Sexiest Man Alive
Drives: 2009 E92 M3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Los Angeles
BullRun 2011, The Full Story.
BullRun... the one word that strikes countless feelings and emotions into your body at once. Ecstasy, Fear, Absolute Happiness, and Adrenaline just to name a few. A Relaxing vacation, mixed with the most Stressful days of driving your body and mind will ever have to endure. Unless you've ACTUALLY been on BullRun, there isn't anything to compare what it is like. Your heart will beat more times in one week than it should in the average month. When the word is out, and When the heat is on, that is when the real BullRunners shine through. Who will back down and who has the Spirit to Put the Pedal to the Metal and show everyone what it takes to be a true BullRunner.
Now lets begin.
Day 0: Los Angeles, California.
I wake up to find a missed call on my iPhone, Dirty Devil Customs. My car was ready to go, after having the Fuel Cell and Laser Jammers installed. I take a shower, slip on some clothes, and get a ride to Sherman Oaks from Team Texas.
"HOLY CRAP THAT THING IS HUGE", are the first words out of my mouth, staring at the new 20 gallon fuel cell taking up 80% of my trunk. I knew it would be a necessity if I wanted to have any chance at a podium in BullRun. Granted I only get 14MPG, so a 37 Gallon Capacity was still only a 500 Mile range, not nearly the capacity of Team RS6 (800 Mile Range).
Michael (My Co-Driver) hops in the car and we set up all of our necessary gadgets.
Radar Detectors: 1 ESCORT Redline, 1 Valentine V1.
Phones: 1 AT&T iPhone, 1 Verizon iPhone.
iPads: 1 AT&T iPad, 1 Verizon iPad, both running 3G.
Police Scanners: 1 Programmed Uniden Bearcat TrunkTracker Handheld, 1 iPad "Police Scanner App".
Laser Jammers: 1 Escort Shifter ZR4 Lazer Jammer w/two Front Shifters, and one Rear Shifter (Thanks ESCORT)!
Cameras 1 Cannon 7D, 4 GoPro HD's with Mounts.
Miscellaneous 2 BullRun Apps, 1 Twitter Feed.
My windshield has so many suction cups on it, that you could give Joan Rivers a Facelift.
We hop in the car, fill up the gas tank one last time, and set off on the 210East towards the 15.
We roll into Las Vegas at 1AM from Los Angeles, making it in 2 hours and 50 minutes (New Record?). Oh, and with a full tank of gas thanks to the Fuel Cell (THAT THING IS AWESOME). When we got to the hotel, it was only 80 degrees... granted it was 1AM, but still. We went up to the 10th floor of the parking garage, parking next to Team Salamone and Team RS6.
We grabbed a Sandwich and headed to bed, not exactly knowing but anxiously expecting what crazy antics would be in store for us over the next 8 days.
Day 1: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sin City, the capital of High Hopes and Low Wallets.
We wake up at 10:30AM knowing that we wont be getting much sleep over the next 8 days, I fall back asleep until 11:30.
12PM: Registration is on the 3rd Floor, above the casino. I put on my hat (ofcourse) and walk towards Registration. Sky is awaiting us with a stack of papers. "You're back!? Are you taking the same car as last year?", She asks, "Haha No, we have a bit of a different approach this year... to NOT catch on fire haha".
After signing 12 sheets of paper that I'm sure I signed away my life and all of my belongings to the BullRun, we walk in to grab everything we need.
Taking BullRun pass pictures is always a good time, they alway seem to get my middle name right. "Drake 'Sexy' Kemper" , and "Michael 'Tits' Bolten" are officially in the 2011 BullRun, as they hand us our "VIP" bracelets.
A little tip to future BullRunners, if you aren't at Registration first, You're last. Grab as many free T-Shirts and swag bag gifts as possible because they will be gone before you can say "BullRun".
2 DTA T-Shirts, 1 Neff Shirt, a Water Bottle, 1 DTA hat, 1 Neff hat, Headphones, Car Chargers, Bracelets, the Goodie Bag was in Full Swing this year.
If you hadn't known any better and you just happened to stumble across the 10th floor of the parking garage at Planet Hollywood, you might have thought it was... Well I'm not sure what you would have thought it was. Stickers on the ground EVERYWHERE, Loud exhaust revving to see who has the bigger peni... I mean to see who has the loudest car. Bright colors, smiling faces, people introducing, reintroducing, and trying to remember names. Robert Valik (Eurocruise) Drifting a Ferrari around poles, it was craziness.
1PM: There was about 20 cars parked in the garage. Rumors swirling around "Did you hear that there is an R8 with a V12 TDI swap!?" (I accidentally started that rumor), "What are the Wu's gonna bring?", "Did you hear that the Scion has a 600HP Supra Swap!?", "Are the Dudesons really coming?".
3PM: There was at least double the cars parked and lined up. Some with stickers on already, some without. Rob Ferretti didn't even have a car yet lol. He had ordered a Cobra R on eBay, had it shipped to a dealership in Las Vegas that didn't have a clue what they were doing. Little did he know, he was about to take a car that had the structural integrity of a cardboard box, with horrible brakes, but thats what makes BullRun exciting, the shear sense of Not knowing anything.
9PM: At least 60 cars were now lined up, stickered up, and ready to go. Let the pranking begin. If Team LuckyNutz's radar detector wasn't working very well, it may have been due to some Black Paint in front of the antenna, blending into the front windshield... but I wouldn't know about that. Rob Ferretti finally had his car from the dealership and was installing Cool-Shirts (the Cobra R has no A/C). We went out for one final test with the Fuel Cell, everything was in check for the morning.
