We’re excited, we’re exhausted and we’re blown away with this year’s Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty. It has been a tough journey, but we made it and we’re all living by the motto “to finish is to win”! The task of getting an old car across country isn’t an easy one, and the fact that we crossed a bunch of challenging terrain added to the difficulty of this year’s route. Our racers tackled the Lincoln Highway-themed route, seeing some of the best scenery this country has to offer. And when they crossed the finish line in Moline, Illinois today, it was all smiles as the grueling nine-day rally had come to an end! As always the morning of the final day of rallying is one of the most challenging rally courses of the entire event and it kept our media crew entertained. AFter the morning route, we jumped over to Iowa 80 Truck Stop, and fueled up before having lunch at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum.
The team who came out on top was Team 16, G.R. Pike and Bobby Hadskey, driving a 1916 Hudson Indy racer. They stayed near the top of the field throughout the race, and passed Gary and Jean Ann Martin (who ended up winning the Expert division and placing third overall) for the lead yesterday. The finish was actually a dead heat between the Pike/Hadskey team and the team of David Reeder and Sawyer Stone, both with a final score of 1:02.04. The tie breaker is determined by who has the oldest car…and they were both 1916 Hudsons! So, the second tie breaker goes back to the score during the Hagerty Trophy Run (which before the race officially started), where Pike/Hadskey edged out Reeder/Stone for the win! This is only the second time in Great Race history that there has been a tie, and wouldn’t you know that it was the year that G.R. Pike and Bobby Hadskey won the Great Race in 2004.
Other class winners include the Ponca City crew in X-Cup, Bryan and Ian Deering in Sportsman and Gary and Jean Ann Martin in Expert. There were plenty of other awards given during our banquet in the iWireless, including “Best Dressed”, going to Jamie Bestwick, “Best Race Car” going to the Wandering Troubadours of Finland’s 1918 American LaFrance, “Best Classic Car” going to Chad and Jennie Caldwell’s Auburn, “Never Say Die” award to the Dinges team from Alabama, and finally, “Our Best Friend” award to Hagerty’s Brad Phillips. Of course, the most anticipated award of the year is the Tom McRae Spirit of the Event award. This year, Jean Ann Martin received the award, due to her dedication to making the 2016 Great Race, despite being diagnosed with cancer in the fall. Take a look at today’s action, as well as highlights from the finish line and winning pictures from the banquet.