Yes, you are reading this correctly. After Critz BMW finished up at 11:15, we took a quick photo of our saviours and hit the road. Our goal was to make the afternoon session on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. This is a 240 mile drive from Savannah, GA to Daytona, FL. We decided that we would call One Lap organizer, Brock Yates right after getting through Jacksonville, FL to determine our arrival time and ability to make our run.
Needless to say, we were pushing hard to make it. Woody was nice enough to say you drive Daytona as you deserve it. Why I don't know, but it was sweet of him to say. As we cruised through the Jacksonville, we made our call to Brock. It was just shy of 1:30 pm and we had approximately another 75 miles to go. At our current pressing speed we told Brock we could be there by 2:45. He said come on and be ready to go at 2:45 - suit, helmet, etc. fully deployed.
After exiting I-95, we stopped for a quick splash and go of fuel as we had a little less than a 1/4 tank. The 1/4 tank seemed like enough for 3 hot laps plus a recon and cool down lap at Daytona (17.5 miles). Woody was more skeptical and said let's plop 7-8 gallons in it.
We arrived at the track gate and signed the waiver and boogied to the garages and paddock. Brian and Dave were waiting for us. It was 2:20 pm. Everyone jumped in to action to unloaded the car while I suited up. By 2:30 I was on the grid chatting with Brock. Brock said, your early, go to the back of the line. He was joking. I was waived to the front of the line. At 2:45 my group was released for the recon lap.
During the recon lap I am amazed at how smooth the track is after the re-surfacing that was completed last fall. When we ran here in 2009, it was very bumpy through the banking and even in our limp mode that year it was unnerving. It is not long before I arrive back at the start finish line. I stop and wait for the green flag. It is waived and I am off. WOW....what a ride!!!!!
It is over before I know it and am back in the garage. Woody arrives and we start re-packing the car immediately. I am still on a high that will last for the next hour! As we pull out, we check our watches - time, 3:15. Less than an hour and we arrived, unloaded the car, ran three laps, re-packed the car, and left. It was worth the 3 hour, 240 mile drive. Thanks Critz BMW!!!! Next stop, Gainesville Raceway for the bracket drag races.
Breakfast at Denny's - $24.00
Fuel Costs to Daytona - $75.00
Cost to fix the M3 - $2,073.00
Driving the High Banks at Daytona - Priceless!!
After dropping to 36th overall by missing the morning session at Daytona, my total elapsed time of 6.52 for the three hot laps brought us back to 32nd overall.