This past weekend hosted the 3rd Red Bull Soapbox Race in Atlanta. A crowd of 65,000 watched as over 40 teams performed skits then raced down North Avenue NE in their soapbox racers. It was great to witness all of the imagination and creativity that went into their human powered vehicles.
Teams were judged on a three-part criteria that includes speed, creativity and showmanship with Greenville, South Carolina based team “The Grease Monkeys” taking first place with a time of 34.5 seconds on the 1,200-foot course. Their skit featured the group of engineers and designers doing the Funky Monkey before they set off downhill for their epic run which ended with a smash as the monkey-clad drivers crashed head first into a stack of hay bales.
With a potent combination of speed, charisma and monkey mojo The Grease Monkeys were able to impress the all-star panel of judges which included, multi-platinum Atlanta rapper, Yung Joc; world-class wakeboarder, Parks Bonifay; Hot 107.9’s, Huricane Dave; hosts of the ‘Stuff You Should Know’ podcast, Josh and Chuck; and Founder of Witty + Pretty and Instagram sensation @BrosBeingBasic, Ashley Hesseltine. The 2009 Red Bull Soapbox champions, “Yongsa Dragon Breath” and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired “Snafu Squad” finished second and third respectively.
“I think the difference between our team and the field was our skill set our friendship and our drive to win,” said Grease Monkey team member, Josh Holley. “We’re a very competitive group of people and that gave us our winning spark.”
The coolest thing about the Red Bull Soapbox Race was that the fans had a chance to share their thoughts too. That was made possible by The People’s Choice Award. “Top Golf Atlanta” won over the fans thanks their recent boom in Atlanta (they also opened a second location downtown last month) and their ability to do the “Nae Nae” on command. The local team ultimately earned more votes than any other team in the race.
People of all ages were in attendance and for the first time, it was hosted on North Avenue by Old Fourth Ward Park. Judging by the weekend’s turnout, the city is primed and ready for a 4th installment. We just hope we don’t have to wait another 3 years!
The zany but entertaining spectacle has become a “must-see” event here in Atlanta. It’s the one race in existence where there are no real losers. You may lose the race, but you can never lose with your imagination.
Photo: Yoh Phillips & X