STEEPNESS IN SEATTLE: 46,000 Spirited Spectators Cheer on 36 Fearless Racers at Red Bull Soapbox Race

Aug 25, 2014, 13:18 ET from Red Bull

SEATTLE, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Berms, turns, bumps and jumps proved to be just minor roadblocks for the Nickerson Street Saloon Rainier Rocket team, who took first place in the 2014 Red Bull Soapbox Race in Seattle. The event challenged 36 teams to race their homemade, gravity-powered soapbox racers down Yesler Way then brave a sharp left turn berm onto 2nd Avenue on the way to the finish line. A boisterous crowd of 46,000 lined the streets to watch the action on the steepest course in event history. 

Bertha's Last Stand, from Machias, Wash., placed second, and MJ and the Blackfish, from Ridgefield, Wash. (just 30 minutes from Portland), took third. Team Runaway Bride from Bothell, Wash., won the crowd's hearts and took the People's Choice Award.

The winning team, comprised of professional engineers, machinists and builders were on a mission for sweet redemption.  Seven years ago, at the first Red Bull Soapbox Race in Seattle, the same four teammates' car was fastest down the course, but came in second overall.

"I was definitely nervous standing there, with just seconds to go, watching the other team ahead of us go down the course. You start to get that tingle in your hands. We did our skit just like we had practiced, and I hopped in the car and just went for it all the way down," said driver Brad Tibbs. "Crossing the finish, I was just hoping our time was good enough to put us in the lead. Our goal from the very beginning was to build the fastest car, and that's what we did. After taking second place in 2007, this felt absolutely amazing."  

Rose Windows, a local band on the SubPop label, performed the national anthem, signaling the event's start. The first car down the course was a test drive by the Seattle Seahawks mascot, Blitz. Following Blitz, the 36 teams performed cheekily choreographed skits in comedic costumes before setting off on surprisingly speedy – and often surprisingly sketchy – drives down the course.

The teams were scored based on three criteria – speed, creativity and showmanship – by the event judges:

  • Miles Daisher - B.A.S.E jumper, Red Bull Air Force member
  • Kaya Turski – freeskier, eight-time X Games gold medalist
  • Marco Collins - legendary Seattle radio personality
  • Fitz - host of "Fitz in The Morning" on 100.7 The Wolf
  • Kerry Carter - former professional football player and C.O.O and Co-Founder of JumpIt Media Inc.
  • Sir Charles Barkley (honorary judge) - the furriest four-legged judge in Red Bull Soapbox Race history, with 250,000+ Instagram followers

In addition to custom trophies, the top three teams and People's Choice winner won the following experiences:

Partners in fueling the race day were Duck Tape, Goal Zero, Fred Meyer, QFC, and Chevron Extra Mile.

Red Bull Soapbox Race is a national race for amateur drivers, fueled by creativity and competitive fun – not to mention the need for speed.  This unique non-motorized racing event challenges both experienced racers and amateurs alike to design and build outrageous, human-powered Soapbox dream machines and compete against the clock in a downhill race.  The first time the race visited Seattle in 2007, it drew a crowd of about 40,000 spectators, and has since visited cities around the US drawing crowds upwards of 100,000!  

The first Red Bull Soapbox Race took place in Belgium in 2000, and has since visited almost 30 countries including Austria, England, Jamaica, Czech Republic and Australia, to name a few.  As the only race in 2014, the Seattle event is the eleventh Red Bull Soapbox Race to take place in America, with the first stateside race held in St. Louis in 2006.

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