Fireball Run: Day 4 - Who's in first? We are!

1:16 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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You read it right, we are number one..........and with a bullet! We had a perfect score, jumped over the previous leader, and we are half way home. Right result, but not a real rip roaring intro to another spellbinding blog, eh? I'll try to spice it up a bit with some anecdotes and leave it to you to judge today's episode. I will say that while what we needed to get done wasn't earth shaking, sparks did fly and competitive juices got flowing. Read on.

Leaving Watertown this AM, the city lived up to it's rained. That was only concerning because this day was all about driving.....flat out pedal to the metal, within legal limits, that is.

We had one mission before lunch and a couple of bonuses. We were also armed with new knowledge that the sooner that we finished these segments, the higher our score for completion. Yup, somehow we had overlooked that slightly large detail. As such, we had to quickly assess the genuineness of the extra credit exercises to decide if deviating from making a beeline to the lunch destination would cost us more points than it was worth. 

Thankfully, as the bonuses were laid out, it became obvious that they were screaming for us to take an alternate route, shorter in miles, but with lots of winding two lane roads, intersections, small towns, speed traps, etc. We didn't take the bait, so it was zoom zoom time.

It quickly became apparent that the others had the same idea, so it was truly off to the races. We were in the lead except for several exotics that threw the speed limits out the window. Inside our car, we were mainly concerned about the last leg of the trip when we would all have to leave the Interstate and strike out cross country. The problem was that there were a number of different routes and all three of our various GPS systems couldn't agree on one that was faster than the other. Picture the scene as all of us scattered like water bugs in different directions, looking over our shoulders wondering who had made the right choice.

As we ate up the side roads, we realized that we could call some of our followers and have them look online and see via the Fireball tracking system who was in the lead. The reports came back that we were not at the front of the pack, at least as best anyone could tell because everyone was all over the map on converging routes. Before we knew it though, we caught up with three of the contestants and started snaking our way together thru the hills and valleys.

Then a series of new reports came thru that this group was in front. That was great news. I figured then that worse case, we'd only get docked a couple of points, so we would play out this hand over the remaining 10-15 miles, especially since there was virtually no way to pass the folks in front of us without going at bit crazy.

Now in most instances, this logic would hold, but I had momentarily forgotten the underlying, dyed in the wool, competitive nature of our fearless leader, Bernie. Maybe that's why I never saw what came next. As we all pulled up to a stop sign on a corner with a gas station, the first car, a Porsche, made a right turn and we all waited to follow suit. Well at least the two cars in front us did. Suddenly, our Fisker made a sharp adjustment, shot through the gas station and leaped in front of the other two cars. I was back in high school in Alabama when we would pull these kind of stunts to beat anybody to the hamburger stand. I was flabbergasted, embarrassed, busting a gut laughing, while all the time Bernie was lost in the joy of the success of his maneuver. I immediately refused to look back and reminded him that we would likely wind up having lunch near these people in just a few minutes. His response, without losing a beat? "It's a race , ain't it?"

At this juncture, we only trailed the Porsche, which we couldn't out run or pass, so our fate seemed sealed. Once again, I was so mistaken. Out of nowhere, the Carrera took a wrong turn and thrust us into first place. We were sitting pretty, ready to collect our 100 points for our first place arrival. As we started to become mesmerized by the endless site of greenery and early Fall foliage, a sinister orange dot appeared in our rear view mirror. We had seen this orange streak before, it was the Lamborghini Aventador and it was passing all of the cars behind us like Usain Bolt. Having come from behind the pack to three feet off of our bumper, I heard Bernie utter a few words which both terrified me and made me laugh; "he isn't passing us"! Sure enough, at the next passage, the Fisker jumps into the middle of the road and begins a 30 minute exercise intended to show the Lambo who was the Alpha male. In the end, the Lambo's desire to pass us was squelched, and we arrived at the Northeast Classic Car Museum first! The owner of the Lambo will not be inviting us to dinner tonight!

Once in Schenectady, we found a town with a few pleasant surprises, nice people, and (most importantly) a great little Italian restaurant. We ate a quick meal and headed off to bed, ready for a new adventure tomorrow on our way to Waterbury, CT. 

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