Oct 262008
Authors: Jim Sojourner

Chicks dig scars, according to country singer Chris Cagle, and Todd Pashak, the leader of Team Green Machine, agrees.

Team Green Machine’s giant Ram soapbox thundered down the scenic Red Bull Soapbox Race course Saturday afternoon, crushed the CU-Boulder team’s hopes at victory and even crossed the finish line alive.

While the CSU team did not achieve the second place victory they had hoped for, attributing their failure to a “biased” CU-Boulder judge who scored them lower than any other team.

“We got robbed!” Logan Gamble, one of the team’s creative designers said in frustration after the race.

Team Save Ferris from Broomfield won the competition by modeling their racer after the red Ferrari from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and racing down the course backwards.

In spite of their loss, CSU’s team certainly had style.

Clad only in furry loincloths and a CSU cape, driver Todd Pashak and his co-pilot Rob Zimmer managed to navigate the 1,400-foot course without incident until the brakes went out after crossing the finish line.

Their ram, complete with paper-maché horns, a furry body, a Red Bull can hanging from its mouth and a pair of extraordinarily large green and gold testicles, smashed into the hay bails head first, demolishing the once majestic craft and sending Pashak and Zimmer flying.

Pashak later thanked Zimmer for acting as a crash pad, and Zimmer took the brunt of the damage, suffering a chipped front tooth.

“Women love battle scars,” Pashak said about Zimmer’s freshly chipped tooth.

“The chipped tooth adds a lot of points,” Zimmer said.

In all, 45 teams entered in the race, and their outlandish crafts and costumes entertained onlookers before the race.

Designs included a giant fish, a taco, a spaceship, farm equipment and even a liver.

Although the team failed to win the “people’s choice award,” the ram racer was an object admiration among many spectators.

“Pet the ram!” Pashak yelled to attract a crowd to their furry racer, “The more you pet it the faster it goes!”

And, although a number of small children did flee from the ram’s fierce gaze, many onlookers who did pet the racer were impressed.

“It kicks ass,” spectator Darci Amundson said.

Even a number of CU-Boulder students and alumni admitted they were impressed by the craft.

“Actually it’s pretty cool. We’ve got no Buffs representing,” said Josh Feringer, a CU alumnus.

Nicki Baumer, a CU-Denver student who got her picture taken while petting the ram, said, “I’m still not a Ram fan, but this is awesome.”

The CU team, Gape or Die, which raced immediately after the CSU students, was not as impressed however.

“I’m not too worried about these clowns,” Kit Piane, a member of the CU-Boulder team said, motioning at Team Green Machine.

Perhaps Piane should have been more worried about his team’s ski-lift themed racer, which crashed into the course wall less than 200 meters down the course, breaking the vehicle’s axel and ending CU’s hopes for victory over CSU.

While the crowd enjoyed seeing the creative racers and the fast-paced racing, many who attended simply wanted to witness some wreckage. They were not disappointed.

A tight, triple turn in the middle of the course sent more than a few drivers hurtling through the air with little prospect of a soft landing on the hay littered pavement.

Mike Utter, a sophomore construction management major at CSU, said the crashes were definitely the best part of the race.

“Death, destruction, mayhem,” Utter said with a grin.

Senior Reporter Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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