FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

About Us

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

Race day for 2018 will be Saturday, June 23.  More information about the public meeting, applications, car clinic, practices and weigh-ins will be available in earyly 2018. Cars AND drivers must be at one of the weigh-in/inspections in order to race on the 23th.

Since the races are over, things are fairly quiet right now and through the end of 2017 for the Northwest Indiana Soap Box Derby.  Specific dates for the 2018 season will be decided on in early 2018.  In general, though, our corporate meeting (when we elect our officers) and public meeting (for interested racers and sponsors) will be in March 2018 -- usually during the third week of the month.  Applications are usually due by the end of May and the race is in June.  


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.