Accommodations: Adam's Mark, 2544 Executive Dr.
Driver: Bob Mead
Navigator: Bob King
Events of the Day:
The Bobcats started out the morning by going west on I-70 toward Indianapolis. We conducted our speedometer run and determined that we were running about 6 seconds per hour fast. After we exited near the town of Summerford, we recalibrated the speedometer to adjust for this difference. The speedometers we use are electronic devices with a conventional analog display (needle and numbers) and can be calibrated by setting several small, multi-position switches.
Bob King receives our instructions for the day from Vickie Atkinson. Vickie and her husband Steve have been Great Race volunteer workers for 23 years!
We started our first timed portion of today's rally at 10:08 a.m., with dozens of speed changes, turns, pauses and maneuvers. We successfully completed this part of the day around 10:40 a.m., and got back on I-70 to proceed to the town of Vandalia, OH, for our morning coffee break. We bought gas and went to the parking lot of St. Christopher's Church for refreshments and a good crowd of local enthusiasts.
A beautiful 1934 Hudson Terraplane shown at the car show in Richmond, Indiana
After about a half hour, we headed west on US 40 until we encountered the National Road, near which we would start our next rally section. On the first leg in the morning we had run into an interesting problem. The car ahead of us had a speedometer problem and was running 6 mph slow. After not too many minutes we had to pass him. During the coffee break we had pointed out the problem to the driver and he assured us the problem had been fixed. On the second portion of the rally, however, we continued to creep up on the car. We decided to drop back, on purpose, 40 seconds and request a time correction for reasons of safety. We completed this leg and proceeded to Richmond, IN, for a really special lunch break.
The town of Richmond is celebrating it's bi-centennial and today they are using the Great Race for their kick-off event. The local car club had a display, a DJ was playing 50's music, and we were served an excellent lunch under a large tent. Then it was back on the road for the first afternoon rally.
The golf cart behind it...
Only a few minutes into the rally, we made a wrong turn and neither of us realized it. After 12 or 14 minutes we realized what we'd done, turned around and headed back to our last known correct course position. Bob Mead drove as fast as he safely could. We got back on course with the intention of catching up with the car ahead of us and using his position to determine our correct position. In the Great Race community, this is referred to as "hacking". We ended up with a 20 second score on this leg. Not back for a couple of lost boys!
Macie Rorabaugh gets an autograph from Jack Roush, the NASCAR racing team owner, who is a major fan of the Great Race and has participated for several years
After a coffee break in Knightstown, IN, during which we had a drenching downpour, we began the last rally portion of the day which was a maze where the cars are looping around on themselves and crossing each other's paths. The road names were interesting because, now that we're in the flatlands, everything was laid out in section lines when the land was originally settled. In Indiana, they named the section line roads by their distance from the center of the counties. So, typically, a road might be called E900S, S850W, etc. The signs are very difficult to read until you're right on top of them. But remember, we're traveling at 25, 30 or 35 mph, making high-speed turns, where we can't read the signs until we're nearly in the intersection...it gets very exciting. We finally concluded our last rally and headed for the finish in Indianapolis after a brief gas stop.
The reception was at Monument Circle, a beautiful public circle with a giant monument and fountain dedicated to fallen war heroes. The reception was good. We then went to our motel for the night, which deserves some comment. Bob and Mary Ann are in a room easily 40' by 30' with a large conference table seating 12 people comfortably, a separate kitchen, large seating area with a coffee table and pull-down murphy bed. It is without a doubt the most unusual hotel arrangement ever!
We had scores today of 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 2 seconds, 21 seconds (where we hacked of of the car ahead after we made a wrong turn), and 10 seconds (the l-o-o-o-ng afternoon maze. We are very pleased. We placed 23rd today overall with a corrected score of 31.88 seconds; 8th in Sportsman Division.
Tomorrow it's on to St. Louis with hopes for beautiful weather.