Steven Cole Smith
Steven Cole Smith Contributor
6/1/21 10:22 a.m.

[Editor's Note: This article was written before the 2021 One Lap of America took place.}

To be clear, Brock Yates hated, hated, the film “The Cannonball Run.” Yes, he wrote it, and yes, he cashed the check, but the script was written with actor-racer Steve McQueen in mind. McQueen got sick, though, and Burt Reynolds got hold of the …

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spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/1/21 11:44 a.m.

Really cool article! Great job GRM!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/3/21 2:04 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:

Really cool article! Great job GRM!

Thank you. Steven Cole Smith is really good at doing this. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/27/21 12:39 p.m.

I was unaware of the TSD era. Sounds kinda fun. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/28/21 10:54 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

It's like we're an educational channel (sometimes). Wait, we are, aren't we? 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/28/21 12:04 p.m.

That's pretty awesome!  I've been aware of the Cannonball Run, as well as the current "One Lap of America" format.  But I had no idea about the early rally-style One Laps.  Grabbing a rental car near the start is a fantastic idea - added to my bucket list.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/10/22 4:46 p.m.

In 1992 I was working at a video production house and my boss and his brother decided to enter the One-Lap in a new Taurus SHO. This was the first year of the new track-to-track format and always the entrepreneur, he figured that he would take footage through the race and maybe sell a video about the event. I leapfrogged to a few tracks to take additional footage. It was a ton of fun and rules being a bit sketchy, I even got to lap a few tracks in my POS Nissan Stanza. 

The following year, they took an Alfa 164S and I jumped to more tracks in the company van in a more concerted effort to capture footage. There were talks about selling a program to Diamond P sports, I even had credentials from Diamond P IIRC. As far as I know, nothing ever came of the footage other than some stuff I edited for friends and family. The studio was lost in a fire years later and the footage was surely lost. I used to have a VHS tape, I'll have to see if I can find that. I got to run a few tracks in the van (in-car footage was needed, I'll take it slow I promise. NOT!)  

Back then, the idea was that you had a set time based on the 55mph speed limit to get to a track. BUT, the race had only one hotel stop in the middle of the race, the rest was 24/7 driving. So teams would haul butt on the transit stages to arrive at the track early. Then they would park on the side of the road and get some sleep before having to check in at the track on time. Plenty of inventive ways to stretch out were created, and more than one competitor slept in my Ford Aerostar when it was raining.   

I remember meeting Brock many times, and Brock Jr once. He was in the white Charger (Challenger? Whichever is the 2-door) and had broken down a few miles from the Cannonball Pub in NY. I pulled over and offered some help and eventually he got the car running (with no input from me because I had never turned a wrench at that point).

I remember being impressed with the Typhoon that won the SUV class. Plenty of space, and that thing was putting out at least double the stock HP. I also remember BF Goodrich who entered a modified Corvette to show off its run-flat tires. They drilled a large hole in the side of a tire and entered the race. That tire was on for all transit stages, they changed to a regular tire for the track for obvious safety reasons. It made the whole race no problem. 

I always wanted to enter myself, but could never afford the time off, fees, cost and car needed. Perhaps that will be my retirement gift to myself, is there a max age limit? I will be 98 or 99. 

 

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