Olivia Gentry is a Great Race veteran, even she’s not yet old enough to drive. She’s been around the race for many years, thanks to her family’s involvement and her participation as one of our souvenir staff, and we’re glad for her to contribute to our blog. Take a look at her first entry for 2016 and look forward to more in the coming weeks!
In less than two weeks, around 500 people will begin to arrive in San Rafael, California. The first few days will be spent catching up with old friends, and welcoming new ones. Old memories will be revisited and laughs will be shared, however as the days continue to go by the enthusiasm to make more memories will continue to grow as well.
For those of y’all that I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Olivia Gentry. I am fifteen years old, this year will be my fifteenth year traveling with The Great Race, and my sixth year as a staff member of The Great Race. Because of The Great Race I have traveled extensively throughout America, and even been to Canada. I have traveled with my mother, Beth Gentry, who is a long time navigator in a 1932 Ford Cabriolet. My grandfather, Joe Knowles, accompanied her as the driver in the #66 car. The two were a great team, and had over sixty aces as a team.
In 2010 my Grandfather became ill, and passed away on November 10th. It was a very tough time for my family, however we were overjoyed to hear that the number #66 would be retired in my Grandfather’s memory. For a short time we were unsure if we would be able to go on The Great Race, and if we were able to go, we were unsure as to who would step in for my Grandfather as the driver of the #66 for my Mom. That moment was short-lived as my cousin, Jody Knowles decided to step up to the plate. His wife, Kali has been amazing to travel with and we are so lucky to have both of them, as well as their son, Jarrett. Jody, and Beth became a rally team known as Pop’s Passion dedicating the name of their team to the man who had helped them get to where they were not only in the rally car, but in everyday life as well. The two have had phenomenal success, finishing top three in their division every year since.
Because of The Great Race I have met people that became friends, and friends that became family. Because of The Great Race I have made memories that will truly last a life time, and I am so eager to hit the road, to make more friends, and most of all more memories. I truly think that it is safe to say that everyone who will be going on this adventure is now California dreaming! I can’t wait to see y’all there!