OneLap Main

Preview | The Sendoff | The 3rd Man | Starting Line | Watkins 1 | Michigan | Heartland | Texas | Atlanta | VIR | Watkins 2 | Epilogue | Great Stuff! | Contact Us | FAQ

return to the markodellracing.com home page

One Lap of America 2001 - Bill and Mark's Excellent Adventure!
Epilogue

Tom Lawrence, reporter, WRAL:  “So, do you want to do it again?”

Mark:  "Absolutely!"

 

 

It turns out 10th place was the last trophy position for one lap, and we were rewarded for our efforts with this crystal pitcher.  Several folks came up to us afterwards and offered their congratulations – the thing we heard most often was “gosh, I had no idea you guys were running so high up”.    I guess this was because most of the time we kept a pretty low profile, and quite frankly our rather boring RX-7 (at least as compared to many of the other hot cars that showed up) drew no attention to itself.  So we really enjoyed the awards ceremony.  Nonetheless after being away from home for so long, we were anxious to get back to North Carolina, and were ready to leave as soon as the ceremonies ended.

The first few hours of the trip home, we just kind of basked in our own success.  It was  incredibly satisfying to put so much effort into an endeavor, and then have it come out well.  The months of planning, and enduring the grueling week of competition had paid off.  An interesting thing occurred as we got closer to home – we started getting on each other’s nerves!  We worked very hard the entire week to be civil to each other – “be nice” (to each other, anyway) was the motto we tried to live by, and up until now it had been working pretty well.  Sure there were a couple of times when our patience was thinning with each other, but somehow we managed to never let anything get too personal.  But the ride home was different for some reason.   We didn’t get mad at each other or anything like that – we just got kind of snippy.  Right around the time we hit the Virginia state line, I took over the wheel and drove, shall we say, at “elevated” speeds.  Which is not the smartest thing to do when you're driving a car thinly disguised as a racecar.  We started to get a line of cars on our bumper like remora’s tagging along on a shark, taking advantage of fact that WE would be the ones to get the ticket.   I didn’t care, and it only made me drive faster.  We arrived at my house outside of Raleigh a full hour ahead of schedule, around 8pm.

 Little did we know that my wife was planning a small welcome home party amongst friends, and because we made such good time, we spoiled the surprise – they didn’t have a chance to put up the balloons and posters around the house.    Oh well, we still enjoyed some champagne and cake, and then Bill hit the road in his Miata.  To get to his own home, he still had about 1 hours of driving to do, making for a very long day indeed!  And thus ended our One Lap adventure.  We got home safe and sound, the car was in one piece, and neither of us got a speeding ticket.  

Now I’ll share with you some random thoughts on One Lap! 

One Lap makes a great vacation…

One of the things that amazed me was that Bill and I spent over 5000 miles in the RX-7, and not once did we listen to a CD, tape, or even the radio.  We brought along hours of music and books-on-tape, and never used them.   The morning of the awards ceremony, I picked up a newspaper for the first time in a week.   We really had virtually no idea about what had taken place anywhere else for the past 8 or 9 days.  It was as if the rest of the world did not exist for an entire week, which is exactly what you try to accomplish when you go on vacation, but rarely achieve.  

Believe me, Bill and I are not the best conversationalists, but there was always something to talk about or to do.   Part of that was because I was keeping up with the website, which meant about 4-6 hours a day of writing text, editing pictures, and uploading the story to Neal.  While I was typing away, I would bounce ideas off of Bill, and Bill would help by offering up many great suggestions.  Even if you aren’t up to the task of writing a website while you do One Lap, you can still have fun the low tech way -- take along a scrap book and an instant camera, and put it together as you go.   When you get home, you’ll have a great time looking back through it, and reliving the experience with your friends.

