Motor Mouth Blog


Great Race Day 9: Official Finish at ACM

You have to cross the official finish line to be scored, and at long last, there it is!

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

We rallied close to Tacoma today for the final day of the Grand Championship. The scores were very close going in to the day. We had to negotiate several turns, speed changes, and lots of traffic from churches letting out. This was a tough day, which it needed to be for us to move up in the standings. In many cases our final positions were determined by how well you could handle the multitude of issues that slowed you down or had you stopped entirely.

What makes this doubly hard is that everyone is tired; physically, mentally, and many of the cars had issues. Our car developed this rather scary habit of jamming its accelerator at full throttle, to where the brakes could barely hold it back. Tightening the return spring helped for a bit, but the problem came back. I assume it’s a motor mount that has let loose. We also had our heavy tire wear issue, and we are just about out of rubber. We might have been able to do one more day and that would have been about it without a full day off to fix stuff.

Just the prettiest places to drive, but we are ‘on the clock’ holding a speed and watching for the next sign.

Our final score was 8th place overall and second in the Expert division. We also won a special award for ‘Our Best Friend’, which is presented to the team that best supports the Great Race. Plus we pulled 12 Aces, or perfect leg scores; our personal best and 3rd out of all the teams. Total cash winnings were $7250. We are very happy with our results!

The car goes on display in the lobby of LeMay – Americas Car Museum tomorrow for a six month visit. A nice display above the car explains how the race works and a bit about this particular Studebaker. We will also have our awards there for everyone to enjoy. She’ll be in great hands.

We would like to thank all of you who have been following along on our great automotive adventure, and we hope you felt like you were riding along with us. If you get a chance, come by ACM not just to see our car, but to enjoy the really splendid collection they have there. This is an organization that encourages owners of classic cars to get out and drive them. Remember to also check out the photos on the Great Race website; they are amazing thanks Tommy Lee Byrd!

If this whole deal peaks your interest, we will be doing a presentation at the Museum sometime later this year. We’ll answer all questions and explain in detail what it would take for you to join in for your own once in a lifetime adventure. Next year’s race starts in San Antonio, Texas, right in front of the Alamo, and heads east from there. There is a waiting list, but they do leave spots open for rookies.

So, thanks again for being there!

We’ve enjoyed sharing with you. See you down the road!

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