Bringing families and
community together
one race at a time.
Parkersburg Soap Box Derby, Inc.
903 Camden Ave.
Parkersburg, WV 26101-5528
(304) 588-8074 (cell/text)
contact@parkersburgsoapboxderby.org

About Soap Box Derby®

Why Start a Program?

The International Soap Box Derby® is the official sanctioning body of Soap Box Derby racing with more than 100 race cities in the United States and around the world. Not only do organizers in each city host sanctioned Soap Box Derby events that qualify racers for our annual World Championship race – these youth gravity racing programs help bring together generations of racers, families and supporters for a one-of-a-kind community experience that’s been going strong since 1934!

Soap Box Derby race city programs are an opportunity to provide:

  • A unique opportunity to change lives of children in YOUR community
  • A hands-on STEM education based program for children in YOUR community
  • A fundraising opportunity to a non-profit organization in YOUR community

What is Soap Box Derby Racing?

The International Soap Box Derby® is a non-profit youth education and leadership development organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration, fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculum, and other community-focused activities. Soap Box Derby racing is a youth gravity racing program which has been inspiring new generations of champions since 1934. Over 100 race cities around the world qualify champs for the annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby® World Championship race at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. A detailed Reference Guide is here.

All kits and parts for Soap Box Derby racing must be purchased through the Soap Box Derby. Their on-line store has all the information you need to order racing kits and parts. Once you purchase your Soap Box Derby Car Kit we suggest reading through the rulebook. When you receive your Soap Box Derby Car Kit you will also receive a written set of build plans. The plans are a great resource that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to build a safe and competitive car.

For additional information please refer to the starting guide. See also “Everything You Need to Know About Soap Box Derby.”

Here are helpful resources to support students participating in the Soap Box Derby's STEM-based educational programs, but the information is also helpful for other than a school program.

International Soap Box Derby

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 Values 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.

About Parkersburg Soap Box Derby, Inc.

Parkersburg Soap Box Derby, Inc. was formed as a non-profit 501(c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation[1] on February 22, 2024, for the express purpose of conducting Soap Box Derby racing in the mid-Ohio Valley. No officer or director of our company receives financial compensation of any kind except rare reimbursement for necessary, actual, and reasonable expenses.

What You Need to Do to Get Started

  1. You need to be at least 7 years old.
     
  2. You must have a parent or guardian to work with you on your car (this is a family sport).
     
  3. You’ll need to get yourself a sponsor or multiple sponsors. You can have more than one sponsor, there is no limit. You need a sponsor for race day which is $ 75.00, and you need a car sponsor (these are usually the same sponsor). Your car sponsor helps you fund your car. Which, depending on which division you will be racing in (Stock, Super Stock, or Masters), will determine the price of your car. With all the necessary accessories your car will cost about $900 for Stock, about $700 for Super Stock, or about $1,500 for Masters. (Car kits)
     

Is Soap Box Derby Racing Safe?

Soap Box Derby racing is a very safe sport, especially when compared to athletic sports. Cars are entirely gravity powered and the drivers have full control with both a steering wheel and brake pedal.

Why Should I Get My Child Involved in Soap Box Derby Racing?

  • FUN - Kids experience the thrill and excitement of driving their race car down the track while competing for medals and trophies!

  • FAMILY TIME - Soap Box Derby racing involves the entire family and requires teamwork and collaboration which builds strong family bonds between parents and their children.

  • NEW FRIENDS - Although Soap Box Derby is a competitive sport, you'll find that racing families are friendly. Many kids and parents build lasting friendships through Soap Box Derby.

  • STEM - Racers learn many STEM principles through building, driving, and tuning Soap Box Derby cars. Unlike school, this is a great hands-on learning experience which brings better understanding to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

  • REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES - Soap Box Derby is REAL. It is not a video game, television screen, or anything virtual. This is a great way to get kids outdoors, active, and engaged in the exciting sport of Soap Box Derby Racing.

85th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby
Streamed live on Jul 22, 2023
(Be patient or fast forward to 12:55)


  1. Our application for 501(c)(3) status was approved on July 3, 2024 and is retroactive to our incorporation date of February 22, 2024. [BACK]

Page last updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2024 04:44 PM

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