Day 2: Las Vegas, Nevada - Scottsdale, AZ.
11AM: Wake up, get everything together and do the best job of shoving it in my trunk. The Wardrobe? Definitely shorts, its like 2,000,000 degrees outside, and I'm trying to do my best job of not melting. Pop my antibiotic into my mouth with a huge heap of vitamins to ensure that I don't get sick on the BullRun. (Don't take an antibiotic, 2,000 mg's of vitamin C, 8300% B12, and multivitamins without anything to eat).
1PM: In the M3, double, triple checking EVERYTHING. Is the Police Scanner programmed for Nevada and Arizona? Check. Are the Radar Detectors working and not canceling each other out? Check. Are all of the Sponsorship stickers on the car? Check. Are the cameras hooked up? Check. Does my hair look good? CHECK. We headed over to Freemont Street.
By 3PM: We were all here at Freemont Street, I can barely breathe, I'm sweating so much that I already had to change my shirt, I was having an allergic reaction to my antibiotic, and it didn't help that I was dehydrated at 110 degrees. Wheels up in 2 hours! They had parked my car in 81st place, not the place I wanted to be in on the first leg of BullRun.
So we did a little rearranging (Driving down the sidewalk), we popped in behind the NEFF truck and VF Engineering Widebody M3, to sneak into the 14th position right before place cards were handed out. Lucky Timing?
It is now 5PM, Andy has wrangled all of the drivers together and anxiously awaiting the Route Cars... when he tells us some much unexpected news. The co-drivers had to ZipLine down Freemont Street in order to get the route card. This was the most extreme start line since Hollywood Boulevard, it was screaming BULLRUN BABY!!!
I quickly grab an MTV camera man and make an on camera bet with Team LuckyNutz, whoever gets to the hotel first, gets to make the other team wear a wedding dress at any BullRun party of their choice.
5PM: Footy Pajamas on, Route Card in hand, programming in the address. "Where the Heck is Chloride, Arizona?!", "I'm guessing East", "Oh thanks smart-ass"... BullRun had definitely started. Hearts Racing, Anticipation Killing me, GPS not working, Cops everywhere.
We make a few turns, hit 10 stop-lights, and finally make it to a highway... IN 30th POSITION! What happened? We obviously took a bad route. Time to play catch-up. The road to Chloride, Arizona looks a little bit like what you'd imagine the Nürburgring to look like. Super sharp corners, negative camber, fast straights, it was a blast. And passing BullRunners that have no track experience on a road that is like a race track? Like shooting Fish in a Barrel. Oh, and taking corners at 1**MPH with a full fuel cell in your trunk? Like driving with rear tires made from soap. Before you know it we were running with the main pack, but Claus was nowhere to be seen. Tony and Tom in the Solstice pulled over, due to technical problems. LP640 pulled over technical problems, LuckyNutz pulled over with technical problems, Vanilla Ice Pulled over with technical problems and... with Red and Blues behind him lol.
1 mile to go til the checkpoint, when We hit a Laser Alert, the cops are ready, and rearing to pull someone over. The Laser Jammers work flawlessly. Pull into the checkpoint 7th, and hop back on the road, the route card states "W Hotel, Scottsdale, AZ"
Team ER, Us, Red Ferrari 360, The Black Murcielago and Team Royale were in a beautiful pack. No one close behind us, and not much traffic ahead of us. Out of the middle of nowhere, Instant on K-Band, we are all ready for it, pass the cop at 95, we know he is going to come out and nab someone, but he doesn't. Waiting for someone faster.
We decide to play Hard to get and leave the pack. All is good, we have the necessary equipment, so we venture out ourselves. Passing the DTA guys (they left first), we knew that we were doing great. Passed Ice-T (he was doing awesome in 4th place), It looked like smooth sailing into Scottsdale, only 122 miles to go and we were headed towards a podium finish. Passed the VF Engineering M3 surprised that they were here to play, I see a black Maserati in front of us. I know that there is only one person crazy enough to be piloting that thing lol. Dave Pearsall was ahead of us and closing in our sights, I was being friendly and downshifted, flew passed him at 1**Mph, he switched lanes and started a great game of Cat and Mouse.
Usually Cat and Mouse games, don't last for 15 minutes at triple digit speeds, but most people aren't on BullRun fighting for 2nd place. The sun was all the way set by now, it was a true night leg, using our brights to double check for cops. I was starting to lose Pearsall in my rearview mirror, I was a sure set for 1st place (Time Wise), and 2nd place (position wise). There were 104 miles to go when I crested a hill in the middle of the Arizona dessert. A hill, that had an Arizona Highway Patrol Officer waiting on the other side for me. My K-Band went Instant On 100% Pinned, I slam on my brakes as 1,000,000 things rush through my head. Now, with Pearsall only 1/2 a mile behind me, I could run, would he go for me or Pearsall? But all schemes aside, the cop had turned on his lights before i even got passed him, I KNEW I was done. I immediately pull over, Pearsall goes screaming by.
By the time the pack passed me, I was already out of the car, feet shoulder width apart, and my hands behind my back (We were very well in the lead). I talked to the cop for about 20 minutes, before he reaches in his car... my heart stops... cuffs? I was sweating, I've never been to jail and never want to be arrested. He reached in his car... and takes 2 photographs of me. "Incase I run?", I ask? He replies, "I just wanted to get a good picture of that shirt". I look down to remember that I'm wearing Penguin Footy Pajamas pulled down, tied around my waist, Pink Teddy Bear shoes, and a black shirt. A black shirt that appropriately reads "Hello Officer".
