KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- HopCat in Westport prepared hundreds of hot dogs, but only four competitors were brave enough for the challenge. Contestants in the second annual hot dog eating contest had to sign a waiver saying they were "responsible for their own gluttonous behavior."
"I've got to face my realities here. I might throw up," Soli Salgado said.
Salgado was a late entry.
"I had my own full lunch and then I was told about this. This has been more or less a dream of mine to be in a hot dog eating contest," she said.
Salgado faced off against John Jones, Puka Pumba and Garrett Culpepper. A majority of them spent the moments before the contest watching the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest being broadcast at the bar where Joey Chestnut set a new world record of 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
"He's my idol I grew up wanting to be like him," Culpepper said.
"I'm trying to pick up pro tips now on what I'm going to do to beat Pumba over there," Jones said.
Pumba, the defending champion, disclosed a secret plan to pysch out the competition.
"I dance and I jiggle and I wiggle a lot which is very distracting but awesome at the same time," he said.
But once the competition got underway Culpepper seemed to have the recipe for success.
"Crumple the bun, swallow the bun, bite the hot dog, swallow the hot dog, wash it with water," the Colorado veteran eater detailed.
Halfway through the five minute competition they brought out the buckets, but everyone was able to stomach the Fourth of July feast that came down to the wire.
"He didn't finish the bun, so I looked over to my right and I saw it and I shoved the bun in my mouth," Culpepper said of his last minute heroics.
Culpepper's seven hot dogs were enough to claim the championship. Salgado vowed to return to the contest in 2019.
"I think I've found my new life tradition. I'm now going to start training. We are looking at day 1 of my journey," she said.
FOX4 streamed all the action LIVE! You can watch the contest below: