Let's face it: Ordinary auto races get boring somewhere around the 20th lap. But some races are so quirky, so eccentric, so…unusual that they never get boring. Here's a quiz about several very odd races that offer not only thrills but genuine surprises.
The cars in the Red Bull Soapbox Derby don't have engines. That makes them low on maintenance but difficult to drive over a hill.
At the Soapbox Derby, gravity is the "fuel" that gets the vehicles from the top of the track to the bottom, which proves that gravity is good for other things besides than keeping your feet on the ground
At the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, creativity counts. Vehicles can be any shape the designer can build them in as long as they're within a certain range of sizes. Past entrants have included a vehicle shaped like a cob of corn and one shaped like the Golden Gate Bridge.
1934 -- August 19, to be exact. It's still running today as the All-American Soapbox Derby, but its only relation to the Red Bull Soapbox Derby is that they both use gravity-powered vehicles.
"Carpocalypse" ran on Spike TV from 2005 to 2007, during which time it staged what were probably the goofiest car races ever held in front of a national audience.
"Carpocalypse" was inspired both by a series of Crash-o-Rama car races in Orlando, Fla., and the Atari video game "Test Drive: Eve of Destruction," which included races featuring such unusual vehicles as ambulances, taxicabs and hearses.
The Mille Miglia is approximately 1,000 miles long and that's what they called it - in Italian, of course. Which just goes to show that Europe wasn't always on the metric system.
The California Mille is held in NAPA Valley, north of San Francisco, the best known of the California wine countries.
The California Mille runs for four days. Can you believe that the vehicles only travel 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) in that time? Maybe it's because the drivers spend most of their time stopping at wineries and expensive hotels. Ah, the good life!
While touring the California countryside, drivers stop at local brewpubs (breathalyzer tests, anyone?) and spend the night at cheap…er, inexpensive motels.
Cars entered in the California Melee must have been built before 1975. Leisure suits and bell bottoms are optional.
The California Melee runs for three days, one day shorter than the California Mille. Any longer than that and those old cars would probably fall apart.
If you spend more than $500 on your car, you can't enter it into 24 Hours of LeMons without a penalty. Think of it as an inexpensive way to get into the racing profession.
You'll be docked one lap for every $10 you've spent over the limit, which might be worth it if you've spent the money on extra horsepower.
Penalties are determined by spinning the Wheel of Misfortune. Buying a vowel doesn't help.
Halfway through the 24 Hours of LeMons race, participants vote on which car will be crushed. Most years they let the driver get out of the car first.
The full name of the Cannonball Run was the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, a name that takes only slightly less time to say than the actual race took to run.
The Cannonball Run was held four times from 1971 to 1979. After that, the police probably got too good at catching speeding race drivers.
The Cannonball Run dodged police speed traps all the way from New York City to Redondo Beach, Calif.
The Gumball 3000 is the modern equivalent of the Cannonball Run, though the race organizers may have been inspired more by the 1976 movie "The Gumball Rally," which was in turn inspired by the Cannonball Run.