The cop was very nice to me ticket wise, Yes I got a ticket, but it wasn't the one I deserved. Thank you for that.
We get in to Scottsdale 14th place (AHEAD of LuckyNutz), tired, sweaty, hungry. We eat some AMAZING food at Sushi Roku, Filled up the gas tank(s) and head to bed. 1st day down, 6 more to go.
Day #3: Scottsdale, Arizona - Lajitas, TX.
7:30AM: "Are you kidding me?", I said. Morning couldn't have came that early. 7:30AM wakeup calls weren't exactly my forté, but it's BullRun Baby. We had a non-timed leg to Vivid Racing. Even in 20 miles, cops somehow still knew we were coming. Right before we got to Vivid Racing, there was a full Laser Alert, One cop was smart enough to realize, if he sat there long enough, he'd eventually catch somebody. But it wasn't going to be us thanks to ESCORT for hooking us up with those Laser Jammers.
9AM: The worst breakfast of my life wouldn't explain how bad the breakfast at Vivid was. GREAT shop, cool cars, etc. But MAN they need to find a way to serve NON-FROZEN hashbrowns. Wheels up was CRAZY, TINY little parking lot, 100 cars, and ONE guy (JEB!) handing out route cards. It got a little crazy thanks to the DTA boys and a killer burnout (3rd times a charm). I grabbed the route card and let Michael take this leg. But there were 5 cops watching us leave, and radioing which way we went to the Highway Patrol. Since we left 60th, we had no luck, merged on to the freeway with Arizona's finest. Cruised at the speed-limit until the BullRun app ensured us that there were no cops near. That worked until a rear facing Laser tagged the white Carrera in front of us. Knowing that the app had our back, and that cop behind us was gone, we took up the pace a little.
I'm not going to lie, we definitely didn't come in 1st to Globe, AZ, or the lunch stop. Heck, we didn't even get close. SO much chatter on the police scanner, We knew exactly where the cops were. Only one problem... they were EVERYWHERE.
We took a hefty 19th into lunch, and stayed in that position all the way through the day. We decided still to hit every checkpoint though.
After the Prada, Marfa stop, we knew exactly where we were going. I hopped in the driver seat (Michael drove 622 miles before we switched), and we set our sights for Lajitas, TX. Better known for Carol Shelby's involvement with Terlingua. There were two roads there, we decided not to backtrack and take the road we were on. This started the most fun I've ever had in my daily driver. A 180 mile long roller coaster. If you EVER go to Lajitas, TX, take the scenic route. I can say that I've gotten air in an M3, and basically drove on a roller coaster in the middle of the night, steep hills, tight blind turns, bumps, and no GPS signal to tell you the route.
We pulled in, it was well passed night time, but dinner was still going. Surprisingly a LOT of people had a bad day, we got 16th place.
What to do when in Lajitas, TX? Do as the Lajitans do? There are no Lajitans, so the BullRunners party. And PARTY hard we did. Its a dangerous mix when you get BullRunners, a trashcan full of Corona, The Dudesons, and two golfkarts... You can put the puzzle pieces together. ...I end the night with a bloody forehead.
Day #4: Lajitas, TX - Dallas, TX.
10:14AM: *Roll over, check my phone*, It displays '10:14AM'. ...Wheels up was at 10AM. Someone had pulled another BullRun prank and cancelled our wake-up call. I shove everything into my suitcase and slap Michael in the face. "LETS GO!!!, WE MISSED WHEELS UP! SOMEONE CANCELLED OUR WAKE-UP CALL!!!", He tiredly rolls over, then almost instantly realizes what I said and SPRINGS to life like a 'Jack In the Box'. We both leave without taking showers. Head out the door and see Team Texas stumbling out theres as well. At least we wouldn't be the only team running late I guess. I run with my suitcase towards the huge parking lot of cars, and ask Michael of Team RS6 if he can take our bags. ...Then I realize that the luggage truck hasn't left yet. "Why is everyone still here?" I randomly ask myself out loud and David Green ("Handsome Dave" as the Cuban Brothers would say) replied with "Someone let the air out of Claus's tire this morning, safety is our main concern, wheels up at 10:30". I felt so relieved. Granted we missed breakfast and granted we hadn't taken showers or changed clothes, but we didn't miss the launch.
We grabbed the route card, and were headed down the Highway for "Dr. Pepper, TX". Passing cars left and right when I realized... we forgot to fill up gas last night. All of that time we made up, we just lost, plus some. 7 BullRunners at a 2 pump gas station was the most traffic the town of Lajitas had ever seen. We filled up, and got back on the road, BEHIND everyone except the 5 other people at the station.
LUCKILY, there was only two routes in and out of Lajitas. The one we took last night, and the one with straights 5 miles long and long sweeping turns. This allowed us to go from almost last, to about 12th. Matt Farah told me that there was only one cop in Terlingua/Lajitas, and he was right. ONE cop radaring us was all we saw for 120 miles of open road. I've got to admit tho, no matter how fast we went, Team Texas was never more than 3 minutes behind us (those girls are crazy).
However, we quickly approached bigger towns, and eventually full cities with more than one cop. In fact, this was one of the worst leg for cops on the whole BullRun. Including 5 arrests.
After quite a hefty 450 miles, we pull into the Dr. Pepper factory in a well respected 5th place behind Robby Gordon, Team ER, Team Royale, and LuckyNutz.
