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One Lap of America 2001 - Bill and Mark's Excellent Adventure!
Event 4
Motorsport Ranch

Check the Weather forecast for the Motorsport Ranch

We have to admit it, we are still a little unhappy about how we dropped 3 or 4 positions due to the way the drag races were awarded points.   That was a pretty hard pill to swallow, but we don’t want to let it get us down.  Instead, we thought of this really great way we could take advantage of the situation, but we need your help!  So here is how you can help Bill and me, and become part of our racing team in the progress.  

You could write an email to Brock Yates, Jr.  You don’t have to spend countless hours word-smithing the exact phrasing, since we have conveniently done that for you. 


Dear Brock Yates, Jr.: 

We have really enjoyed following the 2001 One Lap of America.  We especially like reading about Bill and Mark on their website.  It is such a shame Bill did so well in the drag races, but the team lost over 100 points as compared to their competition.  This is despite Bill’s incredible 2nd place finish in the bracket drags.  

One way you could rectify the situation is to offer Bill and Mark a Dodge Viper GTS (with the ACR package, black with silver stripes) to drive in next year’s One Lap.  Or if you don’t have one of those, how about a   < ok readers, insert your favorite or wacky car here, like a Porsche, Yugo, etc – have some fun with it! >.   And don’t forget the insurance.  You may need it.  Then Mark and Bill could chronicle their adventures on your official One Lap Website.  Wouldn’t that be great!

Sincerely Yours, 

< insert your name here >

< insert where your from, i.e. city, state 

P.S.:  Bill and Mark did not force us to write this letter, but did promise us fame and fortune if we did.


There you go folks!  Please send only one letter per email account, but if you have more than one email account, send another as well!  All you have to do is copy and paste this in an email, and send it to Brock Jr’s. email address.  Here it is:

"byates" at ""

Folks, if you do this, copy or forward the email to Bill and Mark and we will keep track of all the letters that are sent.   We will post a list of names on our website as a way of saying thanks!  Use my email address at

"mark.odell" at ""

Editor's Update --  Here are some of the letter writers to date:

Name                                           Wacky Car for Mark and Bill to drive

Alan Chavis                                    500 Horsepower Mustang                       

Little Mikey Dishman                   Yellow Corvette Z06                                          

Scott Gallimore                               1984 Nissan Pulsar

Art McDonald                                1976 Gran Torino Elite

Mark Senior                                   PT Cruiser - Black with flames!

Jim Pastorius                                  2002 Yellow Corvette Z06

Karl Shultz                                      1975 Ford LTD with Woody Panels

Dave Pastorius                               King Midget, R-Type (9 1/2 horsepower!)

Paul Fazio                                        Citroen 2CV 

Michael Gallagher                          2002 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo GT2

Steve Fuller                                     2001 Fiat Multipla

Bjorn Karlsson, Vaxjo Sweden      Viper Venom 800 Twin-Turbo (WOW!)

Keep those letters coming - Brock won't mind, he told us he LOVES getting email.  He did mumble something about "injunction" and "restraining order", but we know he was just kidding!

Now, on with our adventures!


Have you ever seen a tow vehicle that can tow a trailer 150mph?  Actually he was going much slower than that, but he can certainly move this thing along pretty quickly.  We figured we might tag along, since if a cop came along, we wouldn’t even be noticed.


Alan Chavis and his wife Cheryl treated us to dinner as we were passing through Oklahoma City.  So now you know all you have to do to get your picture on our website is to buy us food.  I really appreciated Alan’s video and notes on how to drive Heartland Park, and I am certain it really improved our standings there.  One of the interesting things about running One Lap, is that you have to pack up and get going before you know the results.  Today we found out that at Heartland Park we finished 12th overall in the first heat, and 13th overall in the second heat.   Since we had not ever driven that track before, we felt pretty good about that. 


We arrived at our Motel 6 in Benbrook, TX, at about 11:30pm (this is a shameless plug for Motel 6.  We also will accept free hotel rooms).  Actually, we first arrived at 10:30pm, but we drove right by it, as we thought it was still several miles further south.  Cha-ching, there goes one more lost hour in the sleep deficit column.   We felt all our stuff was safe in the car, since the night manager, Sandy Rogers, allowed us to park our One Lap cars near the entrance.  Here you see Sandy next to the Lightning pickup of Brian Healy and Ed Olkkola.  Brian and Ed’s first Lightning pickup was stolen only a few days before One Lap began, and this one is a brand new replacement that they struggled to get ready in time.

At 6:30am Bill and I left the Motel 6, while our competitors still slept, as evidenced by the cars still left in the hotel parking lot.  Since neither of us had driven the Motorsport Ranch, we decided we needed to get a jump on our competition.   We arrived at 7:00am sharp, after a delicious McDonalds breakfast, and Bill set up the car while I walked the track.  Since MSR is fairly short at 1.7 miles, I was able to walk it about 3 and a half times, before I got too tired.


Brian Provost came to see us, helping us by laying hands on the engine of our RX-7.  This superstition, as we all know, is worth about 100 additional Horsepower.  Brian is a founder of the Corner-Carvers website, where track junkies figure out how to get their next fix.  Brian drove several hours from San Antonio to see us, and had to leave at 4:30 in the morning.  We ran our first heat, and I did fairly well, finishing 11th.  This finish moved us up a couple of notches in the overall standings based on the printout I saw, but I’m not sure how long that will last, as Dale and Greg in their RX-7 are very, very close in points.

Between heats, Bill and I snapped some pictures that I thought you might enjoy.

We understand that the wife of Pat Adee has been following our adventures on this website.  So Mrs. Adee, here you can see that Pat is safe and sound, the Viper is still in one piece, and Pat is staying out of trouble.   Although Pat said the rear spoiler blew off the Viper when they were doing 200mph on the PA turnpike.   (just kidding).  No, actually the spoiler was stolen when the Viper was parked outside the go-go joint in downtown Watkins Glen.  (no, I’m kidding again –  I have no idea which go-go joint it was). 

Here John Dearing and Jeffry Coffman are getting more help than they probably wanted as they prepare their Impala SS for the next heat.  In the background you see the matching Impala SS of Howard LaFever and Mark Grzella.

I think these two vipers will have their hands full with this mini, don’t you?

This gorgeous 1962 Jaguar XKE of Gary Hagopian and John Loring deserves a look.  When I was a kid, this was my favorite car, and this silver paint really shows up the sensual lines of its bodywork. 

Linda Cheatham and Peggi Moore found time during the lunch break to give their car a nice once over.  After about 3000 miles of driving, the cars can get pretty grimy!

Dale Fair and John Love pilot this 2001 Chevy Impala, which has the full police package, minus the light bars.  This is an excellent way to avoid getting tickets on those long drives between tracks.

This early 90’s BMW 5 series has an engine that sounds like it belongs in a Viper, and sports one of the most serious spoilers found on any of the cars.   We know this spoiler is functional, by the message printed on the bottom of it.

After lunch, I headed back out on track for my second run at MSR.  Bill and Brian watched from the pit wall, keenly looking for good photo opportunities.  Unfortunately I spun the car a little sideways on track, right in front of the pits.  The car never left the track, and I was able to regain control and keep it moving, but I lost a few precious seconds.  The worst part is that Brian has it immortalized on his digital camera, so now I’m going to have to put up with the public humiliation of having it posted on his website.  That is one of the dirty little secrets of amateur motorsports – your successes go largely unnoticed, but your failures will be posted on countless websites and emailed around the world for all to see!  Sigh. 


Hmmm, maybe if I’m going to drive better, I need to get some really nice driving shoes and a racing suit, like this Porsche owner has.  After all, everyone knows you need quality equipment to do a good job.


As you can see, my own equipment is a little lacking.  So if you happen to own a company that supplies racing shoes or racing suits, here is your chance to see your product on our famous web site.   No, we aren’t the best drivers, but then again, we work really cheap.  Use the “Contact Us” link to let us know your interested and we’ll get right back to you.

Because of this slower session (due to my half spin), it looks like we will likely give up the improved position that we had just gained moments earlier in the first run (11th for that run, which put us 12th overall in the standings to date).  Oh, well, easy come, easy go!   We really won’t know where we will stand until tomorrow, when we arrive at Road Atlanta and see the final results.  We have a 911 mile drive ahead of us, and we lose an hour due to the time zone change.  We left at 1:00pm Central, and now as I write this from the passenger seat, its 6:00pm Central time and we have gone 304.2 miles.  Go Bill!  Because of the long drive, it is expected that several teams will not make it to Road Atlanta before the 9:00am start time, so they have relaxed the rule regarding getting to the track on time.  We will be taking turns driving and sleeping the rest of the way. 

I hope you are enjoying these updates.  We have gotten many emails of encouragement from folks that have used the “Contact Us” email link, and we really appreciate it. From here on out, we will be on East Coast Tracks which we consider our home turf.  With any luck and a little hard work, maybe we can work our way back into the top 10. 

Please come see us at the track!


To go to the next story, click on this link:  Road Atlanta