FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Winning Race Cars Heading To Akron For 82nd Firstenergy All-American Soap Box Derby


As Soap Box Derby racing season winds down in communities throughout the country, winning race cars are being transported or shipped to Akron in advance of the 82nd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs on Saturday, July 20.

Once the cars arrive here, a team of technical volunteers will inspect the cars to make certain they meet all the construction and safety requirements. Local champions and their families arrive in Akron on Sunday, July 14, to be begin a week of race-related activities leading up to the world championships.

More than 400 youngsters from throughout the United States, Canada and Japan between the ages of 7 and 20 will represent their home communities in the championship finals here.  They earn the right to compete in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby by winning local Soap Box Derby races in their hometowns or by accumulating points in a series of rally competitions held around North America since last summer.

There will be a parade honoring participating champions in downtown Akron on Monday, July 15, beginning at noon at Canal Park, followed by welcome ceremonies at Lock 3. Participants will spend much of the week at Derby Downs for technical inspections of their race cars, weigh-ins and racing on the famous 989-foot track.

Racers compete in separate divisions, based on their ages and construction skills.  Boys and girls from 7 to 13 compete in the Stock Car division, which features the simplest ready-to-assemble kits purchased from All-American Derby headquarters.  Youngsters 9 through 18 are in the Super Stock division, whose cars are similar but larger to accommodate larger youngsters, or the Masters division, featuring the traditional, more sophisticated cars for boys and girls from 10 through 20. 

Division champions will compete in Akron for $36,000 in college scholarships. In addition, the University of Akron will match champions’ scholarships as long as they attend the university and major in the College of Engineering.

The National Super Kids Classic, a race in which special needs children compete in two-person cars driven by veteran Soap Box Derby racers, will take place at Derby Downs on Friday, July 19.

“Akron has hosted the world championships of the Soap Box Derby for more than 80 years and race week is a tradition that is part of the city’s heritage,” said Mark Gerberich, the Soap Box Derby’s president and chief executive officer.  “Boys and girls from around the globe will spend a week building friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.”

For a full race week schedule and information about purchasing tickets in advance for $5, please visit