In Independent/Illegal/Underground/Outlaw Soap Box Racing,
adults in makeshift gravity-powered jalopies clandestinely sneak out early on the second Sunday of each month from March through
December to meet and then barrel through unsuspecting suburban neighborhoods or where ever they can find a good hill.
How it all Works
Prior to any race date, the secret Meeting Location will be announced on the Message Boards. It may also be announced on event fliers and the web site, but officially it is on the message boards,
so look for it there!
We generally try to meet near the course at some sort of easy gathering place. A shopping center or other parking lot where everyone can park and gather.
We have a quick Driver’s Meeting to describe the course and any other important information concerning
this event. This is the time to ask any last minute questions about the event. This
is NOT the time to have us explain all the rules to you and tell you how things are generally done. You are supposed to know that BEFORE you show up. This Driver’s
Meeting applies ONLY to the course and event we are about to run.
The Driver’s Meeting will conclude with the card draw for starting positions.
We will then do our work assignments for our volunteers. At this point, everyone will make their way to the starting area of the course and get their gear unloaded.
This is the time to be quick and quiet! If we take
too long, or make too much noise, we draw unwanted attention. We need to get unloaded, set up and
started as quickly as possible in order to get our run in before the locals wake up and want to know whats going on. As soon as our course workers are in place, we will ask the drivers to bring their cars to their starting
This will be followed by a call of “DRIVER’S READY?”
Respond ONLY if you are NOT READY! And be aware, this may not be enough
to hold the field from the official start. We may start without you! But if we can, we will try to make sure everyone is ready to go.
At this time, we have the “3 – 2 – 1 – RELEASE THE BRAKE” Starter command
by the Designated Starter for the event.
It’s all Down Hill from there!
We may have Chase Trucks or Cars follow the field down the course.
Their job is to try to block other motorized vehicular traffic from interfering with the run. They are also our first responders should we have an incident during the run. And they may also be doing the job of video and still photographer.
These duties will depend solely on who we have to perform them. We may
not have anyone available to do this.
The first car to reach the finish line is the winner. We
may have an official at the bottom of the course to score the cars as they finish. But,
we may also have to rely on the Honor Method of finishing positions.
On most courses, we will try to have a designated pull off area.
This will be covered in the Driver’s Meeting. After crossing the
Finish, try to bring your car to a controlled stop in this designated area. Keep
in mind others will be finishing behind you, so give them room. This is a safety
issue so we don’t have cars stopping in the middle of motorized traffic.
Following this run, we will try to get all the cars back up the hill as quickly as possible so we can
do a few fun runs before we have to disperse. So if you want to run again, get
you car ready to be taken back up the hill as soon as you can.
winner for the first run will be awarded the Trophy for the win. Unlike other groups that have one trophy that
gets passed from winner to winner each month, We have One trophy for EACH event. It becomes the property of the race
winner and is theirs to keep and display proudly for eternity! This trophy may be awarded at the event, or it may be
held and awarded at the year end awards banquet.
The Skunk trophy will also be awarded to the last finisher of the event.
To be considered a finisher, you must make it to the finish line ONLY under the power of gravity. You can not push, pull, or drag your car to the line and be considered a finisher. You must drive it. And you must drive
it the entire length of the course. If you crash or brake down and can’t
drive it to the finish, you will not be considered a finisher.
Following the days events, we may all meet at a local restaurant or watering hole to do a little socializing
and bench racing.
Can I join?
Yes. We need participants at every level. But driving is NOT for everyone. And
we want to make sure you have what it takes to run with us safely and successfully. We're not saying we aren't' open
to new blood, we are. Read the build rules and if you're into it, perhaps we can fit you in.
you need help with your build, register on the Message boards and let us know! Someone will be happy to help you out.
If you are not into driving, or don't have a car yet, we do need volunteer helpers.
There is a lot to do on a race day! We need help with traffic control, getting everyone in line at the start, chase
cars, tow cars, camera people, etc. So even if you arn't driving, we can use you!
What are the rules for the cars?
We get this one a lot. Everything you need to know is in the Rules
section. Click the link below for the rules.
Can girls race too?
Yes. We have regular women drivers! in fact,
some of our fastest drivers are women! (And some of our slowest drivers act like women) Other groups have had
women drivers who did a race or two and quit. But yes ladies, you're welcome to come race with us. Just
don't expect any special privialages because you are a girl!
do you race?
Our Championship Racing
Series races are held on the SECOND Sunday from March through December. We also do one night
time race (the Turkey Run - non championship race) The week before Thanksgiving. And a few times through out the
year, we may have other non-championship races, or even travel as a group out of our region to race with another group.