 Well, I’m not an expert on Decal Application, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn…” 

It’s a beautiful spring day and we are full of anticipation, the day before the beginning of One Lap.  We arrived at the “Best Western Lodge on the Green” a day early, so we could go through registration, attend any drivers meetings, and also to put all the decals on the car.   Bill and I are in the parking lot, applying many of the required One Lap Sponsor decals, and also the decals we offered to put on the car for friends and supporters.  Putting the decals on the car can be a bit tricky, because once a decal is positioned on the car, it can’t be removed without ruining the decal.   So you get one shot at it.  Large decals are particularly tough, because little air bubbles can get trapped under the surface, and you can end up with a decal that looks like it has mumps, if you aren’t careful.   The trick is to wet the surface, place the decal carefully down, and then you squeegee the water and trapped air out.  Ok, that was probably more detail than you wanted to know, but I needed to give you the setup for what was about to happen.   

 

 

So Bill and I are putting on the large, square Pulp Racing decal on the center of the hood, and we are struggling with it a bit.  The big square decals are the toughest of them all.  There is some guy (for convenience and the sake of this discussion, lets just call him “Bozo”) walking around the parking lot taking pictures.  Lo’ and behold Bozo walks right up to our car, and sticks his hand in the middle of the decal we are still trying to position.  “Here’s how you do it,” Bozo offers, as if he knows us, and we asked for his help!   My jaw just drops.  Then Bozo proceeds to spread out the decal on the car, acting like he has done this millions of times.  At first we’re thinking maybe this guys knows something we don’t, but in a couple of moments this feeling disappears as we see he is making a mess of our decal, the most prominent decal on the car, which as I said before sits right square in the middle of the hood.  A decal we had specially made at a sign shop to show our appreciation to Doug Hayashi of Pulp Racing fame.   

We shoo Bozo away, and then proceed to do our best to squeegee out the numerous air bubbles Bozo left under the surface of the decal, sometimes using a pin or a razor to pop them.   Fellow competitors walk up to us, seeing how inept we are at applying the Pulp Racing decal, and then offer advice on how to best apply decals (“you know if you wet it first, then use a squeegee…”).  Sigh.

 “Beware the kindness of strangers…” 

 It’s the very first day of One Lap, and Bill and I had just finished up at Watkins Glen.  Because we were running up front with the Big Dogs (having finished 7th in the first timed session), we got to pack up early and hit the road for our next destination.   One of the first to get on the road for Michigan!  This is great!  But first we have to go to the intermediate checkpoint in Wyoming, NY --- Brock Yate’s very own Cannonball Run Pub.  

 

 

Only a couple of cars were able to leave the track before us, and if we take the shortcut we see on the map, instead of the longer route recommended by the official “One Lap route book”, then we should be the first ones to the pub!   That will get us in and out really fast, we’ll get to Michigan sooner, then we’ll get more sleep than everyone else.  We’re so smart.  We’re so proud of ourselves.   What a great way to start One Lap, as we pat ourselves on the back.

 But first we need to top off the gas tank.  We stop at a Shell station in downtown Watkins Glen, the town the racetrack is named after.  A gentleman at the next pump (for the sake of this discussion, we’ll call him “Mr. Lemming.”)  was a One Lap groupie, and noticing the decals on our car, he struck up a conversation. 

 “Where ya’ headin’ next?” he inquired. 

 “Oh, we’re going up to Brock Yates Cannonball Pub,” Bill offered.

 I show Mr. Lemming the route we are planning to take, and he pooh-pooh’s it.  “That will take you through too many small towns,” he says knowingly.  “Listen - I’m a One Lap fan, and I’m going there myself.  I know a great way to get there, I drive pretty quickly, so why don’t you follow me?”.   Mr. Lemming wants very badly to be helpful.  Ok, why not. After all, our map is one of those big Road Atlas types, and doesn’t show all the local roads – we might get lost, or maybe Mr. Lemming knows a shortcut that isn’t on the map.  Plus, he’s a local, so surely he knows how to get there.  Maybe he even slept at a Holiday Inn.  We start off, Bill is driving, and I’m typing on the computer and occasionally looking at the map to check our progress.  It’s looking pretty good -- Mr. Lemming seems to know where he’s going, and is keeping a pretty good pace.  Then a few miles into the journey, the doubts appear.   

