Sadly, the last day was upon us. Dad would drive the event this morning, although it was only a skidpad. A repeat of the very first event, only dry instead of sprinkler-soaked.
Our finely tuned morning routine took us to McDonald's across the street. We celebrated by ordering what must be the unhealthiest food by weight: Sausage Egg & Cheese McGriddles. Plus hash browns.
Back to where the first event and kick off was held: Tire Rack Headquarters. Parking was in our assigned and numbered spaces- right next to the MR2 Lins! Everyone was dropping off their trailers and making their way across the skidpad to line up for photos, so we did the same.
We were directed into place and got out to visit while everyone else parked.
All competitors made their way to stand next to their cars and wave. The top 10 finishers (at least with one event still left) were parked up front.
Once the photo was finished, cars were driven back to the parking lot and parked to wait for the skidpad event to start.
As mentioned previously many times, we had some concerns about the tires lasting to the end. Expectations were fully bald tires by this point in the trip, but as you can see below, we had some tread left for the journey home- yay!
One of Taylor's good friends from college, Matt Smith, drove out to meet us and say hello! If he sounds familiar, that's because his father, Bruce, hosted us for burgers in Montana on the journey out!
The run order was the reverse of the overall standings, so we were running pretty early. Dad got in line and ran the short skidpad event.
And with that, we completed the 2017 One Lap of America! Dad's run was good enough for 55th place with a 0.894g average of both directions. We were in close running with the Civic Si in the overall standings, and Dad beat them, so we held on for 59th place- yay Dad!
We did it! All events completed! Dad parked in our spot and we wandered around, visiting with friends. Everyone was in high spirits to have finished such a grueling event. Nice work to all!
Because we went so early, there was plenty of time to enjoy the morning.
Dad, always sensitive to anything amiss in the force, was concerned about a vibration that had slowly crept its way into existence on the Volvo; he suspected a tire out of balance, which wouldn't be unreasonable given the punishment we'd inflicted.
Fortunately, we were at one of the largest tire service centers on the planet, so we scheduled a quick appointment to get the tires rebalanced. After all, we were going to leave for a 2,100 mile road trip to Seattle in just a couple hours. Tire Rack has outstanding customer service and were as helpful as ever; the Volvo was in a service bay for tire balancing before lunch.
After dropping the Volvo off inside, I made my way back out to Taylor and Matt to watch the front runners make their skidpad runs.
Once everyone had finished, the winners were settled. It was our friend, Hugh, in the red 1,000 horsepower GTR with the victory! Congratulations, Hugh! He's a really nice guy and engaged us in friendly conversation throughout the week.
My favorite car, the black Porsche, took second, and the crazy guys in the Ariel Atom took third. Well done, chaps!
The event was officially over.
However, tradition held that whomever felt like destroying their tires was free to line up to do burnouts for the crowd. So the crowd gathered and many lined up to try their hand at a crowd-pleasing drift and/or burnout.
The Roadkill crew did not.
Chris Lin and I were filming from the crowd. I was experimenting with the slow motion setting on my Sony RX100 V. A better photographer/cinematographer would have nailed the following shot. I messed up the focus. Sorry about that.
Once the burnouts were over, everyone made their way over to the storage warehouse side of Tire Rack for the closing banquet and awards ceremony. It smelled very strongly of rubber, but the food was good.
More importantly, there was beer. Even a local brewery that was pumping a couple select drafts!
The Lin's were looking lonely at a table by themselves, so because we were sure there was no way they could possibly be sick of us, we joined them.
To be honest, the ceremony was pretty odd. A lot of goofing off by longtime competitors with a huge amount of inside jokes. I'm sure it was awesome for them. For those of us on the outside, it was just strange.
But hey, food + beer!
I spent some time hanging out with Walter, the Falken Tire cinematographer, talking racing and cameras.
After an hour and a half of the gong show, we decided we ought to hit the road. We hoped to make it to the edge of South Dakota for the night. Preferably before 3am. This time the time changes would be in our favor, though!
We said our goodbyes to those that still remained. Many had snuck out before us and the parking lot was pretty empty.
We hit the road again, aimed for Seattle. By this point we had become salty old highway pirates, unfazed by the never-ending asphalt seas before us. Finely tuned road tripping machines, forged in the fires of One Lap.
As such, not a whole lot to report from the road during this section. There are some pictures though.
Our dinner stop came in Wisconsin. We tried to make engineer a Pizza Ranch pizza buffet dinner, but it wasn't meant to be. None were close enough to hit that glorious buffet window.
So we stopped at a B.A. Burrito Co., a Wisconsin burrito chain that puts Mac N Cheese, among other things, in burritos.
Dad finished pretty quickly, then took the car for a gas fill up around the corner. Once Taylor and I finished, we sat outside and watched the sunset while we waited for Dad to return. It was nice.
The Wisconsin farmland was picturesque as we made our way west. I'm sure a good photographer could have generated some seriously nice photos as we traveled during the golden hour of lighting.
We cruised into a Hampton Inn, brought to you by Dad's Hilton Honors rewards points, around 12:30am Central (yay for the hour gained!). After a smooth check-in, we were in bed before 1:30am.
While a celebration to commemorate our successful completion of One Lap might have seemed in order, the 1,500 miles and 22 hours of driving loomed large.
We were pretty proud, though.