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Well, I am officially hooked. The Tire Rack One Lap of America is the most bad ass thing in existence, period. I don’t know of many events or “racing series” where you can sit at the bar with the founder and share stories. Not to mention the fact that he’s read your blog and some of your forum posts! No matter what, I’m coming back year after year after year and I’m going to do my best to promote the event.</p>


So on to the story of the day. Stephen and I drove non-stop from Auburn, AL to South Bend, IN swapping every gas station fill. We were doing fine until we hit Indiana where I discovered the windshield wipers didn’t work (due to improperly torqued nuts on the wipers). At this point I just went ahead and replaced them with new Rain-X wipers. Another 5mi down the road, I saw the hood lifting and shaking when I realised I was an IDIOT and forgot to fully shut the hood. DOH! That could have been really bad. This is where I learned my first lesson of One Lap… if you need to make a stop to fix a problem, take your time and do it right. Don’t stop again to fix something you missed the first time, do it right. I also got some great advice from existing One Lappers and was provided with valuable information on various tracks and events. Think of it as a beginners course to autocross, but on a MUCH larger scale.</p>


I don’t know how to explain the entire event in words… it’s just… wow. I thought QuakeCon was badass, but I can’t even describe the entire event. There is EVERY kind of vehicle here, from kit cars to production supercars to everyday mom mobiles… it’s here. Not to mention everyone is extremely cool and lets you sit in the car, turn it over, and tell you about what’s done to the car. I was even told the exact alignment of a few teams! Talk about utter shock, I was thinking it would just be like a race such as the ALMS where teams try to hide as much as possible… but then I find myself sharing various specifications of the vehicle, dynos of each others cars, sharing tools, and finally lending a helping hand to anyone working on their car.</p>


As soon as we arrived in Indiana, it was raining. Surprisingly it was completely flat and you could see for miles (even with the rain and clouds), it reminded me of Oklahoma and Kansas. Despite the adventure of replacing the wiper blades, it was a very uneventful drive. I slept from the time I sat in the passenger seat to the time Stephen stopped for gas. At this point I must thank my brothers for playing guitar scales at 3am. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to sleep through anything. Seeing the Tire Rack building for the first time was an amazing experience… it was just more magnificent then you imagine at first. You’ll see in the pictures at the end. As soon as we found where we were supposed to park, we pulled in and registered. This involved signing several forms and obtaining the stickers necessary to participate. After that, we went and checked into our hotel and observed some of the “competition” (which we later learned wasn’t). As soon as it hit 4PM Eastern we went and listened in on the driver’s meeting where a lot of words of wisdom were shared form various veterans. I can’t thank them enough for this. As soon as the driver’s meeting finished, we got a free meal with beer and finished breaking in all sets of wheels/tires. We then headed back to the hotel, chatted up other One Lappers, and are now back in the hotel room about to pass out (hey, we’re ####ing exhausted).</p>


With that said, I’m sure you guys just want pictures (you llamas), so without further ado… CLICK ME FOR DAY ONE PICTURES. I will be resizing them and have a slideshow later, right now I’m just exhausted and going to bed. Gotta be up in 10hrs!</p>


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So. at the end of the first day of competition, our One Lappers have a long way to the top. No doubt they're already feeling the effects of serious fatigue, serious competition, and a lot of miles to cover. Part One, the wet skidpad left them near the bottom of the pack. Part two, Road America, put them in slightly better stead - they finished 45 of 64 overall, and fourth in class with 50 points vs. 70 for the class leading Civic Si. Overall they're 160 vs. 375 points. It's a long race, and continuing to show up and compete is worth a lot. It's early, so we'll let the chips fall as they may and see where our guys end up tomorrow.

Hopefully, I won't be giving them sketchy directions based on bad maps from the course's website tomorrow. Sorry about that Ben!
 

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Former '05er
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Overall:

62nd place/car number 68/Scion tC/Class - Econo Car/Points total 290
Benjamin Everett, Stephen McGowin

Econocar Class:

4th place/car number 68/Scion tC/Class points - 90 overall points - 290
Benjamin Everett, Stephen McGowin

Apparently, they're experiencing some challenges, and the really fast cars and drivers are setting a tough pace for everyone to follow. No live word from Ben today - more updates to follow as results are posted.
 
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