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After reading the “Burk’s Blast” about his recent “Road Trip From Hell” it got me to thinking about my most recent trip to the drags and how crazy it was so I figured I’d chronicle a what I did last weekend essay like you had to write for school.
During the past few years, when it fits into my schedule, I’ve been going on the road to drag races all across the country with my long-time friend Dick Rosberg and his son (and driver) Terry racing their “Thriller” Jet Dragster. I have a lot of fun going on the match race trail with these guys and this year I was able to tag along when they raced at a few tracks I’ve never been to before. My current total is 108 different drag strips that I’ve been to and that will be the topic of another column over the winter.
So anyway this past weekend they were booked in to race at an IHRA Thunder Jam at Shreveport, Louisiana, on a Saturday night. The kicker is that they also had a date to race the following Sunday afternoon at Rockingham Dragway, a distance of 942 miles and we only had 15 hours to get there in time for our scheduled 3 p.m. run.
So here, boys and girls, is an overview of our trip from hell. Now don’t get me wrong, we had a great time, we always do but the time pressure was the big issue. The Rosbergs have a real nice ford F-350 diesel crew cab, equipped to the max for traveling to the races. It’s got a sleeper, internet access, killer sound system, satellite radio, a 150 gallon fuel tank and with just the three of us on this trip a very comfortable way to travel. They haul the car in a 32’ tag trailer that tows like a baby carriage and the plan was to leave Dick’s Thursday night right after the Big Bang Theory (our favorite TV show) and hit the road.
The previous weekend we raced at Gulfport Dragway so on the way home from there we left the trailer at a friend’s shop in Opelika, Alabama, and the plan was to drive there, pick up the trailer then continue on to Shreveport arriving Friday afternoon. Then spend Friday night and most of the day Saturday chilling and getting some rest as we knew we had to hammer down on the way home.
So buckle your seat belt, here we go:
10/28/10 8:30 pm Eastern. Starting mileage 146826. Depart Rockingham on US 1 South headed to Camden, SC where we’ll pick up I-20 west.
9:55 pm mileage 146921 Arrive Camden and get on I-20 west.
11:15 pm mileage 146951. We make a quick roadside stop to meet a very friendly South Carolina State Trooper who wanted to talk to Dick about his speed. Score: Trooper one, Dick nothing. $131 lighter we’re back on the road.
10/29/10 4:45 am Mileage 147263. Arrive in Opelika, pick up the trailer and hit the road.
8:15 am. I was sound asleep in the sleeper when we went through, believe it or not, Chunky, Mississippi, when I was wakened when I felt the truck going airborne then coming back down on the road. I went weightless, flew in the air, hit my head on a light in the sleeper and we all freaked out. Why? Because there was what I would call a Whoop-D-Doo on freaking I-20! I ain’t kidding, for the next 20 miles or so there were literally hundreds of more whoops and we were bounced around quite a lot so if you’re ever traveling on I-20 west in Miss. Between MM 129 and 88 be forewarned.
10:15 am mileage 147610. Cross the Mississippi River into Louisiana.