Every day is a new challenge for the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented Hagerty. Today’s challenge was navigating the grid road system in the flat farm lands of Indiana and Ohio. Upward of 50 intersections with stop signs had our racers all sorts of jumbled up by the end of the day, as everyone’s technique for making up lost time is different. In case you’re not aware, when the racers stop at a stop sign (while on the clock) they have 15 seconds to do so. That doesn’t seem too difficult to figure out, but you must remember that the pre-determined time is calculated without any consideration for the time it takes to slow to a stop or regain speed from a dead stop. It’s tricky stuff, and it’s what these racers study on for months leading up to the race. Today was the day to put their “performance charts” and notes to the test, as we rolled out of Franklin, Indiana and into Wapakoneta, Ohio for a packed town for lunch. Included in the crowd was Barry and Jewel Jacobs, who have traveled with us on several occasions and plan on joining us next year. After lunch, it was back on the farm roads until the racers came off the clock and made their way through the Spencerville Covered Bridge, just before rolling into Auburn, Indiana for an evening stop at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.
The museum is an epic display of machinery, and it’s in the actual building where Auburns were produced. Along with dozens of Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs, the museum has a great collection of other significant cars in automotive history. Behind the ACD Museum is the National Auto and Truck Museum (NATMUS), where we saw even more cool stuff. The cars and trucks in this museum have great stories and histories, so our entire gang enjoyed the tour. It’s also worth mentioning that the hosted dinner in Auburn was delicious and featured 20 flavors of homemade pies. After the festivities came to an end, we realized the night wasn’t over, as another Auburn-based company “Auctions America” hosted a huge cruise in after party! Live music, more good food and hundreds of cars gave us a good reason to stay out late!
As for scores, we had yet another new daily winner. Today it was Jim and Louise Feeney who navigated the starts and stops the best with a score of 6.64 seconds, with Jody Knowles and Beth Gentry just behind. Jeff and Eric Fredette are still in the overall lead, but just barely…the lead is now less than one second after Knowles/Gentry knocked out an awesome day of rallying. The Fredette’s made a very quick repair at the lunch stop and finished the day strong with a score of 10.60 seconds. Tomorrow, we’re heading north to Hickory Corners, Michigan for lunch and Ypsilanti, Michigan for the overnight stop. Follow along and enjoy today’s highlights!