3PM: After an amazing lunch and some Dr. Pepper, we hit the road, ready to attack Texas... unfortunately, Texas was ready to attack back. NOTE TO SELF: NEVER FOLLOW SETH ROSE, HE IS AN INSANE MAN =D. The pack of 9 cars leading the leg, were headed out of Dublin like Bees leaving a hive. Except there were cops on both sides of the road, and looking for "Those BullRunners". Our scanner was down, so we logically followed Seth... that lasted about 45 seconds before a cop saw him, he took off and a cop followed us for the next 18 miles.
We got a call from Phil Aya of Team Royale. They were going to take a County Road that skipped all of the police HubBub, so we agreed. ...when we agreed we didn't know that M3's were good at offroading... now we do. We skipped 15 miles of highway, and finished right behind Team Texas.
5:45PM: Pulled in to Dallas, TX 13th place... missing a front splitter.
TEST TIME! When Michael Bolten and Drake Kemper see 90 BullRunners enjoying an Open Bar around a PERFECTLY good lit up pool. What do they do?
ANSWER: They grab the MTV camera men, put on their footy pajamas, and give even the Dudesons something to smile about when they jump in the pool, fully dressed in footy pajamas...
TEST TIME! When the manager of the Hotel ZaZa see two kids in footy pajamas jump in the pool, what do they do?
ANSWER: Kick us out lol.
The night ends with a crazy party in Matt Farah's room, when a Gargoyle ends up on your bed, something went right.
Day #5: Dallas, TX - New Orleans, LA.
9AM: Wake up in the morning... not quite feeling like P-Diddy, but close. Somehow on BullRun, no matter how strategically you park to leave first, someone has the same idea and blocks you in. So when we moved my car early in the morning to leave first... we ended up leaving around 15th lol.
The route card says "Duty Ferry, LA", it was no shocker that we were headed to New Orleans, but a ferry boat? This could change up things.
Everyone took a right... so we went left. We immediately hopped on the highway, and hit the right pedal. There was one cop radaring… I thought I was done for, I slow all the way down to half of the speed I was once going, he doesn't even flinch, these Laser jammers are GOLD! We soon found ourselves flying past the black murcielago, the Arkansas girls, LuckyNutz and a few other characters before we spotted a black SRT8 Jeep. "ROBBY GORDON" Michael and I both shout in our best NASCAR accent. And who's in front of Robby Gordon? Claus. This was the perfect place to be. Not sure where Team Royale or Seth was, but I was happy here. Claus, Robby Gordon, and I were on this great wave length, its like we had ESP or something, we all broke at the same time for cops... or maybe it was our Radar Detector Screaming at us.
I hugged my cojones and decided to break away from the pack. This had gotten me in trouble on Day 1, but if you want to Podium, this is the only way how. So we gunned it. Had a few alarms, no real threats or close calls. I saw the Silver S63 and Seth ahead. I knew that was the front of the pack. I jumped in and took my place... 1,200 ft behind them just incase. Again, NOTE TO SELF, SETH IS A CRAZY MAN (great BullRunners have to be crazy) We were headed down the highway at quite a nice little pace, with no cops for the last 50 miles. When all of the sudden I see brake lights, and then instantly KA band, there was a cop... it was too late, the cop was flipping a U-Turn in the grass middle median of the highway, he had gotten Seth with his Radar, but Seth wasn't stopping. But who was next to Seth and just as easy of a target? The silver S63, this is why i left that 1,200ft buffer, for that reason exactly.
Luckily we were hopping off the next exit. Remember when Seth was only 1/4 mile ahead of me? By the time I exited the freeway, I couldn't even see Seth. We were alone. I had no one to warn me where cops were, and had no idea how fast to go. We were 30 miles outside of the checkpoint on a long straight road, 5 lanes wide, when I see a gold car in my rearview mirror. I wasn't going the speed limit, so he must have been flying. There was only one gold car on the rally and it was Claus. By the time I saw Claus coming, I downshifted and kept up. Seth was gone, now it was a battle of 2nd and 3rd between Claus, I, and Robby Gordon.
We got K-Band alerts and would all slow down, until Claus decided to step on the gas (little did we know, Claus had a radar gun). Robby Gordon seemed to figure it out and keep right with Claus. I slowed down thinking that the white truck behind me was a cop. ...it was a fisherman with Mississippi plates. So I got back on it. I figured if a cop was set up, he would have gotten Claus and/or Robby Gordon. So I had assurance. 8 miles to go, and what do I see? A nice, new SRT8 Jeep sitting on the side of the road… out of gas. They heard me coming. He drops the gas can, hops in the car, and GOES. It was an all out sprint to the finish line at the Duty Ferry.
Seth took 1st.
Claus took 2nd.
Robby Gordon got there 100ft in front of me, but Michael jumped out of the car and turned in the route card... the verdict?
We got 3rd, we had one podium finish on BullRun... I was happy. We all shared a ferry over the river.
By the time we hit the lunch stop, I was exhausted, it takes a lot out of you to keep up and Race Rally with the best.
Oh, and Louisiana has some AMAZING catfish. But that wasn't all that Louisiana had to offer.
I took the opportunity to grab some lunch, and drive 20 miles to the gas station to fill up with Team Sheppard in the S63. ...the only problem? He went into the store and told the cashier I was on Hannah Montana... Duty is a VERY small town, the cashier had family. Before I was even done filling up my fuel cell, there was 7 people asking for autographs. I didn't argue lol, I signed all 7 of them. And they all asked me if Jeff Gordon was really on the BullRun. I said "Jeff Gordon? No No, Robby Gordon, Jeff Gordon's grandpa" haha.
