The 84th All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships will take place next week in Akron, Ohio.
Seven youngsters from the Jamestown Area Soap Box Derby will also be present.
“This is the first time that Jamestown has sent seven children to the Worlds”, said Jamestown’s Allen Roller, who has provided cars to local youth for the past decade. “It’s quite an achievement for our small region.
East Otto’s Adele Canale, Region 9 Stock Points Champion and All-Star, makes the trip; Adrianna Hasson of Getzville, Region 9 Stock Rally Champion; Shelby Withers of Falconer, Super Stock rally champion; Region 9 Masters rally champion Damen Vincent of Jamestown; Brantley Steinbar of Little Valley, local Stock champion; local Masters champion Brock Vincent of Jamestown; and local Super Stock champion Hannah Forbes of Frewsburg.
“They can qualify in two ways,” Roller said. “One way is to win the local here in Jamestown. When you win the local, it qualifies drivers to race other local champions around the world in Akron.
Roller said the other way for youngsters to qualify is to be a “rally champion”.
“A rally champion is someone who goes to various rallies around the country to acquire points.” he said. “Once the rally season is over, the driver with the most points is awarded the Region 9 title. Region 9 includes New York State – you must live in the region in which you qualify – and you can also get an automatic bid after accumulating 600 points.
Between Canale and Hasson, they traveled to other rallies including Florida, Chicago, Rochester, Jamestown, Akron and Kentucky in pursuit of a Region 9 title. region can be awarded after a driver reaches 200 points, but they are not guaranteed.
Roller noted that Canale won the Region 9 Stock Points Championship.
She also won the all-star entry, which goes to the driver who wins the most races in her region. Additionally, Canale will have the opportunity to compete against the best of the best in an exhibition race with 18 other riders; the challenge race; and the world championship a week from Saturday.
Steinbar, who is Canale’s cousin, won the local Stock Championship at Jamestown in June. He beat Canale in his second race only to qualify for the world championship. Canale finished second.
“These kids are my niece and nephew and drive my cars,” Roller said. “I’ve supplied cars to 19 different kids over the past 10 years and had six kids qualify for Worlds.”
Roller said Forbes grew out of the STEM program he started a few years ago in a few local schools and scout programs.
“I got a grant from the (Chautauqua Area Community Foundation), with help from ‘Dream It, Do It,’ and bought a few kits to get the program started.”
Roller also noted that all of the local kids will be taking part in a challenge race in Akron next week. The world championships will take place on July 23.
“Shelby, Brock and Damen are former World Championship participants and have another shot at the big win,” Roller said. “The other children are first-time participants. We will be there for a week to run and have fun.