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MY PRO-RALLY AUTO RACING

Cherokee Challenge
Grove, Oklahoma
March 1991

We had just finished our very first Pro Rally over at the Big Bend Bash in February. James, the owner/driver calls me up and asks if I want to go to the Cherokee Challenge over in Grove, Oklahoma on March 16th. I agreed.

We were both bit by the racing bug.

The race was in some beautiful and hilly country in east Oklahoma. Once there, we quickly found out that the race coordinator, Ken Stewart, was well known for throwing in a few curves in his races.

One thing he tossed in was a very short Special Stage right after a field service. This stage started with a hill-climb that gave all the service crews a good show and gave us racers nosebleeds.

Another snag Ken gave us was during a night Special Stage. We were driving downhill on a straight and very steep dirt road running, oh, just under the speed of sound. We suddenly crossed a paved road. Since the paved road was level and we were previously going down hill, the car suspension bottomed out and we slammed into our seats as the car attitude instantly went from nose down to level.

And that's not the end of it.

Right after getting level to cross the paved road, the car went air born after we crossed the paved road and the dirt road we were racing on reverted to its steep descent. Wohoo!

Ken had photographers set up to get perfect night shots of air born race cars, lights all ablaze and passengers all in knots.

At the end of the stage, James was a bit perturbed that I didn't mention the paved road to him. I showed him the part of the route book where the paved road information should have been, but wasn't. I also pointed out the fact that the photographers were right there when it happened. Ken did it!

One of the cars, a Datsun 280Z, rolled a couple of times. No one got hurt but the car was pretty banged up.

We only raced in the Cherokee Challenge once. We would have liked to race again but Ken Stewart didn't schedule any races after this one.

Next stop: Silvercliff, Colorado.


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Pre Race
Pre Race set up.

 

Racing near highway
Racing near a highway.

 

Field Service
Pulling into a field service.

 

Hill Climb
Staging near the hill climb.

 

RX-7
Working on an RX-7.

 

Wrecked car
Wrecked car.

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