Monday, June 13, 2011

Day Three of the Great Race: Playing Catch-up

Dad and I both felt confident going into today's portion of the rally.  I felt like I was really getting into the swing of things at the end of the day yesterday and I was ready to get back in the car.  We lined up for the start and jumped right into it.

We were running perfectly on pace until Dad missed the first turn and we had to turn around.  We went back to where we through we should be and we passed Gary and Jean-Ann Martin going the opposite direction, who were positioned behind us yet again in their 1938 Ford.  We knew we had ground to make up, we made the turn and started moving.  The first car we caught was the 1960 Morgan +4 of David and Edward Goldman.  We knew they were three cars back so we kept moving in order to catch up.  A few miles went past and we caught no one when we knew we should have been back in our place.  We kept going a little bit longer and once we were confident that both we and the Morgan we're lost.  We turned around to head back to the point where the directions last left us and hoped to see other cars, which we did.  We quickly pulled out our sheet listing the start order for the day and found that we had just been passed by the 58th car in line, the second to last car.

We were in trouble.

We had fallen 22 spots behind where we should have been, meaning we were at least 22 minutes late.  We had effectively dug our own grave for the rally, jumped in our casket, and nailed it shut.  We simply would not be able to re-cooperate from a score that low to get any position but last for the entire rally.  Our only solution was to try our very best to get as close as possible to where we were supposed to be.  I told Dad to only give me directions that included turns and stop signs, then I gunned it.  We started to absolutely fly by cars at an incredible rate.  I was expecting to hit a checkpoint sooner or later but we didn't.  Before we knew it, we were only 15 cars behind, then 10, then 5, then we were staring at the back of the Martin's Ford and I could finally relax a little.  We eventually reached an open stretch of 2 lane highway, the Martin's moved into the right lane and frantically waved me on to pass.  I put the pedal to the metal and we flew by them, knowing that our score would be back under one minute, which was extraordinary for where we had been earlier in the day.  I saw the approaching checkpoint, gunned it, and hope that we'd come in as close to even as possible.

We tried to even ourselves out for the next two legs and we came into lunch feeling optimistic.  Lunch was in Harrisonburg, VA.  It was a cute little college town.  There were a decent number of people there to look at the cars and I was happy to sit down, cool off, and get something to eat.  I somehow forgot to take a photo of the car at the lunch stop.  I'll be sure to take one at lunch tomorrow.

We were back out on the road before we knew it and I was feeling even better than I did in the morning.  We had three really good legs.  We got our scores and ended up coming in at 2:01 for five legs, which I think was alright.  All of our scores were under a minute, which is an improvement from yesterday.  We hit as new all time best of 5 seconds (we had 10 second taken away for a time delay due to a tractor blocking our way right before a checkpoint).  Our worst for the day was 45 seconds late on the first leg, which is much better than a potential 22 minutes.  We moved down a little in the standings to 41st and 5th rookie team overall.

Gassing up before we started the first morning stage of the rally.  I'd never seen so many classic cars at one gas station before.

The cars lined up for dinner in Chambersburg, MD.

Tomorrow we lead the rally into Chambersburg and Hershey.  Hopefully that doesn't mess us up too much having no one in front of us.  It should be a lot of fun, as it has been for the past three days.  I'm honestly loving every second of the rally, even when we're lost!

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