Soapbox Derby racers getting ready

22 teams are revving up and ready to race in Saturday's fifth annual Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby.

It's the race that draws thousands of people downtown each year.

When it comes to the Derby, 5Star Small Engines pulls out all the stops.

"It rolls like the wind," 5Star owner, Mitch Dyes, said.

The repair shop, sponsored by Bearfoot Tavern, is the Derby's undefeated champion.

"I'm extremely proud that we won consecutively for four years," Dyes said.

It takes work to build a winning race car that barrels down one of Macon's steepest hills in the shortest amount of time.

Last year, 5Star won with a time of 10.2 seconds.

"It needs to roll easy for one. It needs to be aerodynamic for another," Dyes said.

That isn't cheap. 5Star's car cost $2,000 in materials to build. For them, that's the cost of sweet victory.

"If you're not racing to win, what are you racing for?" Dyes said.

It is a "race" after all.

But some say they're not in it for first place.

"My goal is to take the longest time getting down the hill," Adam Ragusea, Georgia Public Broadcasting Macon's bureau chief, said.

That's because GPB wants to change up the game.

"You might be hearing the car radio in this guy right here doing a little message as we go down the hill," Ragusea said.

Inspired by the Volkswagen bus, GPB built their car with $300 with the help of Butler VW and Collision Center.

"It's priceless in terms of the love that went into it," Ragusea said.

Win or lose, Ragusea says the Derby is a blast.

But if you want to see what gravity can do to a small, soap box race car, they say it's something you've just got to see for yourself.

"Let's save the action for race day," Dyes said.

The practice run kicks off at 11 a.m., while the race begins at 1 p.m. on Magnolia Street.

Organizer Martha Upchurch says prizes range from guitars to theater tickets to restaurant gift cards.

Saturday's event will also have live music, food vendors and a free Big Wheel Race for kids ages 5 to 8.

College Hill's Second Sunday concert will start Sunday at 6 p.m. in Washington Park.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ and on Twitter @anita_oh.


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