Austintown students make run at Soap Box Derby

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – More than 500 racers from across the United States, including youth from Austintown, will be racing down the course of the All American Soap Box Derby.

The competition is scheduled for Saturday in Akron.

Nathan Spalding and Victor LaRose are both from Austintown and said this is their first run at the world championship. They credit their families and the staff and teachers at Austintown Middle School for pushing them in the right direction.

“I got involved last year through the STEM Gravity Racing Challenge. We took part as a STEM program and got to race during our local last year and then again in the STEM Gravity Racing Challenge this spring,” said Spalding.

In order to get this far, the boys have been working on their vehicles for about 10 hours a week for the past few months. It has been a real learning experience in many respects.

“For me, it has been great because I have gotten to work my best and how I learn, and I have gotten to do a lot of awesome projects with a lot of awesome people,” Spalding said.

“It is really a new way of learning with hands-on projects,” LaRose said.

Spalding wants to be an aerospace engineer and LaRose wants to go into the engineering field.

Their hard work has paid off, because it takes quite a bit just to get to the championships. There are more than 600 races and 120 racing districts worldwide.

Saturday’s race will be held at the soap box track located at 789 Derby Downs, Akron.

The soap box cars can go up to 35 miles per hour.

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