Stewart to attend soap box derby at Pocono

Winston Cup Champ to attend All-American Soap Box Derby ATLANTA (July 23, 2003) - Following Saturday's final practice for the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, Home Depot Chevrolet driver Tony Stewart will fly...

Winston Cup Champ to attend All-American Soap Box Derby

ATLANTA (July 23, 2003) - Following Saturday's final practice for the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, Home Depot Chevrolet driver Tony Stewart will fly to Akron, Ohio to participate in festivities surrounding the 66th running of the All-American Soap Box Derby.

The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer and title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby, invited Stewart to take a break from his Winston Cup duties to join the 430 youngsters competing for more than $50,000 in scholarship awards.

"Soap Box racing is all about the kids," said Stewart, who started racing go-karts at age seven and was a three-time karting champion. "I've been in their shoes, where you're doing all you can to be your best, and testing your hard work against a bunch of other kids who are doing the same thing. Being in Akron is the payoff for all of their efforts, and I'm happy to share in the excitement with them."

With its roots dating back to the mid-1930s, the All-American Soap Box Derby has some striking similarities to Winston Cup racing. Just as Winston Cup drivers must do before even practicing their race car, contestants must sign in on an official entry board. Their cars must also be inspected to make certain they meet the necessary weight and safety regulations, and before racing begins, contestants are allowed a practice run down the course to become familiar with the track. However, the major difference is that Soap Box Derby cars do not have engines, relying solely on gravity for motion.

This year, boys and girls between the ages of eight and 17 have earned the trip to Akron by winning local Soap Box Derby races in their home communities from 42 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart