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RACING NASCAR, Soap Box Derby team to unite American traditions



Published: Sat, July 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The new relationship will benefit both acclaimed racing organizations.

SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Two American racing traditions have united as NASCAR announced Friday a multi-year partnership with the All-American Soap Box Derby.

The All-American Soap Box Derby, a national property with grassroots applications that was founded in 1934, will benefit from the relationship through NASCAR's media awareness and resources.

NASCAR, along with potential partners in the program, will gain from the outstanding reach to families and children that the All-American Soap Box Derby provides as the most established youth and family racing organization in the United States.

"The All-American Soap Box Derby is a long-standing American tradition that possesses many of the core values of NASCAR including teamwork, the spirit of competition, perseverance and sportsmanship," said NASCAR President Mike Helton, who participated in All-American Soap Box Derby competition as a child growing up in Bristol, Tenn.

"We look forward to working with Goodyear and assisting the All-American Soap Box Derby in its mission of instilling in today's youth its core values and, on a grassroots level, helping nurture some of the nation's future racing stars," Helton said.

The All-American Soap Box Derby, based in Akron, is looking forward to working with NASCAR after enjoying so much success with one of its partners, Goodyear Tire & amp; Rubber Co.

The AASBD maintains a strong relationship with Akron-based Goodyear, which also possesses a long-standing and successful partnership with NASCAR.

"With its success and visibility, NASCAR provides an outstanding opportunity for the All-American Soap Box Derby to further its growth in the future, both promotionally and sponsorship-wise," said Tony DeLuca, All-American Soap Box Derby Executive Director. "We possess similar traits and values and it is great to see two All-American racing traditions working together for the betterment of our youth."

The All-American Soap Box Derby will become part of NASCAR's Youth Program initiative, which was established to expose America's future generation to the motorsports industry, and more specifically NASCAR, and its numerous opportunities. NASCAR's Youth Program initiative also includes the Diversity Summer Internship Program and Urban Youth Racing School.

The Diversity Summer Internship Program, established in 2000, is a 10-week, full-time, paid summer internship program designed to expose diverse youth to the motorsports industry, which includes NASCAR, sponsors, licensees, teams and tracks.

More than 40 interns have participated in the program.

Since 1999, NASCAR has been supporting the Urban Youth Racing School, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia that provides inner-city youth ranging in age from 8-18 with an opportunity to learn about the industry through a 10-week curriculum. Due to the growing number of applicants, the UYRS doubled the number of sessions it was offering to accommodate the interest level.

"The All-American Soap Box Derby is a natural fit with our existing efforts," Helton said. "We have been pleased with the growth and success of the Diversity Summer Internship Program and the Urban Youth Racing School and look forward to enjoying as much success with our new relationship with the All-American Soap Box Derby."

The All-American Soap Box Derby (www.aasbd.org) is an annual season-long competition, which runs from March to July.

The AASBD sanctions nearly 350 local events throughout the United States each year that showcases its three major divisions as well as points-accumulating "rally" races. The major divisions are Stock, for first-time builders ages 9-16; Super Stock, for experienced builders ages 9-16; and Masters, for advanced builders ages 11-17.

All local winners advance to the Championship Race in Akron in July. The 65th running of this week-long championship event is scheduled for July 27.




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