RANTOUL — After 16 years of racing in the All-American Soap Box Derby, Mark and Joshua Ostrander of the Ostrander racing team, from Rantoul have participated in the family’s final First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship.
Introduced to the sport by a simple phone call in 2003 from Rantoul’s Christian Life Church to race their stock car, Mark Ostrander won the East Central Illinois Soap Box Derby Local race in the Stock Division. After being eliminated in the first round in the 2003 AASBD Local Stock World Championship, the Ostrander family decided to take part in soap box derby rally racing to try “a couple of races” to see how rally racing would work out.
Mark went on to qualify and appear eight times in the First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships, placing in the top eight four times in the Wold Championships (5th, 2007 Local Masters; 2nd, 2008 Rally Masters; 7th, 2010 Rally Super Stock; 8th, 2012 Rally Super Stock). Mark Ostrander was also a two-time Overall National Points Champion (Rally Masters 2008, Rally Super Stock 2010).
He retired from racing in 2013 with 393 career races with 118 career wins and 337 top eight finishes.
Mark’s younger brother, Joshua, has had similar success in soap box derby racing. His racing career began in 2011 in the Stock Division. He qualified for the 2012 World Championship as the Chicago Local Stock Division Champion, while his brother qualified as a 2012 Rally Super Stock Region 5 Champion, allowing Mark and Joshua to appear together in the 2012 First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship for the only time in their careers.
Joshua finished his soap box derby racing career with his eighth appearance at the 2019 First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship.
Joshua is a three-time National Points Champion (2016 Rally Masters, 2017 Rally Masters (and Overall Points Title), and 2019 Rally Super Stock (and Overall Points Title). Joshua has four All-American World Championship finishes (2015 Winner, Subway Local Masters Challenge; 2017 3rd place, All American Rally Masters; 2019 Winner, Rally Super Stock Challenge; 3rd Place, 2019 Rally Super Stock All-Star Race).
Joshua became the first driver in derby history to win a Local Challenge race and a Rally Challenge Race (2015 Local Masters and 2019 Rally Super Stock).
He raced in 561 career races with 165 career wins and 483 Top 8 finishes.
He retired from racing at the conclusion of the 82nd First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship held Saturday, July 20th, 2019.
Mark and Joshua Ostrander have raced a combined 954 soap box derby races with 283 career wins, achieving a nearly 30 percent win rate and 820 career top eight finishes, nearly a 86 percent finish rate, with five Divisional National Point titles, four of which are also Overall National Point Titles, and eight World Championship top eight finishes, including two Rally Challenge race wins.