“Hey Bill, do you think that road back there was the one we wanted to take?”

 We go a several more miles, and then Mr. Lemming finally makes a turn off the highway that appears to be in the correct general direction.  Ok, so maybe he DOES know something we don’t, as this appears to be a pretty good road.  I’m looking at the map, and perhaps this is indeed a better way – not as direct, but it COULD be better.  And then we pass another turn I think we should take.  And then another.  And then we hit the towns, one after the other, stop light after stop light.  This is better?  I thought he had a route that avoided all the towns?  But we soldier on, and I am silently fuming as I follow our seemingly random progress on the map, zig-zagging across NY like drunken sailors.  Bill and I are starting to think about how easily a body could be disposed of in the vast wilderness makes up this region, never to be found, at least not before the bears have gotten to it…

 At last we make it to the pub – and there is a huge crowd there ahead of us.   It’s a parade atmosphere with local residents enjoying the show put on by Brock Yates.  Brock had the local police cordon off an area for the competitors to park their cars, close to the pub, but all the spaces are already taken.   

I didn’t take a picture, but here is a link to a picture of the pub, taken during a previous year’s competition by a fellow One-Lapper, if you want to get an idea of how it looked:  http://www.cspcorp.com/onelap/photos/cannonball/officers.html

In fact we were practically the last ones to arrive at the Cannonball Run Pub - a journey that should have taken an hour and a half, took almost two and a half hours!  We’re not feeling so smart anymore… 

A week at One Lap is better than a fat farm!

Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars for the privilege of eating nothing but rice at Duke University ( http://www.ricedietprogram.com/index.shtml ), but wouldn’t it be better losing weight while traversing the country in your favorite mode of transportation?  One Lap is a great way to lose weight.  It must have something to do with enduring 20+ hour days endlessly.  Once you get to the track, you spend much of the day on your feet, and every hour you aren’t sleeping is one more hour burning calories.  

 

 I lost 5-6 lbs during the week of One Lap, this despite a diet consisting mostly of Egg McMuffins, hamburgers and pizza.   Even Bill looks a bit more svelt.  Of course, since that time I have put it all back on and more…oh well, easy come, easy go! 

There are a lot of racecar drivers out there…

Day 4 - Bill and I are in a Waffle House somewhere along the interstate between Dallas and Atlanta, sitting down at a booth waiting for our meal.  Out in the parking lot is our car, covered in decals.  At the counter, sipping on coffee is an older man, who is somewhat disheveled in appearance.  Apparently the coffee is just something he drinks when he wants to take a break from perpetually sampling the wines of Ernest and Julio Gallo.  And boy is he in the mood to talk… to the waitress, to the wall, and especially to us.  In fact, we can’t get him to stop talking.  And then comes the offer… “Need a driver?”   

“Uh, well, not really, you see there just isn’t room in the car for anyone else, it only seats two… sorry about that”. 

Actually, we got the “Need a driver?” question several times throughout the week, from people of all walks of life.  We had no idea there were so many experienced racecar drivers in this great land of America, and they are all willing to help!  What a country!

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference!

   

 If this is your bed….                           You’re probably going to need this…

 Those cheap, inflatable neck pillows really work.  They keep your head supported when you are trying to sleep in a relatively upright position.  So you don’t get that awful crick in your neck, and you don’t wake yourself up when your head bobs off to one side.  I will certainly use this on my next redeye flight as well.  The ear plugs and the eye mask came in handy too. 

They don’t speak English on the CB radio… 

It was pretty funny to hear Bill change his voice and develop a drawl as soon he started talking on the CB.  It turns out truckers won’t talk to you if you sound like you graduated from 6th grade and use words with more than 2 syllables.   Really, they won’t.  You have to know the proper mannerisms and language, or they just ignore you.  And I think it helps if you adopt an accent that tells the world “my momma and daddy were first cousins”.    

