Teen Soap Box Derby Racer Defeats NASCAR Champion

April 28, 2009

               15-Year-Old Tyler Shoff ‘Out-Rolls’ Greg Biffle in Goodyear’s Fuel Max Challenge  

AKRON, Ohio, April 29, 2009 – Today, 15-year-old Tyler Shoff defeated NASCAR champion Greg Biffle by more than three car lengths in the Fuel Max Challenge, a quarter-mile soap box derby race held at the world famous Derby Downs raceway in Akron, Ohio.  Both Biffle and Shoff lined up at the starting line on the hill using identical soap box racers; however, there was one very important difference – the teenage girl’s vehicle was equipped with Goodyear’s new Assurance Fuel Max tires.

Shoff, known within the Soap Box Derby world as ‘Derby Diva,’ led from the moment the cars left the starting blocks and never trailed the past Busch and Truck Series champion over the 90-second gravity-coast to the finish.  The race, held at the site of the Annual All American Soap Box Derby, pitted two unlikely competitors against one another in over-sized Derby cars built specifically to run on real passenger car tires.

“Tyler definitely had the home-track advantage here and has more Soap Box Derby car seat-time than me, but the biggest factor was the Goodyear Fuel Max tires she was running on today,” said Greg Biffle.  “As a NASCAR driver, I understand the critical role tires play in my ability to perform on the racetrack, and today, Goodyear really proved how big a difference its new fuel-efficient tires can make… even over a distance as short as a quarter mile.”

“We’d like to thank Greg Biffle for being such a great sport today, as we did give Tyler an advantage with a set of the next generation Fuel Max tires, and he got the original Assurance tires on his car,” said Joey Viselli, Goodyear brand director. “The outcome of today’s race clearly demonstrates that the breakthrough tread compound in the new Fuel Max tires helps deliver 27 percent less rolling resistance than the original Assurance tires, which helps generate a 4  percent improvement in highway fuel economy for consumers.”

The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max features a proprietary fuel-saving tread compound that helps reduce energy loss as the tire rolls, so less gas is required to keep the tire rolling.  The 4 percent improvement in highway fuel economy delivered by the new Fuel Max tires means, in essence, drivers can save 2,600 miles worth of gas over the life of a set of 4 tires.* The new tread rubber compound also retains or even enhances tread life and traction over the original Goodyear Assurance tire, enabling Goodyear to offer a 65,000-mile tread life limited warranty and continuing to provide all-season traction. 

 “Goodyear really impressed me today because, basically, the only difference between our two cars was the tires, and Tyler beat me handily in just a quarter mile,” added Biffle.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires are available to consumers now - just in time for the busy summer driving season- with full availability of 27 sizes, fitting about 80 percent of the passenger tire segment.

According to Viselli, due to the economy, consumers are looking to be even smarter with their money and with the usual summer rise in fuel prices just around the corner; this is a great time to introduce a tire that can help consumers go farther with less gas.

*(Note: This savings is based on a 4% fuel economy improvement, on 65,000-mile tread life limited warranty, as compared to the standard Goodyear Assurance tire tested on P195/65R15 size on a 2008 Honda Civic. Actual results may vary based on when tires are replaced, driving and road conditions, and proper tire maintenance.)

About Goodyear

Goodyear employs approximately 75,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 60 facilities in 25 countries around the world. For more information about Goodyear, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.

About the All American Soap Box Derby

The Soap Box derby grew out of a photographic assignment of Dayton , Ohio , newspaperman Myron Scott. After covering an unorganized race of boy-built cars for his local paper in 1933, Scott acquired a copyright for the idea and began developing the program on a national scale. The first AASBD race was held in the summer of 1934 and has run annually ever since (with the exception of during World War II).

Participants compete in three racing divisions: Stock, Super Stock, and Masters. Within the Stock division, boys and girls aged 8-13 compete in simplified cars built from kits purchased from the AASBD.  Competitors aged 10-17 compete in the Super Stock division - building a larger model car made from larger body shells, and the Masters division - building a more sophisticated-style car from a kit.  In competition, a Derby car can reach speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour depending on the grade of the ramp or hill. Participants are required to compete in the Soap Box Derby race geographically closest to where they reside. All local race winners in each division automatically earn the right to compete in the Finals in Akron . The 72nd All American Soap Box Derby World Championship will be held July 25, 2009, with more than 500 participants representing 40 states and six foreign countries ( Japan , Germany , Canada , Guam , Philippines and New Zealand ).  For more information on the All American Soap Box Derby, or to become a corporate sponsor, please visit www.aasbd.com or contact Jim Huntsma, president at 330-620-2761.