Our time spent in Nevada was short, but we made the most of it with an awesome stop in Gardnerville, and we stayed in town a little later than usual this morning. We hit the highway and headed back into California, and started today’s timed course with a challenging climb up Donner Pass. While the racing teams couldn’t soak in the beauty of the scene, our media team had the pleasure of hanging out near the Summit to capture some great images and video. The views were breath-taking…partially because of the natural beauty of the mountains and Donner Lake nestled below and partially because the air is a little thin at the peak. Again, the altitude changes were dramatic, as were the temperature changes, as we saw a 30-degree swing between Donner Pass (where there was still snow on the ground in certain areas) and our lunch stop in Grass Valley, California. This area is the home town of long time Great Racing team, Bill and Carolyn Croker (from Penn Valley), so they led the pack as we visited the beautiful downtown area that was packed with spectators and awesome hot rods from the local car community. We enjoyed a delicious meal and hit the road again.
The landscape changed drastically, and the racers were treated to a special surprise half-way through the afternoon route. Their instructions listed a lengthy transit time, and as they rolled into the small town of Oroville, California, they were greeted by a great crowd of people who assembled to welcome the racers. This pit stop came at a good time, as the afternoon heat was intense. From there, we hit the road into Cherokee, following miles of twists and turns on a narrow road that seemed to last forever. Then, it was an easy drive into Chico for our evening stop. We had another great turnout, and another local cruise in that coincided with our event. The spectators and racers filled the town square until it was time to crown a winner and head back to the hotels. Stage 3 winners were Daniel and Brad Epple in their 1916 Hudson with a score of 9.24 seconds. Several Great Race heavy hitters were following closely behind them in today’s results, so it shook up the overall standings quite a bit. If you’d like to check out the daily scores and the cumulative scores, please visit our Results Page! For now, let’s take a look at the highlights from today’s rally through the mountains and valleys as we inch our way closer to the Pacific Coast in Northern California.