Bill would see an 18-wheeler drive by on the interstate, and strike up a conversation.  It would go something like this…

 Bill – “how ‘bout that drop-deck” 

Trucker – “you got em”

Bill – “how’s the highway <unintelligible>  romback ‘wards ‘lanta look?”

Trucker – <major static> “yeah 10-4, you gotta hambur willchuck back at mile mark <more static> and <unintelligible again>.  What you be seein over your shoulder’? over” 

And it goes on and on, and I can’t understand at least half the words they’re saying.  One thing I did learn was that you NEVER, EVER call another trucker “Good Buddy”.  Apparently that term is now reserved for folks that are, how shall we say, “gender neutral”. 

I really missed my dogs… 

   

Sydney                                          Shadow

 It was good to see Sydney and Shadow after being away for about 10 days.  I was especially glad to see Sydney.   For the past several months we have known that Sydney has an inoperable, cancerous tumor on her heart (an Aortic body tumor), and it’s a terminal condition.  Because the doctors don’t know how fast the tumor is growing, they don’t know how long she has left to live.  She was diagnosed over six months ago, and the doctors said she could die any day, or she could live for several months.  One of my secret fears while running One Lap was that Sydney might die while I was away.   As I write this, over two months later, Sydney is still hanging in there.  She’s really beating the odds, and we are very thankful for each day we have her.

There aren’t a lot of rules at One Lap…

And apparently the ones they do have are rather loosely enforced, if at all.  It’s a true “run what you brung” style of racing that I must admit I’m not entirely used to.  One of the few rules they have is that you must run a Michelin street tire.  There is a loophole in this rule, and that is you can claim that Michelin doesn’t make a tire in your size, and then you can run a tire from another maker.   

 Well, this Acura team took this one step further – not only did they run a tire from another maker, they ran a competition race tire (called “R-compound”) which closely resembled a street tire!   If there is one thing you can do to make a car faster on a racetrack by several seconds per lap, it’s to run a race tire.  This fact was pointed out to the organizers of One Lap during the event at VIR (where a spectator first made notice of the race tires), and their response was along the lines of “that’s just his luck to have gotten it through tech inspection without getting caught”.   That’s not an exact quote, but that’s the gist of it.  Between you and me, it may not have changed the final top 10 results, but to some of the teams that finished behind the Acura, it probably mattered a whole lot (if they had known about it).  What I found is that even if you are just doing this for the fun of it, when push comes to shove, if you are running in 43rd place, when you hit the track you really want to beat the guy running 42nd place.  So it doesn’t matter if you run upfront, or mid-pack, or in last place, the competitive juices start flowing when the rubber meets the road, and you want to beat the guy in front of you.  In any event, I’d like to see them do a better job of policing the tire rule next year. 

Compaq makes really great laptops (don’t they?).  Maybe its just Murphy’s law…

 If you’ve read everything up to now, you know I work for Compaq Computer Corp.  So naturally I used a really great Compaq Armada M700 laptop on the trip, and in it was a Sierra Wireless Aircard so that I could send my updates back to Neal, my webmaster, for posting.   Two hours into the 9 day journey, the battery failed!  I’ve been using Compaq laptops for 7 years, and I work with large corporate accounts that use them as well.  I have NEVER seen a battery fail.   It absolutely refused to take a charge.   Not even a trickle.  Fortunately I had an auto power adapter for the laptop, so I could use the laptop in the car as we were driving along.  But occasionally the cord would come out of the cigarette lighter socket just a little bit (it was kind of a tight fit in the car so we had to be careful when moving around), and the laptop would power off in the middle of whatever I was doing.    Needless to say, I learned to save my work frequently.  It was during the trip that I noticed that Windows 2000 is a great operating system, but the reboot times can be a little long…    

(Editor’s note:  the battery has been replaced, and everything works great now!) 

