Indy teen is first African American Soap Box Derby World Champion

AKRON,OH – An Indianapolis teen is the first African American world champion of the All American Soap Box Derby.

18-year-old Marlon Wells placed first in the Rally Masters Division.   There are a total of seven divisions in the championship race.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Wells was quiet as he got out of his car, feeling both nervous and relieved that he won after three years of racing in the All-American.

As he walked on stage to receive his trophy and heard cheers from family members, a soft smile slid across his face.

After winning, Wells said the best part of racing for him was going to Akron with friends and family and “just having fun.”

More than 425 boys and girls from across the country and as far away as Canada and New Zealand participated in the competition held Saturday at the world-famous Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio.

Racers between the ages of 7 and 20 spent months building their gravity-powered racecars and competing in local Soap Box Derby competitions to earn their trip to the World Championships

The gravity-powered race cars reach speeds in excess of 30 m.p.h. as they race down the 989 foot track.