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Great Race recap – days five and six

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Crowds await the finish of day five in Grants Pass, Oregon. Photos by author.

Day Five – Wednesday, June 26

We are betting most of the race teams in open cars are glad to be out of Oregon as they were greeted on day five by a steady drizzle and chilly temperatures. The scenery was spectacular as they traveled along the Pacific coastline through the tall forests and seaside coves. The lunch stop today was in Gold Beach, Oregon and the teams welcomed a chance to dry off for a while and regroup. After lunch, the race continued to Grant Pass, Oregon, where a four-block radius of downtown was the site of the tonight’s finish and a large crowd of enthusiastic local classic car admirers. The #66 1932 Ford coupe driven by Grand Champions Jody Knowles and navigated by Beth Gentry won the day, they were previously winners of the 2017 Great Race. Howard and Doug Sharp are still leading in the overall standings.

The 1932 Ford five-window coupe driven by Olivia and Genna Gentry.


Louise and Jim Feeney’s 1936 Ford Deluxe Fordor.


Curtis Graf and Waye Bell are competing in this ’32 Ford roadster.


Day Six – Thursday, June 27

Stunning scenery, but less-than-ideal weather for the open-top cars.

The weather was a little better on day six. The rain threatened several times during the day, however, the cool temperatures were of larger concern,especially once the race teams completed their morning timing legs and spent their lunch break atop Crater Lake National Park. Temperatures were in the low 30s and snow was blowing across the top of the observation area. Several places along the highway leading up to the lake still had up to 8-foot snow banks beside the road and other areas had mounds of snow amongst the trees just a short distance off the shoulder. The afternoon was spent rallying between Crater Lake and Bend, Oregon, and teams were invited to select their own dinner from one of the many downtown restaurants while residents from the Bend area checked out their racecars. Day six winners were Trevor Stahl and Josh Hull in their 1932 Ford Speedster, but they could not surpass the overall score of the Sharps and their 1916 Hudson open-cockpit hill climber. With only two days left, teams will be racing across Washington and finishing at LeMay, Americas Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington on Sunday.

Snowpack at elevation.


Crowds await the competitors at the day six finish line in Bend, Oregon.