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Great Race recap – days three and four

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Day Three – Monday, June 24

Leaving Gardnerville, Nevada on day three, racers skirted Reno and climbed to cooler temperatures and back into California via Truckee and on to the mining town of Grass Valley, California. Not being from the area, most of us were surprised to see people atop Squaw Valley still snowboarding and skiing like it was December. Grass Valley hosted a large crowd of locals and racers for lunch. The town boasts over 300 miles of gold mine tunnels beneath the city streets, although mining companies pulled out a long time ago. In the afternoon racers were treated to a pit stop at the State Theater in Oroville before continuing on to the evening stop in Chico, California.

A 1965 Ford Fairlane gasser? You don’t see that every day.

The best time of day three was 9.24 seconds which moved the father/son team of Dan and Brad Epple, in their 1916 Hudson, up in the overall ranks. Howard and Doug Sharp reclaimed the Great Race lead with a 13-second day and an overall score of 19.80 seconds off perfect. The Hemmings race team finished 37th with a score of 52.92, but their overall standing indicates a total score of 51.24 seconds after throw-outs. Hopefully their bad legs are behind them, because they have already used the few they are allotted.



Day Four – Tuesday, June 25

Cars on display in Eureka included this custom 1960 Chevrolet Impala.

Tuesday was day four which began in Chico  and stopped for lunch in the rodeo town of Willits, California. Teams were just a few days early for the Willits Cowboy Days Celebration, but the town turned out in droves to see our Great Racers. Willits is also the location of the Roots of Motive Power Museum, which has a large collection of trucks, cars and train locomotives. The finish line for day four was in Old Town in Eureka, California. The city’s downtown was regaled with some interesting custom and classic cars in addition to the 115 Great Race cars that were still in the event after several breakdowns in the last four days.

Winners with the best time on day four were Chad and Jenny Caldwell in their beautiful 1931 Auburn boattail speedster with a time only 1.4 seconds off perfect. The Howard and Doug Sharp team in their 1916 Hudson still hold the overall lead. The Hemmings speedster moved up to 26th place with a score 11.76 seconds for the day and also 26th in the overall scoring. Day five looks like it will be a rainy one, with a lunch stop in Gold Beach, Oregon and an overnight stop in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. If so, many of the race teams, driving open-cockpit race cars, will have some damp outerwear by nightfall.

More photos and additional information is available on the Great Race Facebook page or the Great Race website.