I got back to the lunch stop to find almost 20 cars lined up, and The Dudesons and Eurocruise... on a local kid's Racing Lawnmower... it was just as good as you'd think it would be.
Route cards out and... another checkpoint?
Seeing that we had two 700+ mile days in a row, no one had expected we'd have a checkpoint before New Orleans which was still 200+ miles away. The road out of Duty, Louisiana is a two lane (one each way) with potholes on both sides, and the state troopers knew where we were. We decided to stay as close as a pack as we could for the 1st 20 minutes.
My wheels felt out of balance or something so we pulled over, I torqued all 4 wheels, noticing some wheel weights were gone, I hopped back in the car and kept driving... that pull over was a big BIG mistake. Going from 10th with a whole pack, to dead last alone... wasn't a good thing. As we drove, we noticed A LOT of cops coming the other direction with KA band on, I knew that BullRun had already been here. We keep driving 2 miles to find Nick Steinman out of his car talking to the police, and Seth and Tony on the side of the road. We hit a red light, so I yelled to Phil in the passenger seat of the R8, "Jail?", i yelled. "Probably", replied Phil. Seth just waved and smiled, we took a right hand turn. The cops already knew where we were going. They knew that we stayed in Dallas, stopped in Duty, and figured that the only night stop for us would be New Orleans.
It started to rain, the heat was on, so we just cooled off. Stayed moderate speeds with Greg Roselli in the R8 spyder, the black Murcielago, the Vivid WRX and a few others. They weren't used to the rain, so eventually I started picking up the pace a little (strange seeing that I was the only RWD car in the bunch that the AWD cars didn't feel comfortable in the rain), but I grew up in the Northwest, rain wasn't new.
Nothing too fast though, we passed Team Salamone (they were doing great for that leg), and the Red Ferrari 360. We got a call from Nick Steinman that Seth and Eurocruise had been arrested for Criminal Racing on a highway AKA a hero cop wanted to know what power felt like for his first time seeing a triple digit Radar scan. Less than 30 miles until the checkpoint, I hang out with Salamone and Team Texas.
Luckily, it was just a pit stop along the way, pull off the freeway, pull back on, continue on the way. But once we got our route card, they both took a left out of the gas station and we took a right, hopped right back on the freeway and started to kick it in to gear. We hit a bridge that (according to the GPS) was 14 miles long... its pretty hard for a cop to hide on a bridge... for 14 miles, we had easily caught up quite a bit of time and only got one scare from the other side of the highway.
Eventually we pull off the freeway into New Orleans. I'VE NEVER SEEN SO MANY COPS IN MY LIFE!!!! They weren't even waiting for BullRun, they were just there because it was NOLA. The route card said "Must come onto the Bourbon Street entrance", New Orleans has a lot of one-way roads, but we managed to find our way and pull in at the same time as David Pearsall in the black Maserati. His navigator hopped out and Michael jumped out running after her, Dave and I were both yelling louder than cheerleaders. Michael came back with a huge grin... "11th place baby!" said Michael, "DAMN YOU!" said Pearsall, "I told her to run and not to let you guys win", "Don't bring a girl to a mans game", I reply jokingly.
For starting the day with a 3rd place leg, 11th wasn't great. But we got a podium leg on BullRun, didn't get arrested and we were in New Orleans... it was time to smile. It didn't hurt knowing that Ricky and Dudley planned tonights party and everyone knew it would be amazing.
After a long night of sweating from the humidity and watching Phil Aya throw ones off of a balcony, it was time for bed... Or was it time for pranks? Hm... Who wrote "DrakeKemper.com" on LuckyNutz's car? Or "WINNING" on Robby Gordon's windshield? These answers we will never know... unless you're Bill Wu and you caught me on tape... then you know.
Where to tomorrow? Atlanta? Jacksonville? We had no clue.
Day #6: New Orleans, LA - Montgomery, AL.
We wake up to find the mirror in our hotel room broken. I have two choices, freak out and hope the hotel doesn't find out. OR feel like a total rockstar for waking up with a broken mirror in our hotel room... I choose #1 haha. It turns out that the mirror was previously broken and we had nothing to do with it.
I walk down to breakfast and all of the people who notice me start snickering. I knew something was up. Luckily Tom Cote from Team Solstice came to my early rescue to tell me that my car got pranked last night. "What'd they do?", I asked, "Well I'd grab an extra towel or two if i were you", he replies... this wasn't going to be fun.
Michael is the first to spot it. SOMEONE *COUGH*(LuckyNutz, WU, and Robby Gordon) *COUGH*, Had decided that my car would look better as a Smurf, so they took some A LOT blue window paint and COMPLETELY blued out my windshield, windows, headlights, taillights, license plate, EVERYTHING. Nicely done, this wasn't rookie work. The only problem? It was REALLY caked on there and nice and dry. 2 towels, a bottle of glass cleaner, and 35 minutes later and we were barely passable (I still had blue on my car well past the last day of the rally). We rolled out behind Wu to go find a gas station to fill up.
I have NO IDEA where people in New Orleans find gas, because we couldn't find one in a 5 mile radius. We just headed back to Bourbon street (after a cavalcade of one-way streets) just in time to be met by 10 of NOLA's finest on Harley Davidsons. A POLICE ESCORT!!! Finally, these were always a blast. Cops being on the same side as the outlaws is so much fun lol. Wu turned on his lights, and out we went with Michael at the wheel. Once we hopped on the freeway? All Hell broke loose. I don't know what happens in the mind of a BullRunner, but when we get a 3 mile police escort, we think it goes all day.
