Showmanship and Creativity Make Soapbox Race Memorable

The Colony — Madness, mayhem and merriment ensued as The Colony’s Austin Ranch hosted the Red Bull Soapbox Race on Saturday, Sept. 28. Throughout the day, teams from different backgrounds came together to race custom-made soapboxes.

“We started off with 200 entrants trying to make it into this field,” Rodney, one of the emcees of the event, said. “Now, we’re down to about 47, and they’re racing down this course.

“There are three things the judges are going to be looking for: creativity, showmanship, and speed. Obviously, we’re going to see the speed when they head down the track. We’ll be seeing the showmanship early on as each team will do a skit before they take off. The creativity is based on how they prepared their vehicles.”

Before the races began, Aron Colton, a professional motorcyclist, performed stunts for the crowd.

“It’s been quite a long road, but just to give an idea, I signed with Red Bull twelve years ago,” Colton said. “It’s been a daily grind since 2005, and I’m so thankful and happy to be able to come out to a place like this and open it up. Speed is one thing, but technical prowess is more of my thing. I like to mesh the two together. Today, I’m driving my 765 motorcycle. It’s custom made, 1 of 1.”

None of the day’s contestants were afraid to show off their creativity when it came to designing their soapboxes. From soapboxes resembling the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine to a soapbox driven by demonic clowns, each team was able to put a unique spin on their soapbox design. The Weekend Wallace’s were no exception. Run by a group of men who love spending time by the boat ramp, they created a soapbox which resembled a truck pulling a ski-boat.

Dustin Martin, otherwise known as Richard Wallace, rode in the front boat portion of the vehicle.

“We love to spend our weekends, holidays, or whenever we can down by the boat ramp, so we wanted to make a soapbox inspired by that,” Martin said. “We Wallaces always have to get in the water first. As you can see, we’ve also got some wakeboards. We are all about the lake lifestyle, and we try to spend as much time in the water as we can. I know today’s competition is going to be a good one, but I think we’ll set a speed record for sure. As for time, that isn’t as important to us.”

Chris Moos, otherwise known as Christopher Biggie Wallace, was not afraid to be behind his friend Dustin.

“Unfortunately, somebody had to drive the truck, since [Richard] can never seem to back the boat in, I’m going to take a stab at it today,” Moos said. “I’d say our vehicle is pretty well equipped. On the front end, the boat, Dustin is essentially riding a mountain bike, and in the back, we have actual swing arms. It’s very fancy. Our soapbox is going to have some real travel.”

The Dallas Mavs ManiAACs describe themselves as the NBA’s original male-performance squad. Driver Andy Brown, nicknamed D$, was thrilled to be competing.

“We saw this competition, and we are always looking for an opportunity to gather in front of the public and just have a good time,” Brown said. “It’s just an opportunity for us to come out here, do a little dance, and go as fast as we can down a hill. It was amazing. We wanted to have so much fun, put on a good show, and entertain everybody.

“We came up with the idea to model the cart after one of Dirk Nowitzki’s shoes, throw four wheels on it, throw a guy in it, and see how fast we can run down one of these hills. This is the first year we’ve actually had the opportunity to do this, and it is amazing.

“Although, I will say that going to a Mavs game is on another level; it is also kind of similar to an event like this. When you get out there with everybody, and everyone is cheering on their favorite team, trying to drive them into the playoffs and championship games, it’s really top level. This event is similar. Everyone comes out and cheers for their favorite racers or favorite carts, kind of like the fans at Mavs games.”

Ultimately, the judges gave the ManiAACs and their performance very high scores. Brown was very pleased with the results.

“Honestly, I think I could have gone just a little bit faster,” Brown said. “Right now, we’re sitting in first place with perfect 10s from the judges. Also, we’re sub 30 on our time. So far, we’re still in first place, but we didn’t get airborne in one place that we should have. I knew our car was too heavy.”

Brown was amazed at the level of creativity in the carts from his competitors.

“When it comes to design, I really like the Patty Wagon that’s from SpongeBob, and it looks like a hamburger,” Brown said. “I’m a bigger fella, and I like to eat, and it just made me hungry sitting across from it the whole time. I also like the BMW car. It looks real sleek, and has really clean lines. It was just 10 seconds slower than us.

“To me, the benefit of this event is being around the people and interacting with everybody. We always look for events like this, and Red Bull puts on such a great production. They do a fabulous job, and they are so family friendly. Everything I’ve seen them do today has been amazing.”

In the end, Team Skeeter Done won first place and will receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Red Bull Air Force. Team Bomp Pop Racer! took second place, winning an iFly tunnel flying experience. Team Dallas Mavs ManiAACs came in third place, while Team Formula Juan became the People’s Choice winner, both teams will spend a day at the K1 Speed karting track. 

Written by Caton Berry