FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


AAA Akron Auto Club Will Sponsor Soap Box Derby Local challenge Race (1)


The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD), an Akron-based non-profit organization, will enter its third-year partnership with AAA Akron Auto Club to sponsor the 2020 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby AAA Local Challenge Race. This year’s Local Challenge Race will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 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 83rd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby awards ceremony at the Akron Civic Theatre on Saturday evening, July 25, 2020.

AAA volunteers also will assist at the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition 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 has been a dedicated member of the Summit County business, travel and education community for 114 years, and a proud supporter of the International Soap Box derby since it’s early days in Akron,” said Kevin Thomas, president and chief executive officer of AAA Akron Auto Club. “We consider it part of our mission as a leading resource for people in motion to engage with education and character/leadership programs like that Soap Box Derby, whose own mission is so aligned with corporate values of AAA and our member families.”

“We are proud to work with AAA in their sponsorship of the Local Challenge Race and continue working with them as the longest-running sponsor of the International Soap Box Derby,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer of the Derby. “Based on our mission, and AAA’s long-time involvement in automotive-related services, and travel and traffic safety education, our partnership and collaboration are natural fit.”