Great Race 2019 Day 4 — Chico to Eureka, CA

June 26, 2019

The Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty keeps rolling as we complete day four’s trek from Chico, California to Eureka, California. The day’s route started with rallying through some beautiful Northern California farmland. Rice fields and various orchards and groves offered a great view with mountains in the distance. Unfortunately, a high-speed police chase put a halt to the first three legs, as the Highway Patrol closed the roads we were using in the rally. About a third of the field made it through those legs, but the rest of the teams were re-routed. So, after a quick scramble from our competition staff, we were back on track after grabbing some delicious lunch at the lunch stop in Willits, California. We’re always blown away when we get a huge lunch crowd on a weekday, and Willits certainly didn’t disappoint.

From there, we jumped back on Highway 101 and made our way into Leggett, which is home to the Drive Thru Tree Park and the famous “Chandelier Tree”, which stands 314 feet high and measures 21 feet in diameter. The park was part of our route, giving all racers a chance to pass through the tree and have their photo taken…it was a fun experience for everyone. Only three of the racers couldn’t fit (the Bluesmobile, the F-1 panel truck and the Willys pickup were too tall). Each racer will receive an 8×10 framed copy of the photo at the awards banquet in Tacoma. We won’t bore you with a picture of each and every racer passing through the tree, but here are some highlights from today’s route, which culminated in the beautiful town of Eureka, California, which is positioned on the Pacific Coast. By the time the racers reached the day’s finish line, temperatures were in the 50’s with a cool breeze and fog rolling in from the coast…a big difference from yesterday’s scorcher. Chad and Jennie Caldwell won the day with a score of 2.42 seconds in their stunning 1931 Auburn. Tomorrow we pass into Oregon and continue our journey, so follow along with us and check back for more updates!

11 comments about “Great Race 2019 Day 4 — Chico to Eureka, CA”

  • “GO” Arnie and Lynn…”GO”…..#123…. driving through the tree!!
    At poisition 41 Great time for the day, obviously a BIG shakeup. GREAT to see you guys doing so well.
    Hold on tight…. patience rules!!
    All the best from Phoenix

  • Hello saw multiple racers on my way north on 101. I live in Hum. Co., and so I was amused to see the cars headed to my home area. I would like to share a photo from one of your race teams entering Eureka, CA, but your website doesn’t allow it.

  • Hello and welcome to Oregon, wind and rain downtown Brookings at 11:30 AM today & the open cars were rolling right along! Improvise was the name of this leg of the race me thinks. Thank You folks so much for driving through our little berg on Hwy 101. Stan

  • Hats off to whoever is taking these photos; some are absolutely stunning!

    The clarity, the detail, the vibrancy of color is amazing! Especially ones of vehicles emerging from the Chandelier Tree.

    I took some in Willits, but after seeing these I put my camera away. Thank you!

  • It was a pleasure watching the all cars drive thru Brookings this morning… not sure who was in charge of our weather today…sorry, about the ‘liquid sunshine’ and wind!

  • Thank you for coming through Lake County. We wondered why we didn’t see all the cars, and now we know why. We drove east on Hwy 20 in our red 1957 Thunderbird waving like crazy! We’d love to do this race someday – it looks like so much fun! We’re enjoying the daily reports!
    Drive on!

  • I absolutely love seeing these pieces of American history but today in Smith River Ca there were almost two separate accidents involving the participants of the race. These were a result of racers pulling into traffic in front of loaded semi trucks. To the participants, enjoy the event but please be careful. I would hate to see any of these beautiful cars destroyed. I was driving one of the trucks, I had to brake so hard that my load of plywood shifted almost a foot and I was only traveling at about 40 miles per hour at the time. I’m not mad or going to say which car it was I would just like to say to the participants please be careful and enjoy your race.

  • My family is road tripping from Seattle to Phoenix and we saw a lot of these cars on 101 in the redwoods. It was so cool and the kids loved it.

  • My wife Gloria and I saw the start of the race leave Riverside, Ca. last Saturday. I called
    my uncle on Tuesday, who lives in Troutdale, Oregon. The route appears to pass close
    to where he lives. He’s a long time car and motorcycle guy and I’m sure he would like to see the cars. He and my aunt live on a very popular and scenic highway that lies
    between Hood River, Or. and Vancover, Wa. He told me that the Great Race came right
    past his house about 30 years ago. I told him to keep his eyes peeled this Friday afternoon. He might see the race pass by his house again!

  • Of course you stayed in Eureka,my old home town.
    Sorry I missed it.
    Fun Fact – the Willits sign is the old Reno “Biggest Little-
    City in World” one.

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