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June 25, 2017

#GilmoreGreatRace: 3, 2, 1, GO!

It's the moment the team has been training months for...crossing the official start line in Jacksonville, Florida. We started the day early --- last minute checks on oil, fuel, tool kit and then it was off to the line up on Main Street. Our start position was number 106 out of 121, so we pulled in our spot on the last block and began the long wait to the start line. To keep the cars in order and to start the time tracking system, cars are released at start lines one minute apart --- 121 cars means over two hours of cars leaving the line! To start the race, we had Navigator Madison and Driver Mike piloting the Packard from Jacksonville, Florida to Tifton, Georgia, a 135 mile journey. The Packard attracted a lot of attention at line up - the smooth lines, sharp colors and paint job (thanks to Dick Brown, Museum Operations Staff Member!), and overall stunning presence was hard to pass up for many spectators. As we were prepping for the official start, two great things happened. 1)Driver Mike found a lucky penny on the street - heads up! 2)And we were sought out by the Florida branch of the KAARC's Red Barns Spectacular Crew - Barb, Sarah, and Russ! It was SO reassuring to see familar faces 2,300 miles from home, thanks for your support! It was going to be a great run, we just knew it! Our official start time was 12:16pm, so we enjoyed the morning waiting for our flag by check out the competition -- some of the most stunning and interesting cars we've ever seen! [gallery columns="2" link="none" size="medium" ids="14486,14485,14481,14487,14482,14484,14489,14483,"] Soon, it was time to fire up the Packard and get ready to go. Announcer Mike Goodman with the help of Corky Coker himself set us up at the start line and....3, 2, 1...we were off! *Note: There was an announcing error - Madison Gremore, 18 year old graduate from Comstock High School was today's navigator, whereas Coleman Rodriguez was our navigator for yesterday's (Fridays) Trophy Run. We traveled through many, MANY miles of country roads and small towns, waves, honks, and thumbs up all the way. We finally arrived in Tifton, Georgia shortly after 5pm after a long, hot day on the road. At the finish line check point, we were given our checkpoint slip for the day -- only a few seconds here, a minute there, and the last leg... an ACE! Madison and Mike earned their first ace and PERFECT as rookies for Team Gilmore! We couldn't be more proud of our team today and we can't wait to see what the next 8 days bring! Tomorrow (6/25) - Stage 2: Tifton, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee with Navigator Gavin and Driver Bob!