Yep, we brought the Great Race to beautiful Downtown Troy, NY today. The weather was threatening (advance reports said lovely except rain from 4-8 PM, the very hours we’d be there). Uh-Huh! As it happened, mostly not – and only a brief deluge to clear the crowds after 7. Overall, despite reduced attendance (especially by the rain-shy club car folks – you KNOW who you are), it was still AWESOME! Music, vendors, GOOD food, great crowd. A singer did an excellent Star-Spangled Banner (I could only see her back there in the white dress, as we arrived in the privileged hometown first position).
Before I forget, I want to, I MUST, thank the folks that made today’s Troy stop a success. Monica Kurzejeski (Deputy Mayor), who backed the event from the start; Cheryl Kennedy, who did the heavy hauling in organizing everything (especially sponsors); 1945 Speed and Custom, for providing guides and parking aides for our venue; Browns Brewery, who fed all the 500 or so people that compose the rolling festival that is the Great Race (I heard it was great – never got there myself); Kristin Jackson, who expanded Troy Flea to bring vendors and music up to Monument Square for our event; Fred Polnisch, our own living, smiling Uncle Sam avatar; and of course our Troy police, who kept us just in line (not too much) and made it all safe as well as fun.
A very special double thanks to Jeremy and Charlie at 1945 Speed and Custom, who also stepped up to help racer Tom Wagner, whose 47 Chevy broke an axle – into the 1945 shop on a Sunday evening for repair! Wow!
Oh, yes, and a big thank you to all my friends who came out, too (you know who you are ,too – including Jeanette and Sterling all the way from Connecticut – yes, Troy is cooler!). And most important, thank you, Sue, for being you and letting me do this Great Race thing, bring it to Troy, and totally ignore you there after one kiss (and receiving the new wiper blades you brought us)! And, yes, thanks to navigator Dale who says ‘hello’ to all his local fans!
But that’s not about the race today. We are allegedly ‘experts’ now, having accidentally won the Sportsman division a day or few (never in total) in prior years. So, in theory, we should know what we’re doing. Uh, yeah. Well, we did pretty well today, except for one major boo-boo. On one restart, we left exactly two minutes too soon! We realized we had left early and did a controlled correction – for ONE minute, not two. Sheesh. So we had one poor leg today (at 1 minute 4 seconds). Yecch. Just barely good enough to make page 1 in the daily results (66th place) and we fell to 35th place overall (and 11th among Expert division). Still, no other errors and no mysteries at all. If we can just stay awake and read our instruments, we still have a chance at a respectable showing.
Good roads today! A yummy lunch at the Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich, NY (THE best car museum anywhere, I think). Great evening in Troy. LOOONG lines to register at the hotel (why is that so difficult – they already know everything they need, when we make the reservations!). We’re staying in the so-called Red Lion Inn (a re-badging of the old Turf Inn (itself a re-packaged Holiday Inn from the 70’s), and 10 miles away, since for some reason, the two fine new hotels in Troy didn’t work out (hmm…). Oh well, we’ll forget the hotel in the morning, anyway. Tomorrow, we’ll surely have shaken out most all the cobwebs and have an excellent day of it (hmmm…, didn’t we say that YESTERDAY, too?).