A Much Better Day

June 15, 2011


Monday, JUNE 13, 2011

This morning (Monday) Carolyn said it would be a good day if Molly Maroon got us all the way to dinner under her own power.  Well old Molly did it in fine style.  And a fine dinner it was tonight in Cumberland, MD.  Our scores were not all that good, but they were consistent.  On all 5 legs today we were late by about the same number of seconds per hour of driving.  Our total adjusted score was 44 seconds for the 5 legs.  So tomorrow, instead of changing our driving style to speed up a little, we will adjust the speedometer, so that with the same driving style we will arrive a little earlier.  We placed 38th out of 59 cars today, but unfortunately due to the three DNF’s over the previous 2 days we are listed in 58th or 59th place overall.  It doesn’t matter much since we are out of the money.

We started today in Salem, VA.  After a long speedometer calibration run, we were on our way.  The weather was cool and the driving was pleasant.  It is difficult to describe where we drove because we really don’t know where we went.  We had lunch today in Harrisonburg, WV.  All the lunches seem to be the same with hot dogs or burgers, chips, beans, potato salad, etc.  Gets old after a while.  Had a great local turnout at lunch and another big local turnout at dinner.  Dinner tonight was in Cumberland, MD.  All the cars were parked in the pedestrian walking area of downtown and they had a wonderful dinner for us with salmon, chicken with crab, rice pilaf and veggies, and great brownies.

The car ran fine all day with the fix we made last night.  All we had to do tonight to get ready for tomorrow was to tighten a loose fog light and lubricate the throttle linkage which was sticking a little today.

Carolyn did a GREAT job of navigating today.  No mistakes all day until one minor one late in the afternoon.  We used the wrong clock for the time of starting a transit zone and after the transit zone we used the other clock and ended up leaving a minute early.  We discovered the mistake about a half mile down the road and quickly pulled over, waited one minute and then took off again.  However, mistakes have a way of compounding themselves and we missed a speed change sign when we restarted.  We estimated how much time we had lost and made it up.  We ended up only 11 seconds late for the entire leg which was 3 hours and one minute long.  The three hours amounts to 10,860 minutes and we were only off by 11 seconds.  Of course the very good teams were only off by a couple of seconds.

The scores are posted on https://www.greatrace.com/.  There are also some pictures.  There are not many of Molly Maroon since she spent most of the last two days on the trailer.  There are two pictures of her on the trailer and one picture showing the large caution sign on the rear of the car.

I told the mechanic from another team who helped us solve the problem last night that I would kiss him if the car made it to dinner.  Well, as we pulled into the civic square in Cumberland tonight, he was there with the video photographer and I had to make good on my offer.  So there will probably be some interesting shots on the video when they put it all together.

I had suggested to the organizers that this year we should have a rookie mentoring program.  We are doing that and the rookies that Carolyn and I coached are doing better than we are so far.  We have to at least beat the rookies that we mentored.

We are looking forward to another good day tomorrow and hopefully some better scores. 


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