Bullrun 2010 – Day Seven – Scottsdale, AZ to Las Vegas – Final Day
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Written by: Rory Camangian - Team 55
Bullrunners, the Fremont Street Experience is waiting! Day 7!
Day 7 will go down as one of the most intense days in rally history and highly unexpected. Bullrunners had the opportunity to sleep in late. We had a brunch stop at Taser International in Scottsdale, AZ, approximately 15 miles from the Valley Ho. Wheels Up was scheduled for 1PM which led most people to believe we would have a relatively easy day – similar to San Diego to Los Angeles in the final day of Bullrun 2006. Were we ever wrong!
Our host for brunch was Taser International Inc., a company that develops and manufactures electroshock devices used by law enforcement professionals and civilians who are interested in protecting themselves and the Taser Foundation of which one of our rally teams were participating in Bullrun 2010 to raise money for.
Team M2/Taser was raising awareness for the Taser Foundation on this year's rally.
Al Kenney and Mike Kalfus took raising money to support for the families of law enforcement professionals in North America who were killed in the line of duty very seriously. Their car carried the names of every police officer who lost their lives in 2010 and were willing to keep it up to date if another unfortunately lost their life during the week – thankfully no one did. They also honoured Al’s father’s partner, James T. Dunston, who lost his life while on duty back in 1980 in New York City. Officer Dunston’s family were on hand on Pier 54 in New York City to send Al and Mike off. By the time I spoke with Al in Telluride they already raised $25,000 and the Bullrun rally helped raise even more.
While at Taser International an auction was held to have an opportunity to tase another rally member. Dave “Megawatt” Pearsall had the winning bid of $2,000 and initially chose to electrocute Bill Wu of Team Wu, but Bill Wu ducked out so Dave chose his long time buddy and driver of his support vehicle, Mark Mulvaney to send volts through. Bullrun also helped raise an additional $2,000 dollars when a girl travelling with us, Karen, decided to allow herself to be tazed in a bikini. Drivers had to donate $100 for a private viewing. I would be lying if I didn’t think watching people get tased wasn’t a little absurd, but nevertheless it was absolutely hilarious.
Karen Soto offered herself to be tasered to raise money for the Taser Foundation.
The rally re-launch at 1PM with a full police escort out to the highway. Our destination was the Junipine Resort in Sedona, AZ. At 120 miles, it didn’t make sense that we’d be travelling to another resort when we knew that we needed to head for Nevada. Was there going to be an activity like on the last day of Bullrun 2007 outside Key West or was this a checkpoint designed to allow us to enjoy the spectacular views Sedona has to offer? It tuned out to be the latter and out next route card sent us on another 187 mile quest to Yesterday’s Restaurant & Hotel in Chloride, AZ. The views in and out of Sedona were spectacular and another salute to the Bullrun organizers.
This was a pivotal town for many teams when deciding when to get gas and when to not. We assumed that Chloride would have the facilities needed to support the Bullrun and have a station ready for multiple cars. We were dead wrong. As we got into Chloride, AZ the overwhelming sense of regret for not gassing up earlier was increased when we found the Bullrun checkpoint to be a town that is lucky to be on the map. The only positives this town had to offer us were a paved road and a route car to tell us where we are going next. Our feelings of desolation brought on by the fact that we were nearly out of gas was increased when we found the Bullrun checkpoint vehicle to be empty. A note on the window instructed us to find the town’s only hotel and go to room 10. We collected the route card form a Bullrun crew member that said another 48 miles were in store headed towards the Aquarius Hotel in Laughlin, NV. But first, it got really interesting for Team 55.
As we headed out of town back towards to the highway we had 10 miles of gas left with 17 miles to the next gas station. Efron and Jason in the red Ferrari were in the same boat but they made it to the station by conserving fuel by turning the car off going down declines to save fuel. Instead of risking the 105 degree heat and sitting on the side of the road we dipped into the pizza place a convenient store on the side of the road. Luckily the Sackett family(Levi, Summer, Chance and Isaac), who were huge Bullrun fans, were sitting there watching the cars go by decided to save our butts. We agreed that they would follow us to the next gas station and if we made it- great. If we didn’t – they’d get gas for us and bring it back. At exactly 10 miles the Porsche shut down and we coasted to a stop. The family were true to their word and got us the gas we needed to the next gas station.
Thanks to the Sackett Family - team 55 was able to hit the road to Vegas!
We reached the Aquarius Hotel in Laughlin NV and most of the cars were already in and eating dinner. While at dinner we received word that Drake Kemper’s Porsche Boxter has caught fire and was out of the Bullrun for good. As a first-time Bullrunner, Drake experienced his fair share of pranks in a year where pranks were abundant. In Omaha, Team Wu visited the local Pet Smart and bought 200 crickets that eventually made it into Drake Kemper’s Porsche and Richard Rawling’s Ford Pick-up. It is possible, but unlikely, that the crickets caused the fire, but we’ll never know. Rawlings responded by placing three white mice in Team Wu’s charger and Drake put a rather large Hello Kitty decal on the Wu car that stayed there till the very end. Two mice have been accounted for at this time and one is believed to be hiding behind the glove box or is somewhere in the car dead. Cindi of Team Wu will be giving the two mice away as pest. We also had a lot of funny bumper stickers and Saran wrap going on cars all week.
