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2017 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Fact Sheet

Event: The 80th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby

Date: Sunday-Saturday, July 16-22, 2017

Established:
 1934 

Where:
 Derby Downs Track, 789 Derby Downs Drive, Akron, Ohio, 44306

The Race: The FirstEnergy AASBD Championship is held annually in Akron, Ohio and features more than 400 qualifiers from 40 U.S. states and several foreign countries. The Championship event has more than 1,500 volunteers and 10,000 spectators each year. 

Background: The Soap Box Derby season runs year-round in more than 100 districts across the United States and overseas culminating with the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship in Akron. Each competitor builds his/her own gravity-powered car from kits purchased from the AASBD, typically with assistance from an adult or mentor. 

Stock Division: Racers (7-13) compete in cars built from ready-to-assemble kits, which assist the Derby novice by providing a step-by-step layout and components for construction of a basic style car. This division is designed to give the first-time builder a learning experience. 

Super Stock Division: Racers (9-18) have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and build a larger, heavier model car, also from a kit. 

Masters Division: Racers (10-20) build a more sophisticated designed car in this advanced class of racing. Masters entrants purchase a Masters Kit from the International Soap Box Derby.

Qualifying: Participants become eligible to compete in the FirstEnergy AASBD World Championship by winning their Local Race or by accumulating points in the Rally Program. The Local Race is an annual race held in an AASBD licensed city. The winner of a Local Race is called a “Local Champion” and is eligible to compete in the FirstEnergy AASBD World Championship against other Local Champions. The Rally Program allows participants to earn points by racing in various Rally Races throughout the twelve “Rally Regions” into which the United States is divided. A participant in this program races to win a “Rally Regional Title.” A winner of a Rally Regional Title is considered a “Rally Champion” and is eligible to compete in the FirstEnergy AASBD World Championship against other Rally Champions.

Getting Involved: 
Become A Participant
Soap Box Derby Kits can be purchased through the International Soap Box Derby and include a shell, wooden floorboards and the appropriate hardware. Cars can be assembled in as little as five hours with the help of an adult or older friend.

Become a Sponsor
Organizations may choose to be car, local or Soap Box Derby World Championship sponsors. A car sponsor may sponsor an individual racer by either contributing monetary donations or by funding the cost of a racer’s car. They may advertise on the side of the sponsored car. Local sponsors are organizations which support local races. This type of sponsorship gives an organization the opportunity to gain business exposure in their hometown. Further information regarding the purchasing of kits and sponsorship options can be found online at www.soapboxderby.org or by calling 330.733.8723.

Awards: In Akron, participating boys and girls compete for a share of college scholarships. First through third place finishers in the Local Stock, Local Super Stock, Local Masters and Rally program divisions of the World Championship will receive scholarships from the Bill Speeg Memorial Scholarship fund and trophies. Third through ninth place winners receive trophies. Prizes and awards at local races vary.

AASBD Alumni: Johnny Carson, former Tonight Show host 
Frankie Muniz, Malcolm from Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle
Jim France, NASCAR Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President
Mike Helton, NASCAR President
Richard Childress, 6-time NASCAR-winning owner
Cale Yarborough, 3-time NACSAR WC champion
Tom Sneva, 1983 Indy 500 Champion
Denny Zimmerman, 1971 Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year”
Paul Hornung, 1956 Heisman Trophy winner (Notre Dame)
Pete Dawkins, Heisman Trophy winner (Army)

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Soap Box Derby
P.O. Box 7225
Akron, Ohio 44306
Phone: 330.733.8723
Fax: 330.733.1370
Website: www.soapboxderby.org.
E-Mail: soapbox@soapboxderby.org