100 racing districts throughout world. These racing districts conduct sanctioned Soap Box Derby races throughout the year and qualify champs for the annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby® World Championship race at the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio. 

The Derby's Education Program is a fast-growing component of the organization and includes a STEM-Based Curriculum, the Gravity Racing Challenge® STEM Team Competition and a Mini Soap Box Derby program. 

The Derby also operates the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio where events are held throughout the racing season.

The Board of Directors oversees the operation of the Derby, and the day-to-day activities are handled by the Headquarters staff in Akron.