FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

About Us

The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program which has run nationally since 1934. World Championships finals are held each July at Derby Downs.

Local champions from each of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters Divisions throughout the world come to Akron to compete for scholarships and merchandise. Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby is a local chapter affiliated and sanctioned by the All-American Soap Box Derby  to hold qualifying races for the New York City area. Once contestants have been determined qualified they are sent to Akron for the World Finals held in July at Derby Downs Akron, Ohio.

The East Elmhurst Corona Civic Association Sponsored our first Soap Box Derby on July 14, 1984. It was the first derby to be held in New York City in more than twenty years. The race took place on 114th Street between Roosevelt Ave and 34th Ave. At the inaugural race there were twenty youngsters whose ages were between 9 and 12 who competed. The name of the organization at that time was the Queens County Soap Box Derby. The name was changed the following year to Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby. The cars were initially put together under the direction of the first Director William Dabney.  Mr. Dabney, a high school math instructor, was the guiding force and inspiration for the organization. All the cars were constructed in his garage under his guidance.

Trinity Masonic Lodge #51 located at 103rd Street and 32nd Ave, East Elmhurst, New York, assumed the sponsorship of the program and eventually moved the program into their building. Space was eventually secured in an apartment garage on 114th street and 39th Ave in 1986. Under the able directorship of Mr. Dabney the Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby assisted many young people and enabled them to get involved in racing and experience some success in Akron.  The organization became incorporated and was awarded its’ non profit status on October 25, 1988, stating that the non- profit organization:

  • Builds self-esteem and confidence of participants through project development, design and competition.

  • Encourages families and groups to work together toward a common goal, to teach youngsters basic skills of workmanship.

In 2014, Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby, Inc. collaborated with Vaughn College of Aeronautics, Elmhurst, NY. Our 2014  Super Stock Champion drove his car sponsored by Vaughn College in Akron. Each local division champ is awarded a scholarship to Vaughn College!!


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.