2016 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Champions
L-R: Rally Stock Champion Karlye Murphy, Hilton, N.Y.; Rally Super Stock Champion Peyton Van Gruensven, Menasha Wis.; Rally Masters Champion Peyton Strand, New Milford Conn.; Ultimate Speed Champion Kristi Murphy, Concord Township Ohio; National Super Kids Classic Champion Shawna Hutcheson, Lyons, Ga.; Local Stock Champion Joseph Kratochvil, Piedmont Area, Va.; Local Super Stock Champion Mallory Bruen, Northern Maine; Not pictured - Local Masters Champion Kathryn Lindsey, Winter Park, Fla.
The greatest gravity racers in the world will come together at the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron, Ohio, July 16-22 for the 80th running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby. Champs from around the world will reach speeds in excess of 30 m.p.h. as they race down the 989' track in hopes of earning the title of World Champion!
The idea for the Soap Box Derby had originated in Dayton, Ohio, when newsman Myron Scott covered a race of boy-built cars in his community in 1933. He copyrighted the idea and found national funding from Chevrolet Motor Company, which agreed to sponsor the first All-American Soap Box Derby in Dayton in 1934. Thirty-four cities sent local winners for that first championship race.It was 81 years ago this summer that workers from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) transformed what was initially designed to be a City of Akron-operated park and ski run into Derby Downs, home of the world-famous Soap Box Derby for 78 of its 80 years.