Welcome Casey Reese, New Event Coordinator!

Casey Reese has joined the Great Race family as Event Coordinator replacing Jennifer Andrews, director Jeff Stumb announced. “We are thrilled to have Casey join the team,” Stumb said. “We hated to lose Jennifer, but Casey has jumped in and gotten up to speed very quickly and will be a tremendous asset on the race in June for all competitors.” Jennifer’s husband, Nick, was transferred to Augusta, Georgia and Jennifer left in November to join him. Casey, a Chattanooga native and University of Tennessee graduate, started earlier this month. When she’s not busy organizing the Great Race and other company events, Casey enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and 3 dogs – Echo, Olive and Jax.

Thoughts and Prayers for Jean Ann Martin

Everyone who has attended just one Great Race, Coker Tire Challenge or VCRA event since 2007 knows Gary and Jean Ann Martin. They are the nicest, most outgoing folks you could ever meet. And whether they are driving their yellow Corvette, red 1938 Ford Coupe or blue 1964 Nova they are having fun. And they are competitive, finishing in the top 5 in several recent rallies. We have now learned that Jean Ann is dealing with breast cancer, and as you would expect, she is approaching it with the same positive attitude she is famous for. She is going to have chemo before the surgery, but in typical Jean Ann fashion this is what she had to say about it: “The good thing is the timing of this. It was after rally season so I will have time to get this behind me before 2016 Great Race.” She also posted this on Facebook: “Thanks for the concern and prayers. There has been a change in my treatment plans and the surgery scheduled for Dec 9 has been cancelled. After reviewing my issues the decision is to now do chemo before the surgery. Please continue to pray for me as I battle this. All my Great Race family know Gary calls me a ‘game Nazi’ and I’m tackling this with the same ‘game Nazi’ attitude for winning.”

1916 Hudson Great Racer For Sale

One of the oldest cars to ever run the Great Race is for sale – Tom Coad’s 1916 Hudson racer. Tom, a long-time veteran of the Great Race is several different cars including a 1922 Buick speedster and a 1921 Paige Hillclimber, had the Hudson built in the last five years. He used it twice, in 2013 and 2014, in the Great Race, but he is now retired from competition and wants the car to go to a good home.

Dysart High School Automotive Enters the Great Race

The X-Cup division is a class that encourages young car enthusiasts to build a vintage vehicle, and compete in the Great Race. It’s often made up of high school students or technical college students. This year, we have a new entry in the X-Cup class and it is Dysart High School Automotive Technology Program in El Mirage, Arizona. They’re building a 1967 Mercury Cougar to compete in the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty. The high school team is joined by the Sun City West Automotive Restoration Club to help the project in motion. We’re so happy to have these students on board for 2016. Watch this video to get a preview of the project:

Champion Oil Uses Great Race in “Champions Use Champion” Marketing Campaign

Champion Oil, the official Oil of the Great Race, has featured the Great Race and 2015 Grand Champions Howard and Doug Sharp, in their new display placards. The placard will be placed on top of all of Champion Oil’s displays across the country with the slogan “Champions Use Champion!” Champion Oil, a sponsor of the Great Race since 2011, started a program in 2015 and awarded the highest placing Great Race team with a beautiful trophy and $1,000 in Champion Brands products. The Sharps, from Fairport, New York, won the event in their 1916 Hudson and were participants in the Champion program. Champion Oil will again have this program in the 2016 Great Race from San Rafael, California, to Moline, Illinois, in June and participants will have plenty of opportunity to sign up before the race.

Toshi Visits Great Race Headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Toshi Akasaka, the Japanese vintage car enthusiast who entered the 2014 Great Race for the first time and then brought eight teams from his home country to the 2015 race after telling his friends how much fun it was, visited Great Race headquarters in Chattanooga last week. Great Race director Jeff Stumb, who was a guest of the Japanese teams in Tokyo back in January to help them prepare for the event, took Toshi to the top of Lookout Mountain to the Civil War landmark and National Park overlooking Chattanooga.

“It’s a pretty impressive view of Chattanooga from Point Park,” Stumb said. “Toshi took me to Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, to swim with the Snow Monkies while I was in Japan, so I wanted to return the favor and show him around the Chattanooga area.” Toshi spends about half his time in Tokyo and half in Miami, and he is bringing five teams from Japan for the 2016 Great Race from San Rafael, California, to Moline, Illinois, in June.

Great Race Veterans Tackle A New Project for the 2016 Race

James Goode, from Jefferson City, Missouri, and driver of car #81 in the last several Great Races, has an interesting project he is working on for Brad Epple. It’s a 1915 Chalmers roadster that used to belong to longtime Great Racer Joe Alackness of Pennsylvania. Chalmers are very rare and are considered one of the truly great brass era automobiles. It is believed that this is the only ’15 roadster to exist.

News About Jennifer Andrews

Jennifer Andrews, the Great Race coordinator for the last year and a half, has left the organization to move to Augusta, Georgia, where her husband has been transferred. “We will miss Jennifer on the Great Race and around the office in her many capacities,” Great Race director Jeff Stumb said. Her husband, Nick, was transferred out of state with the Tennessee Valley Authority last month. “We wish Jennifer and Nick all the best in Augusta, and we hope to see them on a future Great Race because you are always part of the Great Race family.” A replacement for her position will be named in the coming months and will be introduced to the Great Race family at that time.

Great Race in the January 2016 issue of Vette Magazine

The Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty gets lots of great press coverage every year, but our Route 66 adventure certainly created a buzz within the automotive world. With that said, we’ve been contacted by dozens of publications, who wanted to cover our event. Vette Magazine was one such publication, and they wanted to showcase our event, thanks to the outstanding number of Corvettes within the field of 100+ cars and trucks. Check out the online coverage, but you can see this in print (including a small cover inset image of Gene and Becky White’s red Corvette coupe) in the January 2016 issue of Vette Magazine. You can find this magazine in most major book stores. Click here for the story: http://www.superchevy.com/events/corvettes-run-the-9-day-2400-mile-2015-great-race/

Blood and Keller Win the Pumpkin Run Rally!

Brian Blood and Stephen Keller charged to victory in the annual Pumpkin Run rally in Millsboro, Delaware, this weekend by posting a final-day score of 2 seconds. The Great Race veterans from Virginia in their 1969 Saab edged out Doug and Dana Sharp by 1.5 seconds.
Blood and Keller had a 13 on Day 1 of the competition, and after adding the 2 from the second day and their factor they finished with a 14.93 second score. The Sharps, from New York, won the first day with a 8, but came in with a 17 on the final day in their 1916 Hudson Hillclimber. After the factor, they finished with a 16.5 second score. Third place went to Corky Rutledge and Rob Dressler from Pennsylvania in their 1929 Ford Model A pickup truck with a 23.7. Fourth was Dave Haverty and Steve Pusey from Georgia in their 1937 Ford coupe, and fifth was Brian Lockwood and Chris Killikin from New Jersey in their 1933 Ford Speedster. John Hudson and David Coon from New York rallied together for the first time ever in John’s 1940 Chevrolet and finished sixth. The two Great Race veterans will be competing together in the 2016 Great Race from California to Illinois in June.

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