On May 18, 2019, DJ Kriser, 11, of Franklin won the 22nd Annual BB&T All-American Soap Box Derby in Bowling Green in the Stock Division. By winning he therefore advanced to the 82nd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship in Akron, OH.
The FEAASBD World Championship is comprised of Soap Box Derby Champions from around the world. The race takes place at the famous Derby Downs track. Champions are invited to a week filled with activities. Events include: car setups, trial runs, Parade of Champions through downtown Akron to a stage where the Opening Ceremony takes place and the Champs are treated like Rock Stars, Rock The Rec (Champion only party), Local Race, Rally Race, Parent Race, Build and Battle Competition and last but not least, the FEAASBD race where someone will earn the title of World Champion.
Upon learning he would be racing in the World Championship, Kriser stated he was very honored, pumped but nervous. He and his family traveled to Akron knowing he would be up against steep competition. DJ said he was a little scared on his first practice run down the legendary Derby Downs because he reached speeds much faster than previously in Bowling Green. He quickly shook it off. Kriser was very appreciative to have the chance to race with fellow Champions and gave it his all but ultimately was eliminated.
DJ said he is very thankful for all of the memories he made. Kriser would also like to thank Jim Clouse, his coach and mentor, for all for his hard work in helping him the past couple of years, Connleigh Wilson and her family for letting him use her car and to the BB&T and Kiwanis Club of BG for holding the race that would give him the opportunity of a lifetime.