Without getting too philosophical, we’ll cut right to the chase scene: we finished 21st this year, out of 121 starters. We completed 2300 plus mile adventure with a total accrued error of 2:16, and arrived healthy and happy. The car was spectacular: reliable as an anvil and just a blast to drive in competition. We enjoyed sharing experiences with our Great Race family and meeting new friends on the way. We talked to a lot of local folks at the stops, including the president of a local Studebaker club who had just lost his wife of 69 years a month ago: our traveling circus brightened his day, while reminding us of how fortunate we are to be able to share these adventures.
The race requires an epic effort to win, and it takes years worth of experiences to pull it all together. The Grand Champions this year have been friends of ours for a long time. Beth Gentry started rallying with her father in his 1932 Ford several years ago. They were good, but despite some close finishes they never won the ‘Big Bird’ (Eagle Statue). Joe Knowles died a few years ago, and she kept the family tradition going with her nephew Jody doing the driving pop’s car. They finished a close second a few years ago and we know how tough that was on them to get that close. They kept racing, year after year, and finally, this time, in her dad’s car, they won the whole deal in decisive fashion. And we were right there to experience it.
More stories from the Team America’s Car Museum Studebaker Daytona to come, but in the meantime please visit Greatrace.com for event photos and the blog from Olivia Gentry, the 16 year old old car driver and winner of the rookie division of the Hemmings Motor News
“‹2017 Great Race Presented by Hagerty!
Steve, Janet, and Allison