Thursday, June 10, 2010

Father's Day Present

Father's Day is coming up. On eBay right now is a perfect gift! Just about every father would love a 1913 Stutz Bearcat. (Honey, are you listening??) Item # is 260612601782. Bidding has stalled out at $235,200 so someone may be able to swoop in and get a GREAT deal.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sugar Valley Rally 2010

Okay, I know blogging is supposed to be a daily event, but I got behind this week and just couldn't catch-up, so this is more of a recap of the 2010 Sugar Valley Rally

Thursday, 3 June: I goofed up the mission planning. I thought Scottsbluff was 10 hours away, so my plan was to leave about 7 AM and get there in plenty of time to pass tech inspection, etc. Turns out it was 15 hours away - Uuggh! I left the house at 2 AM. Drove 15 hours. Arrived at the hotel by 4 PM (hour time zone difference) and had plenty of time to check-in, pass tech, then pass -out! CHANGE 1: Instead of the Buick, I brought the Ford Speedster. Basically, I wanted one more rally to sort out the Ford before the BIG race in July. And for those of you who have never been to western Nebraska, its beautiful!

Friday, 4 June: Today was Stage 0. Today's scores don't count toward the overall competition. As I mentioned, we showed up with a different car - but stayed in the same division: Limited-Pro. This means we're limited to a max speed of 30 mph and we raced with highly skilled, veteran drivers (pro). The day went pretty well - no major screw ups. There were an AMAZING 69 cars entered in the race (nine in Limited-Pro Div.). Our car number was 62 which also equated to our starting position (IE: 62nd car in line). The Good News: we get an extra hour of sleep since we leave a whopping hour and two minutes after the first car. The Bad News: There's no food left at the lunch stops! (yeah, I know- I can afford to skip a meal...) The weather was beautiful. The car was flawless. And the two lug-nuts in the seats had a pretty good day:

Leg #1: 2 sec early***
Leg #2: 1 sec early
Leg #3: 4 sec late***
Leg #4: 2 sec early

Total stage raw score was 9 seconds; with old-car factor adjustment: 7.16 seconds! Good enough for a 1st place overall in Limited-Pro division!!

More beautiful scenary.

Saturday, 5 June: Stage 1 and today started the competition. Things got scary early - I pulled into a private driveway to turn around and two big, huge, man-eating monsterous dogs came charging at us. I thought we were goners! The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. Let me tell you a little story about life at 30 mph.....
Boy things were slow!!! I was doing my normal driver thing (staring at the speedo) and occasionally looking around. Joe was navigating and I think, getting a little bored. It felt like we could get out a walk faster than we were moving down the road. I think we got passed by a turtle at one point. This class is designed for cars that were never designed to go more then 30/35 mph like Model T's. Its a good opportunity for these cars to participate when they normally could not. It was relaxing and in retrospect, I enjoyed it quite a lot.
The small towns of Nebraska were picturesque. In the end we did alright. No ACES which was disappointing. Also, we're not sure why we scored sixes in the final two legs. The funny thing is how your perspective changes. It wasn't too long ago that we PRAYED for single digit leg scores. Now we're upset by a 6 second leg. Hmmmm, maybe I need to just chill out and relax.
Leg #1: 2 sec late
Leg #2: 3 sec early
Leg#3: 2 sec early
Leg #4: 1 sec late***
Leg #5: 6 sec late
Leg #6: 6 sec late
Total stage score was 20 seconds with factor adjustment: 15.90 seconds - good for 4th place in class. More beautiful landscapes.....

Sunday, 6 June: Stage 2. After dialing in the scores on Friday and then scoring a couple of sixes on Saturday, we were hoping for a nice, tight finish. Nothing but 1's, 2's, and 3's for us please. A few ACES would be nice too. Well I'm sad to say the ACE-fairy was nowhere to be seen this weekend. ('Cmon ACE-fairy....... where are you??!!) We did see a roadrunner. And cows. Boy did we see cows. Apparently Texas isn't the only state with beef roaming around. We got caught behind a tractor. Stopped by a train. We managed to stay on course and not get lost. But sadly, we couldn't get the 'ol mojo working. At one point Joe said, "we're at mile marker 21 and the next instruction is mile marker 45." Hey, wait a minute. . . at 30 mph that's.... uuhhh... hell that's. . . forty-something.. . . let's see, carry the one.... HELL THAT'S 48 MINUTES. So I did what every good driver does. I started day-dreaming. :-) My best dream was my acceptance speech after being called to the podium in recognition of a perfect day - something that's never been done. The best Stage score I've ever seen was in 2007 a .9 sec FOR THE DAY! I believe their leg scores were Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, and 1 sec. Their factor was .9 so their Stage score was .9. Wow. But today, Joe and I had a PERFECT day. Nothing but Aces. A stage score of zero. Zip. Nada. We were heros. I approached the mike, began my speech (something about the convergence of luck, skill, and dashing good looks) when RAAAAP, RAAAP, RAAAP - I hit the rumble strip and woke up.... Damn.
So at the end of the day we had no rain. Our scores weren't great but they weren't bad - just alright
Leg #1: 4 sec late***
Leg#2: 3 sec early
Leg #3: 1 sec early
Leg#4: CNX
Leg #5: 4 sec early
Total: 12 adjusted to 9.54 seconds (Sigh) :-(
We were sure these scores took us out of the competition. Too bad. It was a fun weekend. As I've said before, rallying is fun - it's even more fun when you win. But alas, it was not to be.....
Until they called out second place in Limited-Pro division: Dixie racing!!!! Hey, we didn't do bad after all!!!! So we went home with a little cash and a nice plaque and decided we liked the Sugar Valley Rally. Good people. Good roads. good fun! The (***) denotes legs on which we were awarded cash.
The only real blemish on an otherwise outstanding weekend was how our friends JeanAnn and Gary finished their race. Ouch!

(just kidding.......) :-)