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Big Bend Open Road Race...April 27, 2019

Obdewla_X

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Is this a race that would be worth the drive from SAT to observe?
Back in 2017, a couple of buddies & I stayed in Sanderson on our way to Big Bend two days before the start of the race & had pretty good time. We didn't actually watch the race but we did attend the Welcome BBORR party held for all the racers at the little Sanderson city park & there was plenty of BBQ & beer. The next day in Ft. Stockton, quite a few of the cars that were entered in the race were on display at the fair grounds, so we wandered around looking at all the cars. Afterward, they crowned the BBORR Miss Junior Miss & then all the cars did a little parade through town.

The gal that took our reservation at the Outback Oasis Motel was on the Sanderson Town Council & asked if we'd like to volunteer to help during the race. Even though we didn't participate, they do need volunteers on the course to help make sure no one enters the highway during the race. I think it would be hard to "watch" the race since they're flying by anywhere from 100 mph - 200 mph, you only see them for a flash.

 
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Being a fan of both cars & bikes.....we've got rooms booked in Sanderson on Fri & Sat nites...4-26 & 27
MrgreenGenes & I are stayin at the Desert Air Motel across from the Stripes so right in the middle of the action.
They only had a couple of rooms left as of this mornin...each with 1 queen...$60 nite

Several years back we were passin thru Sanderson on the way home from Big Bend... The cars were rollin into town after running ..& then parked around the courthouse square so we walked around a bit. I have always wanted to go back.... & now we are
 
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If anyone else is interested in going to Sanderson for the race....the Desert Air Motel does have a few rooms available for Fri & Sat nites...

1 with a single queen for $60 a nite with discount
2 with double queens for $80 a nite...sorry..no discount
Call John & mention my name
432-360-3843
 
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Id think the organizers wouldnt be interested in bikes running....
What with the speed capability of todays sport bikes right outta the crate. The speeds at Pikes Peak are no where near what youd see at Ft Stockton
 

Obdewla_X

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Apr 8, 2012
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Texas
The BBORR is just one of a number of "open road" races that happen around the country. They do them in Nevada, Nebraska & California too. As long as you have the necessary safety mods done to your car, you can race anything... even your Prius. :)
 

jbh

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Dec 2, 2005
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Fort Worth
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Brad
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Henderson
I know someone who runs this every year. There are very specific rules about min and max speed for your class. Your goal is to run as close to perfect average speed for your class. So if your in the 135 class you try to run a perfect 135mph average speed on both segments. It’s usualy within 10th of a second for the top runners. I think the max and min speed are +- 30 mph of your average speed target or something similar. But there is also an unlimited class too, just fastest average speed (somewhere around 200moh I think).

Registration sells out very fast, within an hour or less of it opening for some classes.
 

Obdewla_X

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Apr 8, 2012
Messages
50
Location
Texas
Here are some pics & partial ride tale I put together back in 2017 from a trip to BB my buddies & I happened into Sanderson a couple of days before race...

Our first day out, we headed for Sanderson, TX and the Outback Oasis Motel. We've stayed there a number of times... minimal accommodations, inexpensive, funky & very casual. Again, and due to the THCR dates, our overnight stay just happened to coincide with a race that's been going on for 20 years, the Big Bend Open Road Race. I had never heard of it before and has become quite a big deal in the open road race community. City officials close down US Hwy. 285 between in the cities of Sanderson and Ft. Stockton and devote an entire day to the race.

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Just Outside Sheffield, TX, the Landscape Change Is Dramatic

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Roadside Break & Pow Wow

'Racers compete in five speed classes, beginning with a target speed of 85 mph (the Street Rod division) and topping out at 160 mph (the Super Sport division). A select few dare-devils qualify for "Unlimited" status, where cars typically burn up the straightaways at 200 mph or more. The more experience you have, and the more safety equipment you have in your car, the faster you're allowed to go. There's no wheel-to-wheel jockeying; the race is held rally-style, one car at a time. The first leg of the race goes to Sanderson; the second makes the round trip back to Fort Stockton'.

The course covers 59 miles of US Hwy. 285. There's a bunch of You Tube videos you can look at to get an idea what it's like driving all out. Here's a short one that's fun.


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BBORR Road Course

Once we got settled in at the Outback, we went in search of alcohol & to pay a visit to Julio whose bar we found last year, but alas & as fate would have it, we would not be partying with wild abandon like we did last year as Julio's was closed. :tears: Nothing else to do but head over to the Sanderson city park & crash the ‘Welcome BBORR Racers’ party for some free Texas hospitality, BBQ & beer with the good citizens of Sanderson. If the word ‘free’ is expressed or implied, what else are you gonna do? It was a good time and a great way to end a great day on the road.

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In The Food Line

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Time To Eat!

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The ride from Sanderson to Alpine the next morning was only 85 miles, so we weren't in a big hurry to get there. We made a pit stop in Marathon to get breakfast at the Marathon Coffee Shop as we've done in years past, but it was closed so we settled on the Oasis Cafe.

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Outside the Oasis Cafe In Marathon

Since we didn't have a room in Terlingua the following night, we snagged a room at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine, which is an old style motor court built in the late 40's. The little cottages contained 2 rooms with each room being different and unique. Some have colored cement tile or linoleum floors from the 1950's while others have carpet. Furnishings and artwork also vary from room to room and some even have the original cowboy oak furniture from the period. All the cottages are built on both sides of a common circled drive that goes through the property with a large courtyard in the middle of the complex. I enjoy and prefer places like that when I have the option versus some chain motel and feel it adds some flare to a trip... it was a pretty cool place.