Robby Gordon in front of us playing hard to get, Michael driving trying to show off to the flag girls, this was going to be fun. I hated being passenger, but I don't mind being passenger when the driver is a 2-class race licensed driver and certified stunt driver like me. Unfortunately the road to the go-kart track was only 13 miles, because if it was a timed leg, we DEFINITELY would have had 1st or 2nd. We arrive to NOLA not knowing if we would be driving our cars or go-karts (we were hoping the choice with the high-revving V8). But racing is racing, no matter what kind, so Michael and I put on our helmets, gave Robby Gordon the usual NASCAR trash talk and took our seats.
The roster for our race?
Drake Kemper, Claus Ettensberger, Robby Gordon, Bill Wu, Michael Bolten, Drifter Matt and The Dudesons. This was racing and comedy gold mixed.
NOTE TO SELF: NOTHING WILL STOP CLAUS FROM WINNING!
Right before the flag goes green, I feel a nudge from a certain NASCAR driver, he jumped the gun and it worked, he slipped right between Claus and I as the green flag waved. Claus and I were off, fighting for the first apex, me taking the outside. He wasn't going to let me have it. 5 laps of fighting, every time I took 2nd place, Claus would shove me off the track, he wanted 2nd place more than I did. There was dirt everywhere and we were the first session out. It more like Formula D than FormulaOne.
1st Robby, 2nd Claus, 3rd Drake, 4th Matt, 5th Michael Bolten.
I hop out of the go-kart and Claus says "You can't do that, you can't block", I didn't even argue with him that the rules said 'Absolutely no contact', and he shoved me off 3 times. He won, winning is winning.
There were 4 sessions left ahead of us, 106 degree weather, and 90% humidity. Good thing there was a canopy, 'sno-cones', and Vitamin Water as a sponsor. After awhile, I decide to take a little walk. I see the most beautiful thing I've seen all BullRun!... A car with its window down. NUMBER ONE RULE ON BULLRUN, NEVER LEAVE YOUR WINDOWS DOWN! Schwab should have known this, it wasn't his first rally. But no one is safe on BullRun, so it had to be done. Remember when I said Vitamin Water was a sponsor of the event? I asked them if they wanted to be a part of a little prank on MTV, they gladly agreed and gave us a dolly with 6 cases of Vitamin Water. I immediately grabbed a camera man and said "I'll be waiting over there, When that bald guy goes inside, run over to this car as fast as you can", he was all for it.
131 Vitamin waters fit quite well in a Panamera. His seat was filled up to the window base, the pedals, the passenger seat, the backseat, they were EVERYWHERE.
After a little "COPS SUCK" sticker on the back of Robby Gordon's JEEP, we hit the road. Route Cards for "Camden, AL". Alabama? I guess we aren't going to Road Atlanta like we all hoped. I was in the passenger seat today. We merged onto the freeway with a few cops, we had no police scanner frequencies working, it was a Sh*tShow. We got pulled over in a group with Team ER, Team Royale, and 5 other teams, they warned us that Alabama wouldn't be as friendly as Louisiana. Back on the road, the pack sped up and we were low on gas, we pulled off knowing that we wouldn't make it. But that was another mistake. We were on the road for maybe 10 minutes, GOING THE SPEED LIMIT, when we see 5 cops. Two of them jump behind us, one in front of us. They knew where I was headed based on the other Ralliers who had been through earlier. Right as we crest a hill, we see 4 cops, lights on, the red Ferrari 360, Team Arkansas, and a cop pointing to us to pull over. The DTA boys pulled over behind us, a cop came to our window and yelled at us "YOU'RE DONE RACING FOR TODAY"(for doing absolutely nothing), but we had no idea what that meant. Were we going to jail? I tried explaining that it was a rally and not a race, but he made us both cough up our licenses. Everyone was out of their cars, we all knew it was Bull****, but thats life.
Welcome to Alabama.
They let us go 10 minutes later with a warning and we cruised with the DTA boys and Team Arkansas to our next checkpoint. Got the route card, "The Renaissance Hotel, Montgomery, Alabama". Picked up the pace a little, passed Team Texas and made our way to a respectable 9th place through the rain (we thought we were more like 20th).
Dinner was on a Riverboat, which was great but the humidity was KILLING me. After dinner we headed to "The Alley Bar". NOTE TO SELF: DON'T LET A DRUNK NICK STEINMAN SMASH A SHOT GLASS MADE OF ICE ON YOUR HEAD... it hurts. Matt Farah will vouch the same thing, when he epicly failed smashing one on his head in front of CoCo... cue the blood. Bed Time.
Day #7: Montgomery, AL - Orlando, FL.
Now, which one of these things would make you have a bad morning?
You receiving a bill for your room that is supposed to be free? Having the valet charge you $40 for "mandatory valet"? Knocking over light pole and having the hotel call the police and charge you $800? Leaving the hotel and going the wrong way on the freeway? How about all of the above? Thats how our morning started.
The valet manager and hotel manager were terrible here. They TOWED Seth's car, called the cops and everything... it wasn't even 9AM.
As if the bill for the hotel and valet wasn't enough. Having the valet park my car, 6" away from a 4' tall light pole that I couldn't see beyond my mirror wasn't the highlight of the day. I needed gas, so I inched out and heard a crash, I didn't want to get out and see it. The manager runs over to me and blocks the car as if I was gonna run. "GET OUT OF THE CAR, WE'RE GONNA CHARGE YOU BIIIIG TIME... SIR... GET OUT OF THE VEHICLLLE", his lispy weak little voice shouted. I wasn't going to run, I was going to get out of the car, I just couldn't move. I didn't want to know what just happened, I was preparing myself for this armageddon of a crash.
