SOURCE: All-American Soap Box Derby

All-American Soap Box Derby

July 19, 2012 09:00 ET

75th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby

Gravity Takes Over as Racers From Around the World Hit the Hill at Derby Downs

AKRON, OH--(Marketwire - Jul 19, 2012) - Boys and girls in local communities throughout the United States and several foreign countries are at work in their basements, garages, schools or clubhouses assembling their gravity-powered racers in hopes of qualifying for the 75th running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at Akron's Derby Downs on Saturday, July 21.

More than 550 youngsters between the ages of seven and 17 will represent their home communities in the championship finals here. They will earn the right to compete in the 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 the United States since last August.

The champions and their families from the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and New Zealand arrived in Akron on Monday, July 16, for a week of race-related activities leading up to the All-American championships. Participants will be at Derby Downs for technical inspections of their racers, weigh-ins and trial runs on the famous 989-foot-long track.

Racers compete in separate divisions, based on their age and construction skills. Boys and girls from seven to 13 compete in the Stock Car division, which features the simplest ready-to-assemble kits purchased from All-American Derby headquarters. Youngsters 10 through 17 will be 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.

The Ultimate Speed division is open to drivers between 16 and 24 who pilot innovative race cars at speeds not attainable with the traditionally designed cars.

Division champions will compete in Akron for more than $45,000 in college scholarships.

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 20.

Additional information is available at www.aasbd.org and http://smnr.akamediainc.com/aasbd-2012. A live webcast at aaraceweek.com will enable race fans to follow the action on Saturday, July 21.

In March 2012, FirstEnergy Corp., the Akron-based diversified energy company, became the title sponsor of the youth racing program.