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Mooo-ving to the Front

Mindi and Oatmeal on Day 2 at Rally U.S. 50

Mindi - July 09, 2014 11:40 AM

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The field anxiously awaiting the start Tuesday..Mindi would start from the rear of the pack.

Courtesy of Mindi
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Oatmeal got a good breakfast for the day of navigating ahead.

Courtesy of Mindi
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Mindi lines up for a pass on the Edgewater dragstrip

Courtesy of Mindi
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One of the 80 teams in competition is the Corvette part of Team America

Courtesy of Mindi
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Here's an example of the checkpoint card that is so important to rally teams

Courtesy of Mindi
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This Ford is the other half of Team America. All cars are welcome on the rally

Courtesy of Mindi

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       Tuesday, we arrived to the start line in Athens, Ohio. Our group was bummed about our poor performance on Monday with making bad road choices, so it was redemption time.
       We set off at 8:37 a.m. and got our card with the first 4 checkpoints. Crazy good energy amongst all nearly 80 teams. We were trying to dodge weather coming in while we begin to research and plot our checkpoints. First stop we figure out is ancient Indian burial mounds. On our voyage there, we collect a few other rally cars  our group rolls in, snaps off our pics to prove our stop and then we are off to a war plane museum where we get our picture with the plane named Miss Cincinnati.
Wish we could have spent time there to check out all the awesome war planes they had in display, but we were on a mission. On to Edgewater dragstrip outside of Cincy. Davis in his WRX and I decide we would be a fair match up since the hp difference between us was less than 50. We do our 1/4 mile pass, and we then receive our next checkpoint card which holds our final 2 checkpoints for the day.
      We pull over to figure out our new clues. 10 minutes pass and we are stumped. I put up in my local car forum, which happens to be based in Cincy, for help with this elusive clue. Within 2 minutes, we got the correct answer to where our next point was. And we were off!
We had some time to make up so we made smart navigational decisions to allow us to shave off some time from our route. The clue for this checkpoint was a vintage car garage laden with old metal petrol and car signs from the ‘40s-‘70s. Everyone was thinking it was the National Vintage Sign Museum in Cincy, but we couldn't confirm it.
      Once we arrived at the right checkpoint, Beers Auto Sales in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, there were only a couple cars there. Thanks to social media, we knew we were toward the front of the pack for the day. Awesome news. Last checkpoint was an old historic gas station in Indiana. When we arrived, we were notified by the attendants that we were cars 4 and 5 to arrive. Awesome! It's go time.
      We've gotta make smart moves for the next 60 miles to the final checkpoint, our hotel in Spring Mill, Indiana. We have several routes to choose from. This will make or break us placing if we choose the wrong course. Quick thinking, we hope we chose wisely. Halfway to the hotel, we get jammed up in bad construction. Exit quickly to shake the teams that caught up to us in traffic. A few short cuts and we land at the hotel.
      We are the 5th and 6th teams to arrive. However, we were the last 2 teams to leave the starting line in the morning. With staggered start times, and knowing if everyone that had arrived already had made all the correct checkpoints, it's difficult to know if we placed or not. Since we had a few hours to kill until after dinner results, we crack some beers, hang out at the indoor/outdoor pool, chill in the rocking chairs.
      Teams roll in telling all about their cool, funny, scary stories of the day. 150 people all enthusiastic about driving, navigating, adventure and seeing middle America. It's the best group of people to hang out with. It doesn't matter what you drive, or what your WHP, import/domestic, modded or stock. It's about camaraderie and passion for all things that go.
      After dinner, we find out that I've tied for third with my good buddy Davis! 31 seconds separated us from 2nd place and 3 minutes from first. We’re pumped. Time to go drink some champagne and celebrate!!!

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