Lesson #29 – If you want my recommendation, don’t use Lycos for Web Serving…

To this day, we still don’t know why Lycos took down the original version of this website in the middle of our One Lap journey.  We found this out on Day 4 of One Lap, driving between Texas and Atlanta.  It wasn’t until weeks after One Lap was over that Lycos tech support responded to our email, and all we got was a form letter style email that said we violated something to do with “remote loading”.  The letter implied we weren’t really using their service for a website, but merely as a convenient file store.  Since this was clearly not the case, we immediately sent them back another email asking for specifics, but we never heard back from them again.   Maybe this is a coincidence, but the day before I noticed that the web banners (those free adds they were putting at the top of our web page, which effectively paid for the service) weren’t loading properly.  That is something over which we have no control – it’s probably a bug in the Lycos software.  I suspect that had something to do with taking down the site.   Well, that’s what we get for using a free web hosting service.     

The reason I picked the Lycos Webjump service in the first place was that they had a really easy to use, web based interface, for setting up a website.  Kind of like “Web hosting for dummies”.   Oh yeah, did I mention it was free?  I’m kind of a cheapskate, which is NOT one of my better qualities.  I should have seen the red flags when I first signed up for the service.  Lycos makes you sign your life away – you essentially have no right to complain about anything they do, or any negligence on their part.  So now I use Adaptive.NET for $6.95 a month (www.adahost.com), and use Frontpage 2000 from Microsoft to build and edit the pages.   This means I have a local copy of my website on my laptop, so if my site were to go down, I can just put it back up somewhere else in the blink of an eye.   Also, Adaptive has 24 hour phone support, so I don’t have to wait for weeks (if at all) to hear back from Lycos.    The Adaptive service has been great, and I have had no outages (at least none that I have been aware of).  Adding insult to injury, I still get emails from Lycos to sign up for additional web site services.  Live and learn… 

The Global Positioning System – how we put a multi-billion dollar satellite network through its paces… 

 A laptop connected GPS is really cool - and useful too, on a trip like One Lap.  It’s amazing how much time you can waste in a car, watching a little turtle icon move across the screen (or a plane, or a rocket --  the icon is a customize-able feature of the software).    The product I used was the Rand McNally Streetfinder / GPS bundle.  It only costs $99, and that’s if you pay full retail, which of course I never do (because remember, I’m cheap).  This includes some mapping software that includes virtually every road in the US, and a few in Canada, plus a GPS receiver that plugs into your laptop – the receiver is small and looks very similar to a computer mouse. 

On Day 1 of One Lap, Bill was driving us late at night across Canada to get to Michigan  (the Watkins Glen to Michigan Motorplex leg).  The official route book took us the long way through the US, mainly to avoid any complications with having to cross the border.  But everyone without a criminal record could just drive across Canada, which, according to my estimates, meant maybe half of the folks running One Lap.  Anyway, Bill was going across the QEW or some such highway (they don’t call them Interstates, because after all, they can’t afford to have states, just provinces).  Plus, I guess this somehow makes them feel like they aren’t the 51st state of the US, which we all know they really are ;-).   Anyway,  we took the wrong way when the highway split.  We caught it right away because of the GPS.   It really is a great way to pass time on a trip, and it helped keep us from getting lost.

Unfortunately somewhere around Day 6, the GPS receiver took a particularly hard knock, and stopped working.   As 007 said to “Q” after being admonished for destroying all of his equipment on a regular basis,  “You wouldn’t believe the amount of wear and tear that goes on in the field”. 

It was driven by a little old lady, only on weekend s…

One of the really interesting things about One Lap is that it brings together some pretty diverse people from all over the world.   

For Sale:  Oldsmobile Bravada SUV, only 5000 miles.

For example, the team of 4 running this Oldsmobile Bravada SUV came across the pond from Switzerland to run One Lap.  The story is that one of them purchased the SUV here in the US, and they will import it back to Europe, where they will sell it as a “lightly used” car.  They told us that they will actually make a handsome profit on the SUV, because they are so desirable over there.   