I hop out... and nothing is broken on my car, not even a scratch. The light pole? NOT BROKEN, the bulb, all of the glass and everything still intact. Only the mount on the ground had broken, it had simply fallen over... yet they charged me $800 for it? They pulled that number out of they're... heads. They weren't even going to fix it, they were going to stand it back up, are you kidding me? I hand them my American Express with every intention in the world of disputing the charge. ANYWAYS, back to the BullRun.
Route cards out, and I wasn't even in my car yet... but I was blocking everyone else in haha. Michael was in the bathroom or something, I can't remember, but no one moved until he got back in the car. We took a left, while everyone else went right and hopped on the freeway following the GPS. Thirty miles down and only 557 miles to Perry, FL... wait... 557 MILES???? That can't be right, the route card said 253. The GPS had us on a VERY scenic route, so we switched it to Shortest route possible, Michael grabbed the iPad and started mapping out a manual route. LUCKILY, it saved us about 40 miles.
County roads with very low traffic, meant a very high speed. Okay, not NASCAR speeds, but 85MPH on some twisties. We approach a white Durango going 75 in a 55, I don't think twice to pass it, pop into the left lane, gun it, pull back over and Red and blue lights appear in my rear-view mirror. An undercover cop. I tone it down to 65, and he turns off the lights, and passes me. Sure enough, he was one of Alabama's finest, and he gave us a much deserved break. Luckily we were almost off the road and onto the highway. We merged with the Black Murcielago, not knowing how we are doing "WHO ELSE IS IN FRONT OF US?", I shout out the window with the wind screaming by. "I DON'T KNOW! MAYBE 5!?". Only 5 people in front of us? That detour might have saved us big time. I have Michael check the Twitter feed. Everyone has been pulled over, the cops are everywhere. We see Tony and Tom in the Solstice pulled over shortly after to confirm what we just read. I catch up to Team ER, Team Royale and a few others. Let the strategy begin.
We get a call over the M3 speakers, its Phil Aya in the R8, he was talking routes with Michael. "Do you want to hop off and take the county road 9?", asks Phil, "I was thinking the same thing", replies Michael. So we cleverly slipped to the back of the pack we were in, no BullRunners behind us, we took the next right. Everyone else stayed on the highway. We had open road and we weren't going to waste it. For the next 150 miles we took county road after county road, even went offroading on a clay road. It was like Dukes of Hazard running moonshine. We popped out onto a straight shot highway to the checkpoint. Open, straight, rolling hills. Time to play. We were running at an incredible pace for EVER, until we were closing in on a Silver Charger. Unmarked Undercover cop? I thought, but the lack of special license plate dismissed the idea. Closing, Closing, 35 feet, and Instant on KA-Band, he turns his lights on, slams on his brakes and hops in front of me, right behind team royale, I slowly switch lanes... is he going to get both of us? I slide on by with no problems.
Even though the road was filled with cops, we managed to catch up to the black Maserati. We had a drag race for the final 2 miles and pulled into the checkpoint in front. 5th place, time for lunch.
Goodman's Real pit B-B-Que in Perry, FL is INCREDIBLE. After basically stuffing myself into a coma. I go to get gas. It seemed like EVERY COP IN FLORIDA IS WAITING FOR US. If you guessed 5,000 cops, it wouldn't be much of an over-estimate. I juice up the M3 and the fuel cell, we all took a right out of the lunch stop, but at the next intersection everyone went left, Michael said to go straight, I listened. The other BullRunners routes were about 220 miles, ours? 160 miles. I'll take 60 miles less, and a straight road with a rumor of cops on it, any day. We cruised at 5 over the speed limit, Us, Team Texas, Team Maserati, and Team RS6, for 50 miles before Team Texas pulled off for gas, we couldn't wait for them.
After 120 miles, we hit the Florida Turnpike and see Pearsall's Super Limo, I ask them who has passed by "No one yet, you're number 1 I think". What!? How could that be right, we've been going the speed limit. I gave Michael the credit of superior navigation. I called Seth, he was only 4 miles ahead of us, no cops in sight. Go time.
We all three went like mad, until we saw a Highway patrol in traffic with us. No more fun. We were in 2nd place with Mike & Shari in the RS6 on our tails, Maserati a throwing distance behind, and the red Porsche creeping up. 12 miles to go. We were going to Podium. My GPS said to exit, I exited... bad choice. The other cars kept going on the freeway. I check the nav, it looks like a straight shot so we go for it. We hit 11/11 red lights and finish 5th... Seth, Maserati, RS6, Porsche, and Us all finished in the same 3 minutes, SO CLOSE.
We get to the hotel to find that our room had been cancelled... Schwab revenge? Not sure who was up to this prank, but good job. ...Too bad they upgraded us to the Penthouse floor at no charge =). Rags calls me up and says "Guess what IIII haveeee", can you guess what it was? Ricky was surely going to look pretty in his new Wedding dress at tonights party =).
Slid on some clean clothes and we hit dinner, it was alright, some weird Tapas food. The party was right across the street. A brand new club with white paint everywhere (looked like an abandoned office space with no cubicles), but even the smallest, plainest room can be fun with 100 BullRunners. Great night riding in Pearsall's Limo, freestyling with Lil' Ice, and paying a PedalCab to take us around the block 3 times.
When we got back to the hotel, the party still wasn't over. Phil rented out the banquet hall for $100 and we partied... or what ever you want to call 10 guys talking about cars until 4AM.
Day #8: Orlando, FL - Miami, FL.
