Your joystick controls your speed and it controls your vertical position. There are a number of obstacles you'll encounter that can either be avoided or you can jump (with the jump button) over them. There are numerous soda cans that you can pick up that will do things like stopping the clock or giving you a speed burst. Leftover time at the end of a race is accumulated for use in the bonus round.
Lots of cool stuff along the way, including:
Big cans of soda rolling toward you that you must jump.
Green squares that slow you down when you run through them.