Sometimes it’s who you know…

Arpad Papp, from Fort Lauderdale, FL, was the driver of the 2nd Renntech Mercedes (the 1st Renntech was the #1 car that dropped out at Watkins Glen during the first event).  Arpad’s Mercedes was a C43 model with just a few modifications.   Arpad seems to know Brock Yates pretty well, and has lunch with Brock regularly at Brock’s own Cannonball Pub -- in Wyoming, NY -- which is not exactly driving distance  from Florida.  Arpad gets around a lot, because Arpad has mucho dinero  (that means mucho money, for those of you from Canada). 

On Day 1 of the journey, when we were at the Cannonball Pub checkpoint, we found out that sometimes it’s who you know.  This is because we were at the back of a very long line of 100 racers, waiting to get our logbook sticker, the one you have to get whenever you  stop at the checkpoint.  As you recall, we were the last ones to the checkpoint, because we followed Mr. Lemming around the great countryside of upstate New York for umpteen hours.   First to leave, last to arrive.  It turns out this is a trend that continues throughout One Lap, but we didn’t recognize it at the time.  So we’re chatting with Arpad, and Arpad isn’t the least bit concerned about getting his logbook stamped.   One of the waitresses recognizes Arpad and walks up to us.  Because Arpad is a regular customer and friend of Brock’s, she offers to take our logbooks and have them stamped right away.   Now that’s service!   Life is good.  All of a sudden we are among the first to leave! This means we’ll get to Michigan first, and get the most sleep, at least that’s what we thought.   Actually, late into the night, several hours later, at the border crossing leaving Ontario we learned from the border guard that “probably a hundred of them funny rally cars” were already ahead of us.   

When Arpad isn’t driving his souped up RennTech Mercedes C43, he is someone that enjoys racing yachts all over the world.  This is definitely something I will get around to doing someday, but it might be awhile, since after all, I’m a cheap son-of-a-gun.   This means I’ll have to be worth about $100 million before I take up yachting.    At Road Atlanta, Arpad was forced to “withdraw” from One Lap, when he stuffed his Mercedes into the wall at Turn 5.  According to the SpeedVision reporter that was at the scene, he stepped from the car and said cheerfully “My first divorce cost me more than that!” 

While we are on the subject of money… 

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “how much does it cost to run One Lap?”.    I really didn’t keep accurate records, but I’ll give you a rough estimate. 

$2000             Entry fee for the team

$200               SVRA licensing, $100 per team member

$550               Gas (5000 miles, 17miles to the gallon on the road, 6 miles to the gallon on track, plus about $40 for race gas I bought at Watkins Glen II when I was trying to diagnose my boost problem)

$400               10 days of mostly fast food – about $20/day/person

$490               Hotel – about $70/night – 7 nights.  This cost us more than we expected, because despite our original expectation, we didn’t sleep in the tent as much as I thought we would.  If we could get 3 hours of sleep in a hotel, we went ahead and did that instead.

$240               Brake parts – 1 set of competition pads for the front, used set on the rear, used brake rotors on front, used on rears, fluid flush

$200               Custom Exhaust

$100               Custom decals

$1000             Tires -  5 Michelin Pilot Sports.  Even though I still have half the tread left on them, I’m putting down the full cost, because I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise. 

$100               Oil,Misc Supplies, adapters, batteries

$90                 Tent

Of course Bill and I split many of the costs.   It came to over $5000 (US) for the team, or roughly $3,000,000 Canadian.   And it was worth every penny.    

Editors Note:  Dear Canadians, please remember, Mark is originally from West Virginia.  Did you know you can substitute the words “West Virginian” or “hillbilly” into every Polish joke you’ve ever heard, and it’s still just as funny?  

Mark being interviewed:  “Well, the Compaq-Pulp Racing-Michelin-J&R Custom Exhaust RX-7 ran real good today…”

 It all started with this….

