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All-American Soap Box Derby returns to Akron

Posted at 11:40 AM, Jul 21, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — Hundreds of families are heading to Akron to race in the annual All-American Soap Box Derby.

"It really just depends on the track, on what the rush feels like," said racer Brianna Waldron.

Waldron has been behind the wheel for years.

"I started Racing Masters in 2015," Waldron said.

It's a skill that runs in her family.

"I'm a third-generation racer, so my dad and my grandfather raced as well," Waldron said.

Waldron is one of 300 drivers racing in the 84th annual event this weekend.

"We have families that are third and fourth-generation racers. And so that's quite interesting. Right. But then you have people that are just showing up and racing for the first time. So you have that seven-year-old kid who's never been down a hill this big right," President and CEO Mark Gerberich said.

Drivers have been arriving all week at Derby Downs to put on the finishing touches to their race car.

"There's not really secrets. I mean, whatever I do with my car may work and the next driver may do it to theirs, and it may not work for them," Waldron said.

Her car is personalized and even features a signature Slurpee from one of her sponsors, 7/11.

"It's kind of like an escape from reality to work on your car," Waldron said.

Waldron will be competing in the Master's Division this weekend after making her way through the ranks of stock and super stock over the years.