Scott of Team 06 who ran with us on the Miami edition of this years Great American Run just finished his writeup:
My friend Eric from Dallas decided to ship his car (a Dodge Charger SRT8 with 715 hp) out to Florida to do the Rally with me. Personally, I don’t think he could bear to do a 3,000 miles run in my Prowler, it is a great car for me but he’s a little (maybe a lot) bigger than me so I don’t blame him. Plus, with two people there isn’t room for any necessity items such as food and water.
Eric and the car got to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL on Thursday, July 26th; I met up with him the next day. Eric had dropped the car off the previous day at Speed & Truck World to have the after market air-ride suspension looked over and have a new air tank put in. We spent Friday hanging out playing pool waiting for the shop to finish. Once it got late in the day, we drove to the shop to figure out what was taking so long, ends up they were just slow. Of course they didn’t finish even with us pushing, so we left it with them over night. Before we left we asked them to put new tires all around.
Friday night we met up with a couple other Cannonballers: Des & Hece of team 34 and Greg and Tim of Team 333. It was about 5:00 and a bunch of us went to Hooters to get a bite to eat and a beer. Des and HeCe had never been to Hooters so I got all the girls from the staff to pose for a picture with them. HeCe handed each to the girls his business card, some of you know what I’m talking about. I think they all first thought it was a lollipop and as soon as they figured out what it was a couple of the young girls freaked out and ran away and wouldn’t come back for the picture.
We went to pick the Charger up Saturday at 2:00 (they close at 3:00) and they had not done the tires, as they did not have the lug nut key needed to remove the wheels, (it had been lost). Of course they never called us to tell us this. It was now up to me and Eric to run around town looking for four 18mm deep-dish thin wall sockets that could be hammered onto each of the locking-lug-nuts, one on each wheel. Once firmly stuck onto the lug nut we would be able to remove them. At 2:30 we found them at Sears, but when we got back to the shop they wouldn’t do the tires because they were ready to leave for the day. So we loaded the new tires into the rental car and took them and the Charger to the tire shop down the road. Of course after they did the tires they wouldn’t do the oil because they wanted to close by 4:00. We then returned the rental car and headed back to the Hard Rock Hotel to get ready for the kick-off party at the Pangaea Club, which is on the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The weather was beautiful as we lined up 8 of the Rally cars for display in front of the club. The kick-off party was to start at 10PM, but what started was thunder, lightning, and a torrential dour pour. Luckily, I had shown up 30 minutes early and was able to take cover inside the club with the staff. The whole property even lost power for a period of time. A little after 11:00, the rain slowed and the people started to show up. Pangaea is a great club with great staff, unfortunately the club was opened to the public and they started coming in droves around midnight. At that point it was hard to tell who was associated with the Rally. Chris, from Dallas, and I hung out in the VIP lounge most of the night (my thanks go out to the club manager Jamison), I ended up leaving around 5am.
Day 1 – Sunday, the day of the start. Eric and I took the car to Firestone to get the oil changed and then drove over to Wal-Mart to get a few tools for the road. We were sitting at the stop sign to exit the parking lot; I heard loud bang and the car jerked to the side. Just as it happened, a car was pulling into the parking lot and right beside us, I could swear the guy had just hit us. I kept saying “*&^%, *&^%, I can’t believe this guy just hit us