 

Our website was mentioned in a weekly column in the News and Observer, our local North Carolina newspaper.   Once a week the column highlights local websites of interest.  Later that day I received an email from the Technology reporter at WRAL TV, Tom Lawrence (http://www.wral.com/staff/460802/index.html).  It turns out in addition to his interest in technology, Tom used to race cars and motorcycles – he actually raced at VIR before it closed the first time (sorry Tom, now they know how old you are).  So when he saw our website in the newspaper, Tom had an idea for a story. 

So Bill and Neal and I tromped on down to the TV station the next day.  Beth, my wife, came along and snapped some photos for us. 

 

           Outside WRAL                                   The News Room…

 Tom then took us to a local park, where he interviewed Bill and me…   

 

             Marks turn…                                                then Bill’s…

Gil Hollingsworth, the cameraman, took some footage of the car, then Tom interviewed us in turn.  In a period of about 45 minutes, he took about 10 minutes of interview footage, of which he used about 1 minute for quotes in the final story.

He also took some pictures of himself in front of the car and added some commentary… 

 

 Tom mulls his options…                             Then settles in on this angle…

We then went back to the studio, where Tom and Gil dubbed some of the in-car footage I took during One Lap, video I took while on track at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen.  I selected what I thought was the most interesting footage (almost hitting a wall at Road Atlanta, chasing a turbo Porsche, and passing a wounded viper in turn 10 at high speed at Watkins Glen).     I can’t believe how fast they pulled all of this together.  We started everything at 11:00am and we left around 1:30pm.  The news story appeared later that day on the 6:00pm news, and was rebroadcast the next day at noon.  I gained newfound respect for news reporters – the deadline pressure must be immense, and they endure it every single day.

The finished story totaled a little over 2 minutes in length.   They used the in-car footage of me almost hitting the wall at Road Atlanta as a teaser before going to a commercial, which we thought was great, even if it didn’t showcase my best driving.  Then after the commercial they did a 2 minute segment on our One Lap adventure, highlighting the website, showing the laptop with the wireless WAN card, and interspersing the interview with some of the on-track footage.  Tom did a super job cramming in the essence of One Lap into 120 seconds.   Thanks Tom!

Naturally I taped the segment and if I can get permission, I will post the video of the news story online.  Unfortunately I don’t fully understand the legalities of doing so, and I’ll have to investigate it.   If you happen to understand the rules about this, send me an email and fill me in… 

One Lap is an absolute blast!

If there is one thing that I would like you, the readers, to come away with, it is that running the One Lap of America is the most fun that I have EVER had.   This includes wheel-to-wheel racing, and even “you know what” (this is a PG web site, so I won’t mention exactly what that is).   Well actually, for the 30 minutes or 1 hour that you are on track, Wheel-to-Wheel racing is indeed as much fun as One Lap.  However, when I take in the totality of the experience, I found that running One Lap of America was overall more satisfying.   And One Lap is a whole lot safer than Wheel-to-Wheel racing, because you aren’t banging fenders.  For an entire week you are immersed in the experience of running One Lap and you think about nothing else – no job, no lawn to mow, no middle-east crisis.   It is a completely immersing experience, which is unlike anything else you will ever do.

 You too, can run One Lap… 

So next year I want to see you out there running One Lap.  Start your preparation now.   You don’t need a sports car to run One Lap – the cars are grouped into different classes, and there is a class for economy cars, and even SUV’s!  So go to a couple of on-track driver’s schools, like Car Guys, at www.carguysinc.com.   Instead of that boring vacation you were planning to spend at Myrtle Beach lying on the sand, take a vacation you will never forget.  The only downside to One Lap is that it takes about a week to catch up on sleep.   But it’s well worth it!

So next year, ya’ll come out and run One Lap!  And if you want advice on how to get started, feel free to drop me an email.  I look forward to seeing you on track…

Yours truly, 

Mark (and Bill)