Vernon boy qualifies for soap box derby world championship

Tuesday July 2, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Joe Koes, 11, of Vernon has qualified for the second straight year to compete at the All American Soap Box Derby World Championship in Akron, OH this month.

Koes is one of eleven other area racers from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine racing for a chance at the world title. He will be competing in the rally stock division.

After competing last year in Akron, Koes decided he wanted to go back and started rallying last August in over 40 races in six different states. Joe has accumulated 182 points. 180 points are needed to go to Akron.

"Soap Box Derby is what I do between hockey seasons," said Koes. "It’s fun, I get to drive a car and I make friends from all over the country."

Koes is re-kindling a family tradition and is the first member of his family to go to Akron since his uncles, Bill Koes, who went in 1968, and Jack Koes, in 1962.

This year marks the 76th running of the All American Soap Box Derby. With the exception of a few years during World War II, the race has been run every year since 1934.

Soap Box Derby is open to boys and girls ages 7-17 with three different divisions: stock, super stock and masters. Cars are powered by gravity only and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.

The race attracts about 500 contestants from 41 states and four countries including Germany, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand.

You can watch the race via live video streaming on race day July 27. For more information on the All American Soap Box Derby, visit


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