Bullrun '06: Fontucky to Beverly Hills

The rally was originally supposed to end at The Grove, one of the tonier open-air shopping areas in Los Angeles. However, at the last minute, mall authorities reneged on the deal, as they'd been doing some research on the Internets and decided that the Bullrun wasn't a "family-friendly" event. During the drivers' meeting at Fontana, David Green informed us that our final destination would actually be the Beverly Hilton, our hotel for the evening.

After a few pace-car-led laps of the track (with Danny Coyle getting reamed by the authorities for passing everyone, including the pace car) and a snack at the King Taco truck, (where they don't know the meaning of the words "no meat"), we lined up for take off. Pulling away from the starting line under escort Keri suddenly called out, "My brakes! Something's wrong with my brakes!" When she got the car stopped and threw the Audi into park, the motor immediately began revving. The gas pedal had gotten stuck under the floor mat. Emil later remarked, "I told her she should've ditched that thing at the beginning."

She tossed the offending piece of carpet back toward us and took off. But we'd lost valuable positions, considering that most of this stage would be played out in Los Angeles traffic.

We didn't have our route entirely planned out as we took off, but we knew we were heading toward the 210, as we figured the 10 would be an absolute disaster. A number of cars had similar ideas, including the consistently well-placing Darkcyd support Navigator and the Skiny/Haller A6 Avant (now missing most of its stickers due to scanner reports that police were looking for the silver/gray wagon). While on the road, we mused on possible routes aloud to ourself while studying the road atlas, until Keri told us to be quiet until we had something figured out. We let Jen handle the directions at this point, as she's a 909 resident, and thus knows the roads out there better than us.

Finally, she suggested the 605 down to the 60 and then over to the 10, which we were pretty much going to have to be on at some point. In a moment of kismet, we mentioned that were just thinking that it was the optimum route as well. So it was set, the Nav Bitch was yammering and we were off. We'd never spent so much of a stage staring out the back window. At one point, we were pretty sure we'd seen a white Crown Vic a ways back. But every time he was out of our line of sight, Keri would put a little more distance between us until he ceased to be a worry.

We hopped off at La Cienega, took Cadillac up to Robertson, then cut over on Olympic to Beverly to Wilshire. The sensation was not unlike when you're driving home and you really have to go to the bathroom. And the closer you get, the worse the feeling of having to go is. By the final stoplight, all three of us were ready to pop. We'd heard via the radio that Los Matadors (who'd taken the 10 all the way) were already there. We pulled in 18th (filmed by one of the Car-Parazzi kids), right behind Richard Rawlings' 750il. William Wu had blazed to victory on the stage, just beating Carl Lewis due to his handy-dandy little device that turned any light with an emergency-vehicle sensor green.

Now it was time for donuts.

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