Cooper wins two of three races at All-American Soap Box Derby
Posted July 31, 2012
Caroline Cooper, a seventh grade student at The Webb School, participated in the 75th All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, on July 16-21. The derby in Akron has been characterized as the greatest gravity racing in the world. More than 400 children from 40 states and foreign countries, including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Germany, participated this year.
Cooper won her first two races, but lost the third by half a car length. She was the highest placing racer in the region of Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina, placing in the top 18 in the world. Her car was rated as VIP prior to the race meaning it had no deviations from kit instructions.
The local racer represented Tullahoma after winning the local super stock division earlier in the summer. This was her fifth year to race soap box cars after collecting two third places and a second place in a lower stock division.
Cooper would like to continue racing soap box cars on the rally network going from city to city on the weekends with her car, which carries The Webb School logo with feet tracing across the gold and blue body. If she accumulates enough points in this division, then she could return to Akron next year.
The All-American Soap Box has seen a resurgence in popularity with sponsorship of First Energy in Akron and an increase in the number of race cities. In Tennessee, there are local events in Tullahoma, Cookeville, Chattanooga and Athens.
In addition to last-minute adjustments on their cars, the children from around the world enjoyed activities such as swapping souvenir buttons and racing miniature cars.
At the end of the week, the World Championship Race was held with single elimination of three lanes going down a hill of nearly 1,000 feet at speeds of 30 mph for an average of 30 seconds. All the racers received gold wheels and gold helmets to commemorate the 75th running of the event that began in 1934. There were a few years it was not held because of World War II.