We Made It! A whole day of ACTUAL Great Racing today! And we still remember how it’s done. We started on time. We stayed on course. We finished with no repairs! Wow, what a change THAT is. Our raw score for the day: 27 seconds (21 with our factor). Not a top-notch number in this talented assemblage of skill and bravura, but more than enough for us – Hey, we got to race, right? That is SOOO much more fun that is than pushing through days of hurried repairs.
***UPDATE: This just in – we placed 24 out of 100+ racers today! I guess that 21 seconds was pretty decent!***
OK, I admit we weren’t quite trouble-free today, either. The alternator bearing started to whine partway through the day, but as Dave pointed out, some people run them that way for months! Still, we had a few minutes after lunch in Bennington, VT and so we zipped over to the local Unnamed National Chain Auto Parts Store and scored a new alternator, threw it in the trunk and made it to our re-start spot with almost 2 minutes to spare!
Now, I live just 40 minutes from Hemmings HQ Bennington, so the extremely patient and beloved Sue Corey (we’re going on 40 years together) appeared with her friend Carol Levett to share lunch with us. Sue has put up with near zero attention from me (or our son Ethan) for the last two months, as we prepped our cars for this race. She is gracious and kind indeed, to come and wish us well anyway (and it’s always great to be near her, even for a little while).
While in Bennington, Dave got his pix with Miss Teen VT. The license plate says it all, really. No Excuse.
Anyway, we ran OK. A few seconds late, a few seconds early. We kept the top up because we are a WEE bit tired yet from the earlier bouts of all-night repairs and riding all over New England trying to get a car that works into this race. The shade mitigated those effects a bit. It was a driver’s day – few legs, few steps – lots of long, steady speed-holding runs through the Berkshires, into Vermont, back into Massachusetts, then into New York.
Our evening stop in Poughkeepsie (no toe-picking jokes, please) was at the beautiful Shadows on the Hudson, just downstream of the high Mid-Hudson Bridge – beautiful site for a delicious dinner at sunset. Bob & Cheryl Casciaro came by (Bob was my college roommate & he and I our respective BestMen at our long-ago weddings). We don’t get together often enough either (darn day jobs). These get-togethers are just one more service Great Race provides!
While in Parc Ferme there, we took time to swap out the whiny alternator (fixed THAT!), and as long as the air cleaner was off, I re-set the idle (still wrong from the winter choke setting left when the Imperial was last put away in 2012). Just before we left, we got properly stickered up, too – with the sponsor tags all the other cars got in Maine. OK, then, that all means we’re IN THIS GAME NOW!
By the way, my son Ethan and his navigator friend Nick Jones are running as team 63, in a 1950 Hudson Commodore that he completed just in time for this Great Race (a restoration of a barn find, his first). I am VERY proud of him and for him and of the work he has done. And I wish my cars worked as well as his. Super Job, E! Here’s a shot of ‘Bluega’ by the bridge at sunset.
Tomorrow, on to Valley Forge, PA (yes, we have friends meeting us there, too!). Is it too much to expect a second smooth day? Two in a row? NAAAHHHH! What could possibly go wrong? G’nite all! jc