Friday, July 22, 2011
Racing For A World Title
A Bremen girl who started racing at age 12 is revving up for world domination of the All-American Soap Box Derby and the National Derby Rallies for the next two weeks in Akron, Ohio.
Ambree Garren, 17-year-old racing prodigy, intends to drive her pint-sized car “Georgia Girl” to a world title, the Holy Grail of soap box racing. Ambree advanced to the finals by capturing the northwest Georgia championship and accumulating points in derby rallies throughout the United States. In the Marietta regional last month, she drove to her third division win after amassing a record 616 rally points and leading the nation with 29 wins in Florida, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The multi-sport phenom will face stiff international competition Saturday in the familiar All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) at Akron’s Derby Downs. Next Saturday, July 30, she will be gunning for the checkered flag in the National Derby Rallies (NDR), which spun off the original Soap Box Derby. The race week activities, including the championship races on Saturday, will be broadcast live over the USTREAM Video Channel link aasbd.org.
Ambree likes to race “mainly for fun, but if I win the All-American, I can get money for scholarships, and my activities can be used on my resume. Soap box racing has been in my family for four generations.”
The family tradition started in the 1930s, according to her father, Al Garren, who restores classic cars with his father, William. Al once finished 9th in the Soap Box Derby world finals. William and his father, Albert, raced on the local level in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Ambree’s sister, Leah, 20, finished 3rd in the 2008 All-American world competition.
“I guess I’m the only one from around here now that races Soap Box Derby. I’ve had a lot of success so far,” said Ambree. “It’s kind of unique.”