Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis behind the Spyker's wheel. The dude's funny and a good driver too.
Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis behind the Spyker's wheel. The dude's funny and a good dr
Although the detour is not as direct, it's more entertaining. It's a stab-it-and-steer type of road, marked by half-mile straights and 90-degree turns. On a deserted farm trail 100 miles south of nowhere, we see 185 mph on the speedometer. In any other car, it would have been an achievement. In the Brabus, it's simply a brisk walk. Just before dusk I make out the Sears Tower and Hancock building. The satellite navigation system makes short work of finding the House of Blues. It almost feels like we're cheating. Almost. I hook up with deputy editor Funke, who will assume driving duties tomorrow. He's been here for several hours and has become intimate with the local bar scene. I need to pour him into his room so he doesn't walk off a balcony or something.
I had planned on interviewing the Bullrun producers, but that doesn't seem important now. I'd rather talk to my fellow drivers and see how they fared, which routes they took, how fast they went. We end up in the parking garage, talking cars till late. We don't utilize the ultra-hot House of Blues bar; it's too noisy and the uncorked Ford GT sounds better than the band.
A Las Vegas showgirl greets Hallstrom and the Brabus K8.
Monday, July 24
Chicago to Kansas City, via St. Louis,
I've never seen this many police on a single stretch of road. Having gotten completely destroyed at a dingy Chicago dive the night before while waiting for the boys to roll into town (I flew in around 2 pm and the 'Run didn't arrive till closer to 7:30), I was really looking forward to letting Claus drive.
"Nein," says Claus. "You must drive. Check out the car, yah?"
In spite of my fragile head and dubious constitution, the first few hundred miles are fine; the car is incredible. And then the troopers attack. I proceed to log two separate speeding tickets in less than 25 minutes. The first is legit, but the second was, as our British friends like to say, bollocks; he writes me up for 79 in a 65, but it was more like 69 (and probably less). Far from peeved, Claus derives an undue amount of mirth from my predicament and insists I continue to the lunch stop at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, then he'll drive. That's easy for him to say, he's yet to be pulled over.
Cute girls magically appeared when Bullrun came to town.
Just past St. Louis, with Claus back behind the wheel, our contact on the road ahead-the one equipped with a police scanner-informs us that an APB has gone out statewide to be on the lookout for "stickered-up cars participating in an illegal road race."
"What is this... this A P D?" Claus asks.
"APB. All Points Bulletin," says our back-seat companion, a lovely NY freelance journalist whose name escaped me as soon as I looked into her eyes. "Our friends in Illinois have alerted the Missouri state police and they'll be on the lookout for us."
"Ah... APB." Claus feigns concern, hands clenched firmly at nine and three, accelerator pedal pinned close to the floorboard. "This is not good, huh?
"He continues to demonstrate his incredible autobahn-bred driving mojo and we make it into Kansas City without any delays, though en route we pass more than a few sidelined Bullrunners; some by themselves, some in pairs, and always a Missouri state trooper looking on sternly.
Tuesday, July 25
Kansas City to Vail, via Great Bend
Great Where? Yeah, exactly. I wasn't particularly looking forward to this section, as it cut through some of the flattest, most farm-laden country within these great United States (no offense meant to our readers in Kansas). Lying in bed this morning, I can almost smell the cow shit.
The finish line. These guys should be exhausted (or at least out of gas, like their cars).
Hallstrom's turn to pay homage to The Man.
A tightly packed group leaves Vail.