June 2008 Issue
Ohioan - Tyler Shoff
Soap Box Derby Champion
HOMETOWN: Canal Fulton
CLAIM TO FAME: She is the first Akron-area girl to win the All-American World Championship in the Stock division at the Akron International Soap Box Derby in 66 years. She won in July 2007 and is currently competing in local races to see if she will be racing in the championship again this summer.The World Championship races are held July 26–27 in Akron.
HOW SHE GOT HER START: Tyler began racing when she was 9. “My grandpa, dad and aunt raced when they were kids and I wanted to, but they wouldn’t let me at first. I watched the movie “Miracle in Lane 2” and after that I begged them to let me start racing, too,” she says.
A FAVORITE MEMORY: The first time she rode in her dark blue car that she built with her dad, which is now in the museum at Derby Downs. “We hadn’t even finished screwing the shell [top of the car] down, but I wanted to ride in it so bad. So my dad let me get in and he pushed me down the driveway and down the hill in my car. It was so amazing!”
MOST EXCITING ASPECT OF WINNING: “Getting to go to New York City.” She was chosen from the three different division winners to appear on the “Live With Regis and Kelly” television show. “We raced down a makeshift derby hill outside the studio,” she says.
FAVORITE THING TO DO BESIDES RACING: Reading. “When I find a book that I really love I will lock myself in my room and read the entire book in a day or two. I’ll only come out for dinner.”
WHAT SHE WANTS TO BE WHEN SHE GROWS UP: A second grade teacher or a journalist. “I’m not sure which I’d like to be, but I think writing for a fashion magazine or working with kids and writing kids’ books would be fun.”
HER HERO: “I really love my dad because he got me into the derby and he never let me quit. He told me that eventually I’d win and finally I did.”