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Team: Clutch Droppers
Day 3: 8-8:45am
Shortly after leaving the downtown L.A. area, the highway made a jog to the left and ended, dumping us onto Interstate 5, towards San Diego. Seeing the wide open interstate ahead of us, Ryan pressed down the throttle.
Ryan: Alright, I need to wake up a little, plus Bob is the only one to really have any fun with this thing yet.
Bob: Don't go too fast, you have got to be about as tired as I am, and I am completely beat.
Ryan: Just a little...
Jason flipped on the radar detector attached to the passenger's sun visor ss the speedo crept over 100.
Ryan: Man, this is great, all the traffic is headed into town, we timed this really well.
The road was mostly open ahead of us, while the Northbound side was clogged with commuters on their way to work in the city. However, there were enough cars on our side to keep the drive interesting while Ryan hammered the gas. Suddenly, the radar detector went off, just before we passed a semi-truck. The warning came soon enough for Ryan to smash the brakes, quickly bringing us back down to a pokey 70mph. We inched past the semi-truck and saw the highway patrol car off to the right of the road. Luckily, it seemed our semi-truck cover had prevented him from catching our speed... Or maybe our emergency braking convinced him that we were not all bad... Or maybe he was just lazy. Either way, the lights did not come on and we continued down the highway undisturbed.
Jason: Reaching up to turn the detector off. Man was that fucking close! If that truck hadn't been there we would have been done for. Of course with the power this baby has we could have led a police chase to the finish line I think.
Bob: Let's not push our luck anymore, we are so close, I don't want the car to give up the ghost or get pulled over while 2nd place sails past us.
Ryan: Don't worry, I'm going to stick to the speed limit from now on, but that really did wake me up.
Day 3: 9:10am
Ryan: Shit we are close. There goes Mission Bay. Do you think we are still in first, I don't think anyone passed us at Denny's or Santa Monica...
Bob: Guess we will find out in a few minutes. There's the airport, should be just a few more exits.
Everyone was starting to get nervous, unsure if we were in first place still or not. The fatigue from driving all night was fraying our nerves.
Bob: Come on, come on... Pass this stupid car, we don't have time for this!
Ryan: The exit is right here, can't really go around just to dive through the crash barrels for the exit.
Ryan: Here we go, the Coronado Bridge! Oh come on, it's a stupid toll plaza. Anyone got change??
Bob: Yeah, here, just take it all and throw it at them.
After paying the toll, Ryan launched the car away from the booth, missing the raising boom arm by mere millimeters. The toll booth guards did not look amused. We followed the road around until we were pointed toward the beach turn off.
Bob: I can see the beach, follow the road around to the right. Right here, yes, turn!
Ryan: I can read the damn signs!
Jason: Do you guys see any of those other cars?? Also... Where exactly are we supposed to go to finish?
Bob: Hey, isn't that the guy from the driver's meeting standing over there?
Jason: Yeah, your right. Just pull over here.
Ryan gunned the engine, giving a small flick of the wheel to the right before hitting the brakes hard and yanking the wheel to the left. The FWD car's rear end went completely loose, swinging around as good as any RWD car. Ryan planted the car firmly into the curb on the other side of the road, but miraculously was between the lines of the parking spots.
Bob: Damn, that was slick! But I think you messed up the rims...
Ryan: It'll buff out. Now let's get over to the race guy!
The trio took off across the sand, running full tilt towards the event chairman, whom was standing on the beach in front of a mat, similar to the Amazing Race. The trio jumped onto the mat, eager to hear those delicious words they so craved, "first".
Chair: Welcome team Clutch Droppers, you've made it to the end of the race, how do you feel?
Bob: Great! Once you bloody well tell us what place we got!
Ryan: Did you just turn British??
Bob: Sometimes their language slips out... I watch a lot of British TV...
Chair: Well, I am pleased to tell you that... The camera spins around the trio, the music swells, and we cut for commercial.
Little Ceaser's, because you have to eat something, right?
Commerical break ends.
Chair: Well, I am pleased to tell you that... you have come in first place!
Bob: FUCK YYYEEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!!
Jason; The little beater that could!!
Ryan: Damn straight!! Now where is our trophy?
Chair: So, what are you guys going to do now that you have won?
Bob: Well, these guys don't know it... but, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!
Jason and Ryan: What??
Bob: Yeah, I wanted it to be a surprise, I got us day passes for Disneyland since we are all the way out here. They are good through the end of next week. I figured we would take a day to recuperate before heading back up to L.A.
Ryan: MOTHER&%)#ING DISNEY!!!!
Jason: I have never been, actually. To either.
Chair: Well, I would like you guys to stick around to greet the other teams if you would.
Bob: Oh hell yes, I would not miss an opportunity to rub this in their faces... sportsman like...
Jason: How far ahead do you think we are? I saw a store up the road and I have something planned for the other teams.
Chair: Looks at one of his aides... Looks like... about thirty minutes or so.
Jason: Back in the car guys, we're going to hit up that Walgreen's real quick.
Day 3: 9:40am
The trio arrives back at the finish line, car loaded down with all kinds of items. They bump over the curb and drive onto the beach near where the chairman is standing. They begin to unpack, tables, chairs, blankets, a charcoal grill, charcoal, and a couple of ice chests.
Chair: What in the world are you guys doing?
Bob: I told you we were going to be sportsman like, we are setting up a banquet for all the losers.
Chair: Well there are actually a number of food trucks here for the finish...
Jason: Well screw it... we already bought the food, we are going to have a cook-out anyway!
A few moments later the grill was sizzling away, loaded down with hot dogs and hamburgers. A single pack of tofu dogs sits in shame at the bottom of the ice chest. Just in case anyone is lame and won't eat meat.
Bob: Gotta borrow the car real quick, we forgot the most important food. Beer.
About 20 minutes later and the car rolls back into view, by this point team Clutch Droppers was not the only team on the beach. Bob bumped back over the curb and brought the heavily laden car to a halt at the makeshift banquet site.
Ryan: How much beer did you get? The wheels are completely inside the wheel arches?? That's got to be like...
Bob: 800 pounds of beer? Yeah, every square inch of the car is now beer... I even threw that useless spare tire away to make room. So, who wants something to drink?
As the day wore on, more and more teams joined us at the finish line. We were sad to see a number of teams missing. Most had car failures we learned, but one team was arrested. We challenged teams that arrived to drag races down Ocean Blvd. Some of which beat us, but was fun nevertheless to see what exactly people had been able to get for the budget. We shared our food and brews and swapped stories about the journey with the other teams.
Bob: Seems like we were pretty lucky nothing went wrong with our car. This turbo should have blown the manifold hundreds of miles ago, but I guess that kid we bought it from knew what he was doing.
Jason: Don't jinx it, we still have to get to Disneyland, and then back to Seattle to get Ryan's jeep. I really don't want to have to fly back up there.
Ryan: Don't worry, this car will be around forever at this rate.
After spending a day recuperating, the trio were back in the car at 4am, ready to head back to L.A. and visit Disneyland and California Adventure. It was an uneventful drive, followed by a great day at the parks. The lines were relatively short and the weather was almost perfect. All in all it was a great day.
The next day they were in the car yet again, heading back towards Birch Bay State Park in order to retrieve Ryan's jeep. Bob and Jason were arguing over who would get to drive the Bil back to Ohio. They had all come to love it, even if it was a bit uncomfortable, old, and worse for wear than when they started.
Morale: +25 (WE WON!!)
Fatigue: +28 (Still no sleep)