I must be the only one but I always thought these bumpers were chili dogs. I viewed the top and bottoms as the bun and the middle the weenie. Plus the colors they cycle through implied ketchup, mustard and pickles to me. Haha. As for his speed he was always meant to be the fastest. Like others have said his friends being equally fast has nothing to do with anything. It was just for the sake of gameplay which had to match since they all play the exact same stages. Of course once it turned 3D they could have variations.