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BULLRUN 2014: Dallas, TX, to Santa Fe, NM


It’s day 6 of the Bullrun 2014 Rally, and things took an interesting turn. Last night one of the team members from Team Mustang Girls had to take a flight home, leaving the navigator spot vacent.

A 6:30am call from Courtney of Team Mustang Girls got the day started with a lurch. Since today’s drive was rumoured to be a long-haul, she wanted to head out early, and needed a navigator. I told her that I would be up for the task, so we hit the road, almost two hours before the rest of the Bullrunners received their route cards.

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Of course, after last night’s wild party at SISU in Dallas, many of the Bullrunners were not ready to drive nearly 700 miles, so they opted to stay in bed a little longer.

For the rest of the teams, there was some mischief afoot last night, courtesy of rally pranksters, Drake and Phil, of Team Royale. The Porsche Cayman of Ben and Bjorn was wrapped like a birthday present, the Aston Martin of Team 007 had the windows painted and the red Camaro of Team Dirty had cotton balls super-glued to the hood.

Most of the teams hit the road rather quickly, heading towards the Cadillac Ranch, but Dharmesh of Team 007 had to stay back to clean off his windshield, which lost him about half an hour of time.

Team Big Easy Bandits, Billy and Huzefa, were making good time when they realized they had a flat tire and their Radar detector was malfunctioning. But after a quick fix, they were back on the road to the Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, TX. Since the Camaro’s gas mileage sucks (literally,) Billy and Huzefa played the numbers game, trying to figure out the MPG of their car and what the optimum speed to travel was. The plan payed off, as they made great time to the checkpoint.

For Team Mustang Girls, the day was moving along like their motto, “Keep on Trckin’!” We were eagerly waiting for someone to pass us by. Nearly three hours into our drive, not a single Bullrun team had passed us. A true Bullrun first – Team Mustang Girls was in the lead! But at the sight of the lightning-fast Chevrolet Corvette C6, we knew the lead was no longer ours.

Not soon after, we were passed by Team Big Easy Bandits and Team ‘The Ben’s,’ who were gone quicker than they showed up. Moments later, Team Car Chasers, Jeff and Meg from the CNBC series of the same name, caught up to us in the Pennzoil Shelby GT500. Jeff later remarked that he and Meg had the lead for quite some time, until they had to make a stop to pick up some 5-Hour Energy to pick them back up after a late night.

As we neared the Cadillac Ranch, about six hours into our journey, we were passed by Ryan and Julie in the red Camaro SS Convertible. At this point, most of the teams who were actually awake were already ahead of us. But then we saw Julie and Ryan turn off the road and come to a stop. Wondering if they were okay, we followed behind them. It turns out they were just searching up directions, so we had them follow us to the checkpoint.

After taking some photos and tagging the Cadillac’s with “Bullrun 2014″ and “Bullrun Rocks,” we made our way to the lunch checkpoint in Amarillo, TX, where the remainder of the teams were already eating. The moment we arrived, the route cards were handed out and they were off! First to the checkpoint was the Yellow Corvette, followed by The Ben’s and Team Big Easy Bandits.

The final leg of the day saw us drive another 300 miles to Santa Fe, NM, in some of the hottest weather we’ve been in. Driving in a 1965 Mustang with no air conditioning is truly an experience, but it was a fun one. We made some pit stops at some gas stations and scenic roads along Route 66 before heading straight to the hotel, the Hilton.

First to the final checkpoint was Team Big Easy Bandits, with their mathematical fuel-saving strategy, immediately followed by The Ben’s, who have been working alongside the Bandits for the entire rally. Third was Dharmesh in the Team 007 Aston Martin and fourth was the BMW M5 of Mike, Mike and Bobby.

Surprisingly, a number of teams showed up after Team Mustang Girls, who arrived hours after the front-runners. It took The Ben’s and Team Big Easy Bandits 6.5 hours to complete the day, and 13.5 hours for Team Mustang Girls. But we made it! Team Texas pulled in right behind us, after not leaving the hotel until 11am, and making four pit-stops along the way. Phil and Drake showed up dead last after someone cancelled their wake-up call at the hotel.

Tomorrow is the final day, the final run to Scottsdale! It’ll be interesting to see how things play out! For now, Bullrun on!