And we run the East Coast Challenge each year in October where other soap box racers from
all over the east coast come to compete.
Yes, Sometimes, Maybe.
We have a few loaner cars which we have built for people who have not yet started or completed building their own car. These
cars are first offered to those members who helped build them. Then it is on a first come, first served basis.
So if you would like to use a loaner car to race, get your request in EARLY through the message boards. Just keep in
mind, asking for use of a loaner car does not mean you are guaranteed a ride.
Can I borrow a car to use?
We may also have a few Loaner Helmets available if you don't have one.
But again, there is NO guarantee one will be available when you need it. These are also first come, first served.
If you give us enough time and YOU want to come help with the build, we do
sometimes have enough materials laying around to build another loaner car. So if you really want to try this, come help
us build a loaner car for you to use.
Can I sponsor a racer or races?
Sure, just get
in touch. We'd be interested in hearing what you have to say.
can I find out when an event is happening, or whats going on?
The fastest and easiest way is to go to the message boards and sign up, then read along or ask. Our members
usually check the message boards several times a day, so it shouldn't take long to get an answer.
Or simply go to the "Contact Us" page of the site and fill out the form!
We want all the drivers to have some input in
how things are done, we like to get some feedback now and again. New hills are always a good thing! If you have ideas or comments
feel free to contact us. Before you do this however, please make sure you read the following guidelines to avoid unnecessary
Safety is a main concern, keep
in mind that some drivers and cars cannot perform in ultra-intense situations. Some of the courses are short and easy so everyone
can have some fun, we're not trying to skirt death. There are bigger, more death-defying hills out there, we want everyone
to finish the races and go home intact, not on a stretcher. Keep this in mind when looking for new hills and be sure
to carefully read the
Being a part of this group is more about the social aspect then
the racing. Don't get the wrong idea that we aren't serious racers because we are VERY serious racers! But the
social aspect of this group and the sport we participate in is also very important. We have strong bonds with many folks
from not only other groups in this country, but in other countries as well.
Those friendships go well beyond the race course. We race hard, but we also have a lot of respect for each
other and the well being of everyone in the group.
Wining is not important, being involved is, this is a group activity. Ideas and
suggestions that are only to make certain kinds of cars and drivers win will be discarded out of hand. If you want the rules
set up so you win every time, you need to re-think why you're doing this. Just replace the words "win" or "victory"
with the word "snowman", that's how important it is.
Just because you complain about things often does not mean you get your ideas
pushed through. The squeaky wheel does not get the grease.
Saying things like "Do this or I'll stop racing." will get no response, in
fact we'll be glad you're gone. Ultimatums don't work.
Personal conflicts are not ours to arbitrate. You can't like everyone you meet.
Keep your ideas on group fun and
longevity, put the group before the individual.
Elimination Heats. NO NO NO NO! What if we get one heat in and the locals come and break it up, what then? The other half of the racers
get to just pack it up and not race? We use a Standing start,
all cars at once, and we're not going to do it any other way. Don't ask. (this may be changed for SPECIAL events
where we have municiple support and no threat of having the event shut down)
us where the course is. No. Too much lurking around the course, the desire to
run it before the race may be too strong. Out of town racers have no ability to see or test the course, it keeps things as
fair as they can be. We don't want to burn out the spots. We've spent countless hours locating these courses, we don't want
to mess it up. Veteran drivers will know where the course is based upon the meet location, this does not mean we want people
going up there, nor should you go around telling people where it's at. Our commando style set-up ensures that we get to get
in at least one race, normally two. There are few really good hills in our region that work for the large
number of drivers we have. We'd have to do some serious out-of-town trekking to find new hills.
Some suggestions that are now rules:
No more fast cars in the back.The playing card line up is as fair
as it gets, we made this change after many drivers expressed a desire for a better system.
Brake inspections:After some close calls with
failed brakes, drivers suggested that we do brake checks so we don't have cars going out of control. ALL cars must have
brakes and we reserve the right to do a brake check or tech inspection on your car at any time.
We need a tech page so drivers can get help building their cars. We got that now, check it out. And make sure you contribute to it any positive way you can!
Limits: Yes we now have a size limit on our cars! No longer then 8 feet and no wider then 4 feet, no heavier
the 550 pounds with car and driver. Seriously, if it's bigger then that, is it really still a soap box car?
Have more questions? Visit
the Message Boards at the Asylum.
Maryland Independant Soapbox Federation & Incline Trials Society