Man whose old car had engine failure wins new Hyundai Tucson in Hands-on Contest after touching car for five days straight

Russell West’s old car had just had a complete engine failure. He needed a new vehicle to get to and from work, but also to transport his elderly parents and to deliver food to homeless shelters. So he had lots of incentive to enter the Hyundai Hands-on Contest – and he was thrilled when he won a 2018 Hyundai Tucson SEL plus AWD at the Washington Auto Show. Not only will West and his family benefit, but so will a lot of others, thanks to his persistence and good luck.

West was one of six contestants remaining at the end of the five-day contest, which required each person to keep in physical contact with the vehicle constantly, day after day, with only a few short breaks. With six people remaining, contest rules said each of the six got to draw a key out of a bowl. The one with the key that started the Hyundai Tucson would win the vehicle.

Three of the six remaining drew keys, only to find those did not start the vehicle. When West drew a car and pushed the start button, suddenly he heard the sound he had been waiting for. The car started, and realizing he was the winner, West dropped his head to the steering wheel, literally overcome with joy!

A moment later he emerged from the Tucson and thrust his arms in the air, then ran to his wife as they and their three children celebrated his success. The vehicle was provided by the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.

After celebrating his win with his family, West quickly thanked the other contestants. “[I] couldn’t have done it without everyone,” he said. “We all worked to keep each other so positive and kept encouraging each other.”

Hyundai dealer Kevin Reilly was as happy as West was about his win. “For almost two decades, the Hands-on Contest has been a signature event at the Washington Auto Show, and we were thrilled that someone as enthusiastic and deserving as Russell West was able to come away with an all-new 2018 Hyundai Tucson SEL plus AWD,” said Reilly, president of Alexandria Hyundai and board member of WANADA, producer of the Washington Auto Show. “The Washington Area Hyundai Dealers are honored to have been able to once again partner with the Washington Auto Show on this contest.”

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