The 2023 Kendall Auto Soapbox Derby Highlights are here – let’s race in. The second annual Kendall Auto Soapbox Derby took place at River’s Edge Golf Course, and we have so many highlights to share from the awesome designs to the crashes, jumps, and fastest finishes! Thanks to our sponsors and Kendall Cares, our participants and their chosen nonprofits received over $8000 in prize money for their unforgettable soapbox cars and competitive racing. On behalf of the Kendall team and our partners at River’s Edge, congratulations to all the teams that participated and gave it their all. Our teams were made up of local nonprofit organizations, local businesses, high school students, family & friends, and of course, Kendall Auto Team Members!

It wouldn’t be a Soapbox Derby without a few crashes in the beginning, but hey, that’s what the hay bales are for! After the practice round, remaining teams went through a time trial. The top 10 teams went to on to race in the elimination rounds and were finally allowed to hit the jumps. Overall scores were based on the design and creativity of the cars, voted on by the spectators, and how fast they made it to the finish line.

Mountain View High School Robotics, Doc’s Downhill Destroyers, took home the first-place trophy after placing second at the inaugural Kendall Auto Soapbox Derby. With a few modifications to their car from last year, they were able to hit the jumps and finish with the fastest time in their mad-max themed Soapbox car. Huge congratulations to this team of high school students, who will be using the prize money to support in their school-sanctioned robotics competitions and travel. They will be splitting their prize money with Heart of Oregon, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering our Central Oregon youth through employment, job training, education, and services.

Summit High School Robotics, Chaos Theory, placed second in the overall competition in their Mario-Kart themed Soapbox Car. This flexible design made out of PVC pipe and other materials allowed them to be quick around the turns and fast to the finish. Although they were not the fastest car of the day, they received over 25% of the votes from spectators for the design & creativity of their car. We have a feeling their Super Mario costumes won the crowd over as well! Similar to Mountain View High School Robotics, Chaos Theory will be using their prize money to support in their FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions across the PNW.

Jim Wade, mentor of Summit HS Robotics, placed 3rd in the derby with his Soapbox car titled Downhill Gravity. Jim Wade and his team have been working on this car since the completion of last year’s derby, and the design was unlike any other. Made out of carbon fiber and a genius braking system, including a parachute at the finish, this Soapbox car was meant for fast turns and speed. Team Downhill Gravity will be splitting their donation with Summit HS Robotics and FORGE School.

There were two more prizes given out to well-deserving teams thank you to our sponsors, Mission Linen Supply and 505 Southwestern. 505 Southwestern brought the Fired-Up Flavor to this year’s event and donated a $1000 bonus prize, which went to our 4th Place Team. Team Scoofa, who competed on behalf of Central Oregon Veteran’s Ranch, built their car in less than three days and competed unlike any other team. After a wheel that flew off in the practice round, they made some quick fixes and got back on the course just in time for the elimination round. After an eventful racing day, they took home the 4th place bonus prize. Lastly, Mission Linen Supply brought their entire team out to the event and provided a $500 favorite car award. Based off final votes from their team members, the Kendall Ford of Bend team received their award with another Mario Kart-themed Soapbox car. Kendall Ford of Bend, who competed as Peach’s Posse, will be donating their $500 award to their beneficiary, Every Kid Sports.

On behalf of the Kendall Auto Team, congratulations to our teams and thank you to everyone who made this happen. We can’t thank River’s Edge Golf Course enough for their generosity and hard work, to our volunteers including the Bend FFA, media partners including Backyard Media, and beyond. These events remind us how wonderful this community truly is when we all come together to support the same mission. We hope to see you at the 2024 Kendall Auto Soapbox Derby!