As the AMM fleet rolls across north Texas, my co-driver Steve Ewing and I are currently on the tail of the Q7 piloted by Kevin Kelly and the legendary Jim McCraw. Jim, a veteran of four One Lap of America events, is used to these long slogs. Actually, for Jim this is more like a luxury cruise. On the One Lap, the teams circumnavigate the country in only a week, often ending up sleeping in cars and cheap motels. For us, the longest leg was the run from Chicago to Memphis, a trek of nearly 550 miles (more for those whose nav systems got confused among the Chicago skyscrapers).
Jim and Kevin managed to top the charts yesterday on the stage from Memphis to Little Rock to Dallas with 30.3 mpg while Steve and I only got 28.6. Jim managed to get hooked up behind a semi that was cruising at a good clip for an extended period of time, while we had trouble finding any trucks running faster than 60-65 mph. The day before, on the trip from Chicago, we tied at 28.8 mpg although Jim and Kevin had a slightly higher average speed at 63 mph vs our 60 mph. We've since become aware of a couple of tricks that seem to be helping, which I'll divulge at a later time. Never let it be said that journalists aren't competitive. As I finish writing this paragraph, a slightly faster truck passed us, and Steve has slipped in behind it. As we slid past, I glanced over to see a very unprofessional finger gesture from Mr. Kelly. Kevin and I will be discussing that tonight over steaks in Amarillo.