By Molly Hoff
Hello again from Kannonball Kountry!
We are still here recovering from the amazing 7th Running of the Kannonball! If you made it, you had a great time, if you missed it, below are some highlights:
On Saturday, June 5th, at the ungodly hour of 7AM; Kannonball participants arrived at MN Cars and Coffee (the first one since COVID shut everything down!) at Canterbury Park. Their cars? Fully gassed up. Their spirits? Higher than the wing on Bryan's 10- second Supra (Fast and Furious reference for the uninitiated).
Upon arriving, the Kannonball teams made their way into the Canterbury Expo Center and began lining up. The top 10 fundraisers' cars in rarified placement, of course. After hours of building anticipation (and a short informational driver's meeting) the cars began their journey. Barreling out of the conference center, rubber burning and more than a few mirrors narrowly making it to the outside, pausing only briefly under the Red Bull arch to get their first route card; the teams were off!!!
The fun-filled first half of the day included multiple checkpoints like one at a Trout farm and some scenic views/roads. For lunch, all cars met at Brenegan's Chevrolet in La Crosse, WI for a quick break before making their way further east towards Wisconsin Dells. Our ultimate finish line. Breathlessly approaching after a harrowing day on the road, Kannonballers slid into Chula Vista Resort taking their spot based on finishing place. But the evening wasn't over yet, after dropping their stuff Kannonballers made their way to Dells Speedway for some hot laps around the track, much to the delight of the locals.
The next morning was no less exciting. The teams were starting to learn what place they were in and how many points they needed to win. It would all come down to Day 2. Our teams were set to ever more dangerous tasks including shouting the 'Skol' Vikings chant in front of Lambeau Stadium and entering the Avery Salvage Yard from Netflix's 'Making a Murderer'.... unannounced. However, as they are known to do, the Kannonballer teams prevailed. Lunch on the banks of the Manitowoc River proved but a brief respite from what was to come. The top 15 teams were separated by very few points. The temperature was rising.
Kannonballers snaked their cars up to the legendary Road America. There, they tested their mettle on this 4 mile road course through the Wisconsin wilderness. The curves and elevation changes of RA could not dissuade our intrepid travelers from their quest and they pressed on. The weight of the point count began to feel heavier on our Kannonballers. It was clear the podium would come down to just a few points difference and the last challenge was to get back to Chula Vista ASAP.
***Meanwhile at Chula Vista***. Molly, a Kannonball organizer, is setting up her mini cooper for the finish line. Having left straight from lunch to come back to the resort she was feeling confident she had enough time before the Kannonball Kars started to arrive at the finish line. Suddenly, in the distance, whoops and hollers, cries of elation and engine revving! A moment later 3 cars with the characteristic Kannonball livery came into view. They were in hot pursuit of one another, the Audi taking over the Infiniti and then the Lexus gaining ground. Which one would get into that coveted first parking spot? Who knew!!??? They were pushing harder and harder, clearly trying to eek whatever navigational advantage they could out of the last 3 blocks. Alas!!! The Audi had managed to best the other two but just barely and the true prize was the friends they made along the way.
Hark! Just a few minutes later, engines rumble in the distance. Kannonballers come this way! Navigator prowess was paramount and as the cars rolled in, triumphant in their finish, it became clear the podium of Kannonball 7 would be determined in inches, not miles. The teams regaled one another with tales from the road and made their way to the outdoor tiki bar for the awards ceremony. Downing libations, the teams eyed up the hardware displayed on the trophy table. In the end, while only a few got trophies, all Kannonballers were winners because it was one of the best weekends ever had.
In all, the rally finish numbers broke down like this:
-OVER $43,000 raised for Northern Voices! Pushing the Kannonball total raised to over $250k
-Biggest Individual Fundraiser -- Toby + Sons --Team #44 Forte Foursome
-Best Truck -- Team NoDak Team #4 -- McKenzie and Tyler-- Porsche Macan
-I'd Tap that Award for Sexiest Car -- Team #111 Kiss my Benz There -- Charlie and Amanda -- Aston Martin Vantage AMR
-Best Wrap - Quixotic Team #94 -- Jarrett + Pals -- Audi RS4
-Podium (this is based on points, less than 10 points separated 1st from 9th)
1st -- Team #00 Excessive -- Gabe + Paige -- Blue Beetle
2nd -- Team #48 Ghosts of Autobahn Garage -- Alex + Tawny + Chris + Elise -- Audi S4
3rd -- Team #47 Audios -- Nick + Dee -- Ford Explorer (substitute rally vehicle)
-Register for the KannonFALL rally here! We have less than (10) spots available and have just opened it to the public. We are headed down to the Ozarks Oct. 1-3. www.KannonFALLRally.com
-Minnesota Cars and Coffee shows on July 3rd and August 7th and September 4th at Canterbury Park. For more info: www.MNCandC.com
-The Gatorball Rally (January '22) Keep your eyes out for more info about this FLORIDA rally!
Thank you all for your continued support of Kannonball, and a special thank you to all of our sponsors!