I let Michael drive the first leg of the last day, because of course I wanted to take the checkered flag. All of the BullRunners lined up on Orange street, and enjoyed Chicken and Waffles out of a Food truck for breakfast.
All of the cars looked great, and sounded even better. The weather was nice, it seemed like a perfect day to end BullRun on. The route card location was no surprise, we knew it had to be a racetrack, and the only racetrack was Palm Beach International. We had a semi-police escort (they watched us leave). We hit the highway gung-ho.
I'm sure everyone heard that there was a wreck on the BullRun. Here is what ACTUALLY happened, don't listen to the rumors. ONE BullRun car was involved, the R8 spyder was ruined as it rear-ended a Honda. NO ONE was hurt, and everyone is doing 100% perfectly fine. It wasn't a 6 car pile-up like some websites reported.
We ALL toned it down after the accident, and cruised the speed-limit all the way to PalmBeach International. Leave the racing for the race track where it belongs. Had a great lunch, but no one was overly hungry, saddened by the crash, but the track was surely going to raise everyones spirits.
Michael and I felt right at home, finally getting on a track, being able to hone our skills, have some hot laps, and open the car up like its meant to be driven. After 2 sessions for me, and 2 sessions for Michael. The times for the "HotLap Challenge" came in.
1. Robby Gordon - 2011 Superleggera
2. Drake Kemper - 2009 M3
3. Michael Bolten - 2009 M3
4. Michael Schwab - 2011 Panamera Turbo "S"
5. Seth Rose - 2009 GTR
6. Claus Ettensberger - 2009 C63
Michael and I had basically identical times. So I took the Team Texas "Mommy Missile" CLS500 for a few drift laps with Lil' Ice as a passenger to show him how some real drifting was done. Had a blast and wish we had a camera man in the car.
I went inside to find Bill Wu trying to bribe someone to eat this 7" long grass hopper Locus thing. $500 for any man who does it and $1,000 for any girl who does it. Tony Williams almost did it, but no one came through.
Andy and David sat the whole group down to talk about the last leg. He told us that our hotel would the the Fontainebleau in South Beach, and we would not have a timed leg after what had happened this morning. That Team Wu was to lead us in a long pack all the way to the hotel and show up in an organized manner.
We were just about to leave the track when flag girl Amber Rose, and rapper Wiz Kalifa showed up. Around the same time, Tony and Tom started doing donuts, which led Eurocruise to hop in my passenger seat and I did a few drifts around the parking lot. All of this tire squealing must have gotten Robby Gordon turned on because I've never seen someone hop in a car so fast. He grabbed the keys of the VF Engineering Supercharged Widebody M3, and "Showed me how to drift". After a great display of Figure 8 oversteer control, we all grab the final route cards and hit the road, in one big single-file line that would make our Elementary School teachers proud. We all coasted in, without speeding. With the exception of Dave Pearsall, and Seth Rose who got pulled over just short of the finish line.
We all felt so relieved to finally make it. I didn't even bother grabbing my bags, I checked into the hotel, went downstairs and jumped in the pool. We'd survived the 2011 BullRun. 8 Days, 3,000+ miles, and all of the craziness you would expect from 100 of the nicest cars and 200 of the most eccentric drivers you've ever seen.
And even though the pool felt like heaven, we had to get dressed and head to the BullRun award ceremony and finale party. 6 people crammed into Gracie's rental car and we got a ride to the W Hotel, South Beach. Being greeted with a Mojito at the door was nice, but it was bittersweet that the BullRun would be over in just a few hours. Dinner was incredible (we were all just starving), and it was time for the awards. It was fairly obvious which three cars would be top 3, but who would get first? And who would win the Spirt of BullRun award, and Merit awards?
Well, the tallies were in, and well deserved of the positions they all received.
3rd Place - Team CEC.
2nd Place - Robby Gordon
1st Place - Seth Rose and Tony King: Team ExoticsRally/Hudson Jeans.
Spirit of BullRun Award:
David Pearsall and Team Pearsall (well deserved)
Endurance - Team 65 Mustang.
Fun - The Dudesons.
Hot Lap Challenge:
GoKarts - Nick Steinman
Cars - Robby Gordon
CEC's "Hottest Wheels" Award:
Ice-T in the SL55"R"
DTA "Coolest Team" Award:
Father and Son: Bill and Bryce Sheppard in the S63.
So thats that. BullRun is over, everyones car has taken a toll, and everyones body is recovering. We didn't win any awards, but thats not what BullRun is about, not to sound overly cheesy, but its about Family. The BullRun is one huge, deranged, fun-loving, thrill-seeking family. A Family that I can call mine, for the last two years, I've never felt so embraced by a huge group as you do on the BullRun. Everyone goes through the same hardships, and shares the same insanely fun times. There really is NOTHING to describe BullRun until you experience it. In one word, BullRun is... BullRun. Until Next year, I guess I'll leave you with the infamous words of Jeb Lopez "BULLRUN BABY!".
BE SURE TO WATCH "BULLRUN" ON MTV COMING THIS NOVEMBER!!!!! AND CHECK OUT RALLY4ACAUSE.COM!
(By the way, Ricky never went through with the bet, he was rushed to the hospital)
Thank you to.
Andrew Duncan and David Green.
The BullRun staff.
Dirty Devil Customs.
Ron's Tires and Wheels.
The Arizona Highway Patrol.
All of the teams who helped us out this year!
All of the people on BullRun.
And YOU for reading all 8,694 words of this.
2011 BMW X5//M
2008 E90 M3 - 6MT - AA Gen 2 Level 3
1991 Hot Girlfriend