People Keep Breaking Cannonball Run Records During Lockdown
"Cannonballers" can't seem to stop themselves from attempting coast-to-coast speed runs on U.S.'s empty roads.
If you thought that the "Cannonball Run" was simply a goofy Burt Reynolds movie from the early 80s, you're only partially correct.
Here's the description of what makes up the Cannonball Run (from Wikipedia):
The Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, widely known as the Cannonball Baker or Cannonball Run, was an unofficial, unsanctioned automobile race run five times in the 1970s from New York City and Darien, Connecticut, on the East Coast of the United States to the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California. The Cannonball Run races have additionally inspired numerous contemporary efforts by independent teams to set the record time for the route, known as the Cannonball Run Challenge.
Conceived by car magazine writer and auto racer Brock Yates and fellow Car and Driver editor Steve Smith, the first run was not a competitive race as only one team was running. The run was intended both as a celebration of the United States Interstate Highway System and as a protest against strict traffic laws coming into effect at the time. Another motivation was the fun involved, which showed in the tongue-in-cheek reports in Car and Driver and other auto publications worldwide. The initial cross-country run was made by Yates; his son, Brock Yates, Jr.; Steve Smith; and friend Jim Williams beginning on May 3, 1971, in a 1971 Dodge Custom Sportsman van called the "Moon Trash II.
The race was run four more times: November 15, 1971; November 13, 1972; April 23, 1975; and April 1, 1979.
Well, here's the thing. With empty roads due to the COVID-19 lockdowns across the country, you've got people with lots of time on their hands and even more horsepower under their hoods. Since quarantines first started, seven different Cannonball records have allegedly been broken, which has to be a record in itself.
The highly illegal and dangerous street race starts at the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan on the East Coast; and ends on the opposite side of America, at the Portofini Inn in Redondo Beach, California.
Not only has the overall record been reportedly broken more than once, but records for solo-driver, diesel-powered, and coast-to-coast-and-back-again Cannonballs have been completely destroyed, with the last of those being smashed by almost 20 hours versus the old record.
According to previous record-holder (and, technically, felon) Ed Bolian, the new record to beat (if you’re an idiot) is less than 26 hours. From talking with the criminals who hold the record and doing the math, he figures that means they would have averaged about 193 km/h (119.9 mph) crossing “several” states. The vehicle used to set the most recent record has not been revealed.
Probably not the sort of thing you should try, unless you just haven't met enough cops in your life.