Motor Mouth Blog


Great Race Stage 7 – Bend, OR to Vancouver, WA

By Steve Hedke, who is representing LeMay – America’s Car Museum with his wife Janet and their daughter Allison in the Great Race

This morning’s speedometer calibration was in sections, which gave us the opportunity to make an adjustment and then run the next section to see if it was accurate. So we started out feeling pretty good about our day. The course instructions seemed very simple, nothing that would be a particular challenge, and we hoped for another strong day.

As often happens in the Great Race, things just drop in your lap. A fiasco at the start where a well-meaning member of local law enforcement didn’t want us blocking the bike lane as we lined up behind the start sign and made us all move to nearby parking lots meant a number of racers missed the sign since there were no cars lined up behind it. So they went past it, realized they missed it and turned back. One team literally made a U-turn right in front of us as we drove down that road after our start. Then a few other bobbles, nothing serious, just sloppy, and we ended up with a total 14-second score (including an ACE).

That allowed a few other teams who had great days to slide ahead of us in the standings, so we are now in 7th place overall and 3rd in Expert. However, there are 8 teams separated by less than 10 seconds and all scores count for the next two days. Anything can – and will – happen! It’s going to be an exciting finish!

A highlight of today was the lunch stop at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River. We didn’t have nearly enough time to explore all they had displayed, so we will definitely plan to stop on our next trip north.

We were also thrilled to welcome our newest Great Racers, Pat and Renée Crist, who took a turn behind the wheel and navigator stopwatch to try their hand at this strange hobby of ours. Renée is ACM’s Curator of Collections and has also been a personal friend since junior high school! We loved giving Pat and Renée a quick tutorial and then set them loose. They were running at the end of the field and by all appearances performed well AND had a good time. They will be running together again tomorrow, and Renée will be paired with a seasoned Great Race navigator on Sunday for the finish. It was great to see their smiling faces as they came in the finish gate tonight. We are so grateful for everything Renée and the ACM team have done for us to support and encourage us. We’ll do our best to make you proud!

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