ROSWELL, Ga. — Tessa Martin, a rising Roswell High School freshman will compete in the 82nd All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship July 20 in Akron, Ohio.
She will join more than 400 gravity-powered racers from throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan between the ages of 7 and 20 and will represent North Georgia in the Super Stock division of the championships. Martin follows her older brother and sister, Anthony and Elise Martin, who began racing in 2008 while living in Louisville, Kentucky.
She enjoys racing because it is a STEM type competition that relies on an understanding of physics and how gravity, weight placement, friction, wind resistance and driving techniques affect the racer’s speed.
The Super Stock race car is a tribute to Chuck Yeager’s experimental aircraft, the Bell X-1 named Glamorous Glennis, the first plane to break the sound barrier.
Racers earn the right to compete in the world championship by winning regional and local Soap Box Derby qualifying races, or by accumulating points in a series of rally competitions held around North America each year.
Racers compete in separate divisions, based on their ages and construction skills. Boys and girls from 7 to 13 compete in the Stock Car division, which features the simplest ready-to-assemble kits purchased from All-American Derby headquarters.
Kids age 9-18 are in the Super Stock division. Their cars are similar but larger to accommodate larger racers. The Masters division features the traditional, more sophisticated cars for boys and girls age 10-20.
Division champions will compete in the week-long even in Akron for $36,000 in college scholarships.