Drake Kemper's race-modified Porsche Boxter on the flatbead after experiencing a wire-fire - rendering the car useless.
We re-launch yet again, but this time we knew where the end of Bullrun was going to be – the Freemont Street Experience, Las Vegas, NV 98 miles away. The final 98 miles were enjoyable as the only concern was for it not to be too dark before we got into Vegas, but actually, that was exactly the point all along. Freemont Street is supposed to be about the lights, the glitter and the crowds and that is exactly what we received – “the best” Bullrun final destination in the history of the Bullrun Rally. Just as Sundown was perfect for Austin last year – the lights of old Vegas shined bright on some dusty cars. We deeply regret that Matt Farrah and Tom Morningstar of Team Black Magic got a flat tire approximately 10 miles from the checkpoint – they never made it.
Gary Stenton - releaved to have finally arrived in Vegas after a week on the road.
The stage was set for The Cuban Brothers final Bullrun 2010 performance and the 2010 Rally’s Awards Ceremony. This marked the first time Bullrun Awards were handed to its recipients other than a private party and in front of thousands of people.
Gary Andy Duncan and David Green giving the pre-awards speech on the Fremont Street Experience stage.
Bullrun 2010 – Awards:Bullrun Order of Merit – Team Lucky Nuts – Ricky Chance and Dudley Geigerman Team Lucky Nuts are among the most fun people to be involved with Bullrun. Rickey and Dudley are incredibly friendly, always focused on making sure the people around them are having an amazing time and are true friends to Andy, David and everyone involved with the Bullrun Rally.
Team LuckyNutz accepting the Bullrun Order of Merit award.
West Coast Customs Hottest Wheels Award – Goes to Seth Rose and his Nissan GTR. Seth drove this car to its fullest potential. No one like to be passed on the rally, but watching and hearing the GTR chew up miles is an amazing experience. Seth and his co-pilot, Tony King, are as hardcore as they come and we look forward to having them on the rally for years to come.
Michigan International Speedway Fasted Lap Award – Nicholas Frankl of Team Twins Nicholas as we know is an experienced racer, but ripping up Michigan at over 160 mph in the CTS-V with many other formidable cars and drivers around was truly amazing.
IMI Motorsports Complex – Bullrun Go-Cart Challenge – JF Musual of Team Black Magic JF is a truly a nice person and makes many contributions to the automotive community by producing truly interesting automotive content for TheSmokingTire.com and FastLaneDaily.com
Bullrun 2010 Navigator Awards This years rally was truly a navigational rally. Virtually all of our route cards did not provide an address for our destinations and a few destinations didn’t even show up on our GPS devices. To be top 3 in one of the most competitive Bullrun’s in history is an automotive and endurance feat. It takes focus, accuracy when choosing the most efficient routes and it takes the right kind of stamina to take part in all of what Bullrun has to offer day and night.
3rd Place – Team Twins – Nicholas and Annabelle Frankl
2nd Place – Team CEC Wheels – Claus Ettensberger & Joaquin Mejia
1st Place – Team Lucky Nuts – Ricky Chance and Dudley Geigerman
The Spirit of Bullrun 2010 – Team Orange Monster Audi RS4 Cabrio – Anthony Curko and James Cervelli . Rally Bosses, David Green and Andy Duncan have always said that the Spirit of Bullrun Award is the most special to them. It embodies what the Bullrun is all about – a navigation road rally that is only easy for the people who are watching and following it. The Bullrun is so much more than driving and attending parties. It’s a journey that comprises of many moments you just cannot experience in any other endeavour.
Team RS4 accepting the most prestigious of the Bullrun awards - the Spirit of the Bullrun!
Below the surface, the Bullrun experience offers some answers to the question of why people would be so interested in Automotive and it allows you to use your car as the primary vehicle to experience life to the fullest and to drive alongside people who also find it important to live a life filled with incredibly interesting experiences. Anthony and James truly deserved their BRM Watch and Asprey Crystal Decanter for sticking out and never giving up despite missing a chuck of Bullrun rally activities.
At the end of the awards ceremony, we fired the engines up for one last time and drove right through the Freemont Street flanked by thousands of people on both sides of the street. It’s probably the closest any of us will ever come to experiencing what a tickertape parade is like down the “Canyon of Heroes” in New York City.
Another Bullrun in the books A special thanks goes to Mathew Hayhearst for helping with posting the blog each day and to the Bullrun logistics crew headed by Christina Halvholm and Chris Tetterton who often get overlooked on the rally despite delivering the full experience in the smoothest way possible. Thank you to my driving partner Rob Pineault who helped keep me awake in the early AM while writing. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed the content – it’s obviously not everything that went on – just some of the more important stuff.
And a very special thank you to Andy Duncan and David Green who work year round to think of the places and experiences we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.