All good things must come to an end, and so we find ourselves at the end of the 2013 Great Race. It’s been a pretty amazing ride, and it all came to a close at our final stop in Mobile, Alabama. Brian and Nik took over for our final day, driving and navigating us to the finish. With a thirty second lead over our nearest class competitors, we were feeling confident, but also concerned. It was enough space to have some room for error, but not too much. And while we felt we did fairly well in our run, we wouldn’t know until later in the day.
When we finally got into the Mobile area, we took our lunch stop at the Mobile International Speedway. According to our instructions, we were allowed to take two laps at 25 mph around the racetrack. Since I had never driven the car more than a few feet in the parking lot back in St. Paul, I got to do the two laps around the circuit. It was pretty cool, even if it was a little slower than we might’ve chosen to drive around an oval track. We also had a tasty fried seafood meal that continued the welcome trend away from pulled pork.
But, even though we were done with our timed section, the only scoring information we received was our actual times arrived. There was no information on how far off we were.
In fact, we weren’t going to find out who won until we rolled across the official finish line in downtown Mobile. That finish line really was the finish line too. If the car didn’t cross the line there, we wouldn’t actually finish. But we didn’t have any problems getting there, and the car never had any issues sitting in the long line to cross. There were a few cars that had some trouble. High heat and no moving air tends to be tough on an old car, and the Ford roadster ahead of us quit on its owners for a while. They pushed it down the street, and just before the line, they got the car started again.
Then came our time to cross. After one more of Corky Coker’s recitations about McPherson College, the auto restoration program, and us as a team, he told us that we needed to pull forward just a little more under the inflatable archway.
The arch was the finish we needed to cross for us to receive our results. He then announced our final standings, starting with our overall position. He then added that he had an extra card that said not only had we finished well, but we had won X-Cup! All four of us went wild! We were so excited. We had come into this race simply hoping to finish, and not end up last. In the end, we won our class, and we even finished better than every other rookie team this year!
This race has been an incredible experience, and there are still some things left to say. So stay tuned for one more post featuring some reflections, some extra little odds and ends, and many thank-yous to our supporters.