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Soapbox race a success in The Colony

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Red Bull Soapbox Race -- Smoke on the Water

Donna Arnold and Perry Schrag

Aside from a few cars falling apart midway through the race – even though that was fully expected – the Red Bull Soapbox Race turned out to be a success last weekend in The Colony.

The city hosted the race Saturday at Austin Ranch, marking the second time the event has come to The Colony.

The event drew thousands of spectators who watched 47 teams race down a path in creative non-motorized cars they created at home.

There were eight teams from The Colony that entered the race, including Smoke on the Water, a team made up of City Councilmen Perry Schrag and Brian Wade, Donna Arnold, president of Lakeside Community Theatre, Kevin Braby, who serves on the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Board, and Joe Perez, director of Community Relations and Programming.

This was the first time the city entered a car.

The team created a car to resemble the city’s historic fire truck called The General. Team members added to the fun by dressing up in firefighter gear.

Since cars can’t weigh more than 176 pounds, the team designed parts of the car to come off if needed.

“The fenders and the ladder was held on by magnets and were designed to come off at the jump,” Schrag said. “But the hood wasn’t supposed to come off, so when that happened it was a surprise.”

Smoke on the Water ended up in 11th place.

“We didn’t know what to expect since this was our first time,” Schrag said. “But we definitely went there to win.”

Teams were judged based on speed, showmanship and creativity.

“We might display it somewhere,” Perez said of the car. “It might be OK to use it again, but our steering got bent at the end when we ran into the hay bales.”

The Colony was the first host city to have a team.

Soapbox Bomb Pop Racer

Bomb Pop Racer!, a team of local teens who attend Prince of Peace Christian School, placed second at the Red Bull Soapbox Race. 

Skeeter Done, a team out of Palatka, Florida, won the event with 27.82 points. They will receive ran experience with the Red Bull Air Force. Second place went to Bomb Pop Racer!, a team of local teens who attend Prince of Peace Christian School in Carrollton. They finished with 26.86 points and will receive an iFly tunnel flying experience for all team members.

Third-place Team Dallas Mavs ManiAACs, from Dallas, and Team Formula Juan, from Plano, both received a day at the K1 Speed karting track for all team members.

Brant Shallenburger, director of government relations for the city, said officials didn’t receive any complaints about traffic, though it did when the event took place in Austin Ranch in 2012.

Shallenburger said the city hopes to bring the event back in the future.

“We enjoyed it when they were here in 2012 and were disappointed that they didn’t come back immediately,” Shallenburger said. “It’s a family-friendly event, and it brings a lot of people here to our city. So we would love to have them back whenever they want to.”

Teams had to qualify for the event, and 47 teams competed. The event included celebrity judges – Olympic climbing hopeful and Plano native Claire Buhrfeind, “Aaron Needs a Job” star Aaron Kaufman, NBA All-Star Shawn Marion, American rapper Dorrough Music, baseball legend Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and TV host and personality Kaime Stroot. 

Kidd Kraddick in the Morning’s J-Si Chavez helped to host the festivities. 

The global event dates back to 2000, when it first took place in Belgium, and has since visited almost 30 countries, with the first stateside race being held in St. Louis in 2006.

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