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Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame Selects Three New Members for 2021 Class of Inductees


The Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame has selected three new members as its 2021 class of inductees. They will be honored during the awards show at the 83rd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship on Saturday, July 24, at Derby Downs.

“The Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame recognizes the significant contributions and efforts of individuals who make it possible for the Soap Box Derby program to have an impact on the lives of young people throughout the United States and other parts of the world,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer of International Soap Box Derby.

The 2021 Hall of Fame inductees are:

JIM HAGAN, Myersville, Maryland.  Jim Hagan, 61, raced in the Washington, D.C. Soap Box Derby from 1971 through 1975. He started volunteering at the track the following year, and served in many roles for the Washington, D.C. and Westminster, Maryland, races before becoming director of the Frederick, Maryland Soap Box Derby for 10 years beginning in 2002.  Hagan was race director in Washington, D.C., from 2013 through 2015, when he became president of the local race organization, a post he continues to hold.  Hagan has been a Regional Director for 13 years, overseeing and promoting local race programs in five states in the Mid-Atlantic area, plus Washington D.C.  In his various Soap Box Derby roles, he has been director of nearly 200 local and rally races. Hagan is a project manager for a design company.

MARK RICHARDS, Akron, Ohio. The rich voice of Derby Downs track announcer Mark Richards, 63, called the heats for Soap Box Derby and SuperKids fans for nearly 30 years before he retired after the 2018 championships.  An Akron native, he competed in the local Akron Soap Box Derby for three years beginning in 1971.  Inspired by his late older brother Richard, who was born with spina bifida and confined to a wheelchair, Richards began volunteering in the late 1980s for the Akron SuperKids Classic, which serves boys and girls with special needs.  He became National SuperKids Classic announcer in 1989, the same year he began assisting with announcing duties for the All-American world championships. Richards became the chief announcer in 2000. He always did his research to prepare for race day, to ensure proper pronunciation of racers’ names and hometowns and to develop other information to share with spectators. Richards has been a news reporter for radio stations in Indiana and Ohio and has been in his current news post at Akron’s WNIR since 2011.

KEITH SCHEURMAN, Euclid, Ohio. In the mid-1960s, Keith Scheurman,77, volunteered for several years in the car return area at the Cleveland Area Soap Box Derby. When his sons started racing in 1982, Scheurman again became a volunteer in the local Cleveland Derby organization. He has served as a trustee of the local board since 1984 and was president from 1990 through 2000.  He developed a dual-control car in the mid-1980s for youngsters with special needs.  When the City of Cleveland discontinued support of the local Soap Box Derby program in 1994, the race was moved temporarily to nearby Euclid for four years.  In 1998, Scheurman was instrumental in the building of a permanent track in Cleveland, where it continues to host Soap Box Derby races and rallies.  Scheurman, who also was chief inspector for 16 years, was honored by the Cleveland Soap Box Derby with a lifetime achievement award in 2002. He began working on the A-Team at the All-American championships in 2012, was involved in the Ultimate Speed Competition from 2012 through 2015 and has been a member of the Racing Commission since 2014, for which he was chairman for four years beginning in 2017. Scheurman is a retired parts department manager for a Cleveland car dealer.

Gerberich said the 2021 honorees will bring the total number of inductees to 80 since the Hall of Fame was established in 1997.

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