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First Soap Box Derby Race - 2002

Derby Spotlight - Todd Hinton

Todd Hinton grew up racing in the Soap Box Derby and motor cross which kick-started his passion for STEM. From a young age, he learned how to use fundamental tools for engineering and understood how science and mathematics applied in everyday life. Todd has always been enthused by how products are made and how he can improve them for others. STEM has been a tremendous part of Todd’s life and he attributes a lot of that to his experiences with the Derby. His decision to major in Automated Manufacturing Engineering Technology was a cinch.

Hinton has been involved in the Soap Box Derby for almost 15 years. Whether it was racing or sponsoring someone else to race, the Derby has been an extremely important part in his life. He spent a majority of his time in his father’s garage contemplating how to be more competitive and increase the speed of his car. With spending so much time in the shop, he gained a lot of knowledge using various tools like torque wrenches and dial calipers that he now uses for work.

He started racing in 2002 at the age of nine and raced in the Stock Division for two years. He then moved to the Super Stock Division for a year, and finally to Masters from 2007 to 2013. Todd participated in nearly 100 rally races in his Derby experience and is now volunteering as a board member for the Wayne-Holmes Soap Box Derby and has been sponsoring several racers.

“My most memorable moment from racing was in 2007 during my first year in a Masters car,” said Hinton. “My sister Ashley and I both raced identical looking cars and I won the winners bracket and she came through and won the consolation bracket. We raced each other and she beat me two times, taking first place and myself taking second. She went on to the All-American to place second and it was her last year in the Derby. I won the local the following year.”

Currently, Todd is a senior at The University of Akron and his major of Automated Manufacturing Engineering Technology “teaches students how to design and manufacture a wide variety of products from plastics and rubbers to all types of metals with the use of robotics and CNC machinery.”

Right now he is working at NMG Aerospace in Stow, Ohio, which is a world class company in manufacturing, engineering, and logistics solutions for the aerospace industry. Todd is responsible for manufacturing landing gear and wheel systems for several different aircrafts including the Boeing 737, Airbus A330, and many other military and business class aircraft. He also owns and operates his own business, Billet Built Motorsports LLC, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio where he designs and manufactures tools and parts for cars, trucks, and other off-road vehicles.

Along with working at his own business and NMG Aerospace, Todd also founded a startup company called MICE Industries Inc. The intent for this business is to create an online tool that helps entrepreneurs connect with manufacturers, investors, and consumers to launch an idea or construct a product.

The Soap Box Derby has influenced Todd’s life in other ways as well. He says that “Derby taught me sportsmanship at a very young age, as well as social skills which I am thankful for. A good portion of my current friends were made through connections with the Derby, because I was always racing every weekend all around the country. I learned teamwork and the value of hard work, rather than taking shortcuts to achieve my goals.”

After graduation, Hinton plans to continue building his business and working in the Aerospace and Automotive industry. He wants to maintain his strong ties with the Soap Box Derby and sees himself playing a big role in the future for other Derby racers.

Note: This is the third in a series of spotlights on former Derby racers who have gone on to study/work in a STEM related field. If you know of someone who we could spotlight please let us know at soapbox@soapboxderby.org 

Masters Car 2009 Won Best Design Award

Best Design Masters Car - 2009

Work Photo

Todd At Work - 2016