It’s now 11:03pm and I’m sitting on my bed at the Quality Inn in South Bend, Indiana and to be perfectly honest, I’m bushed. We left Queens, NY this morning at about 6:15 am which was a bit later than we wanted to leave but hey… shit happens right? In our caravan we had my buddy Todd’s Ferrari F430 as well as a Corvette Z06 driven by another close friend, Carmine. Now obviously the Ferrari has NO storage space and although the Corvette is a bit better it’s no storage closet. What this meant was that the Charger was going to be the pack mule for the trip. Now, aside from tools, spare parts and racing gear, we also packed in 10 days worth of clothes in 4 duffel bags and then jammed everything into the trunk and back seat. Combine this with my 240 lbs. and my co-driver Chris’s 260 lbs. and you could say that we were at our limit.
We hit the road and immediately got stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge… this sucked, but it is NYC so I don’t really know why I was surprised. After crossing the bridge we jumped on Route 80 heading west. This would be our chosen road for more than 700 miles. The three of us then began to cruise and settled in to a nice rhythm of between 80-85 mph. We had with us my trusty Valentine One radar detector and Todd’s Escort 9500. This worked out well as they both pick up signals at different times and this would keep us out of trouble.
We made our first stop in Pennsylvania right by Pocono Raceway for some fuel. When we stopped I noticed a bolt had fallen out of my exhaust clamp, no big deal, but it did kill 20 minutes of our day. I then fueled up and we were back on the road. Since we’re on the topic of fuel I should mention that my car LOOOOOVES it. Gasoline is like crack to my Charger and he snorts up as much as he get. What this meant was that we had to make A LOT of fuel stops. The Corvette for example was getting about 26 mpg, the Ferrari about 18. My sled…. how does 9-10 mpg grab ya’? For us this sucked because it meant that between the extra weight in car and our 80+ mph constant speed we we’re burning fuel like mad and had to stop every 150 miles or so.
We were all now vested in our journey so we just kept quiet and drove. About half way into out trip though we… or should I say I, hit another snag that came in the way of an egg sandwich that I had about 4 hours earlier. You see the sandwich and my stomach decided that they did not want to be friends and the results of this feud would plague me for the rest of the day… not fun.
As we cruised my buddy Chris and myself discussed the other cars in our class. There was a wicked 1967 Camaro powered by and LS7, a 1985 IROC Camaro, a 1981 Camaro and the one lone Mopar… namely us in my 1968 Dodge Charger. I have to say that the Charger was a true rock star today. It cruised over 700 miles at speeds ranging from dead stop traffic to well over 100 mph and it didn’t miss a beat. Not bad for a 42 year old sled right?
It was now about 7:45 pm in the evening and we arrived in South Bend, IN. The parking lot of our Quality Inn was just beginning to fill up with all sorts of cool automobiles. There was a wicked Ultima GTR, a few Nissan GTR’s, some Porsche 911′s from different years, and a few Subaru STi’s. Keep in mind that registration is today and tomorrow, so the majority of the crowd isn’t here yet. Tomorrow is the official start of the 2010 One Lap of America, with the first event being the wet skid pad at the Tire Rack facility. Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea what my car will pull on the wet skid pad, but I am excited to find out. Then after that is complete (about 3pm) we jump in the cars for a nice 300 mile drive to Road America Raceway for Saturday’s event.
Tomorrow night I know I’ll be shot, but I’ll be posting some video of the skid pad event as well as more of our travels so make sure you stay tuned to Ridelust.com as we participate in this years One Lap of America.