Once we got to Alpine and the Antelope Lodge, the gal at the office had a room for us so we were able to dump our luggage and make plans for a day ride.

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Home Away From Home

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The Courtyard

We've ridden the loop at Fort Davis quite a few times and it's a great ride but I suggested we check out Balmorhea just north of Fort Davis this year. I'd read about the Balmorhea State Park that was built back in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Core and thought it might be fun to check it out because the Park's main attraction is a 1.75 acre pool that is fed by the San Solomon Springs. The water is crystal clear and besides regular folks there for a swim, we saw some guys scuba diving. There are campsites available for an overnight stay as well as the San Solomon Springs Court, which are the 18 original buildings and living quarters built for the CCC workers.

The springs have supported man in that area for at least 11,000 years. Native Americans also used the springs before explorers and settlers came to the area. In 1849, the springs were known as Mescalero Springs, for the Mescalero Apache who watered their horses there. In the late 1800's it supported cattle ranching and today, provides irrigation for farmers in the area growing alfalfa and cotton.

For those that don't know, the CCC was created during the Depression and provided jobs and job skills by hiring young men to work on conservation projects. The program enrolled men between the ages of 17 and 25 who qualified for public assistance. They earned clothing, food, medical care and $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

Construction began in 1934 where they first built barracks, a mess hall and a kitchen to support 130 to 200 men and their supervisors. This would be home for the next few years. Next, the men crafted the pool around the springs, along with a concession building, two bath houses, San Solomon Courts, and other improvements in the park. They used local limestone and fashioned adobe bricks for building materials.

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Building The Balmorhea State Park

Back in those days, Balmorhea was really off the beaten path and travelers going cross country must've thought it was an oasis in the middle of nowhere. It's still kind of off the beaten path today but draws upwards of 200K people a year.

Anyway, our plan was to ride to Balmorhea and take a swim, then head over to Fort Stockton to check out the BBORR cars that were entered in the race and see what everybody was driving.

By the time we got to Balmorhea, the temp was hovering around 97 deg and was getting hot. I've got to say, that water felt GREAT!! Plus, we were there on a Friday so there weren't many people... the weekend crowd had not yet arrived. We didn't exactly have the pool to ourselves but it was pretty darn close to it. None of us had a swim suit so we just stripped down to our Under Armours and took the plunge... COLD!! And SHRINKAGE!! :rofl:As it turned out, there were 3 college gals on the other side of the pool watching our antics and judging from the 'look aways' we were getting, I'm quite sure they were repulsed and horrified by our sagging, aged and decrepit, old man physiques... or was it? Perhaps it was because Steve was doing aquatic style pirouettes and squirting water on them with his hands. Or maybe I inadvertantly showed butt crack when I climbed out of the pool. :shrug: To be honest, it was probably because I was swimming in my padded Bohn Armor pants yelling out to Steve and Gary, "Whee! Look at me, I'm floating" and singing show tunes. ****, even those two were embarrassed by that display! Whatever it was, it was obvious the girls were less than thrilled we had invaded their space on such a lovely day at the pool.

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The Pool

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More Pool

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Aquatic Acrobats :eek:

After cooling off for a bit in the pool, it was time to head to Fort Stockton and check out some race cars. On the way into town to get gas, we just happened to find Joe's Bar & Grill. We looked everywhere for Joe but he was MIA and nowhere to be found.

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Joe's Bar & Grill

228537

May I Have This Dance?

As we relaxed with our icy cold Lone Star beers, who should walk in but the 3 college gals from the State Park. Well, well... again we got the stink eye. Humpf... nothing else to do but take the matter to committee where we came to the conclusion these girls were either:

a. Still repulsed by the disturbing image burned in their brains of our shirtless, Baluga-like bodies in the pool​
b. Millennial misandryists​
c. Lesbians​
d. All the above​

After much discussion and thoughtful conjecture, we went with d... hey, it was their loss! We were totally prepared to devote quality time to some healthy conversion therapy but since they were being so weird about it, we decided it was time to hit the road and get to Fort Stockton and check out some cars.

By the time we got there, it was **** near 100 deg and walking around checking out the cars was a sweatfest. Millions of $'s worth of cars and some were over the top and purpose built just for open road racing. An incredible collection of cars were on display and the drivers were only too happy to tell all about their car. Corvette's (ZR1's & Z06's), Mustang's, Viper's, Cobra's... you name it and it was there. Speaking of Cobra's, there were 3 originals entered in the race but did not have the original motors. No one in their right mind who owned a completely original Cobra would enter a race and risk crashing a $1.5M car!

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Dodge Viper

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Real Cobra Body

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With A Rousch Racing Motor

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Shelby Mustangs

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'56 Desoto

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Vettes

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Vettes

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And More Vettes

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'65 Shelby Coupe

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911 Carrera

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Nissan GT-R

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Lotus Evora

and my favorite...

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Ford GT40

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Nothing But Motor

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Dang!

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What A Sweet Ride!

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2017 BBORR Miss Junior Miss

At 5:00pm, the racers fired up their machines for a parade through the streets of Fort Stockton. This was our queue that it was time to go but not before we got a beer because it was hot as ****! We hit what looked like a bar heading out of town but it turned out to be a foo foo wine bar. The bartender looked perturbed that we asked if he had any beer and said 'no', so it was off to Alpine.

Once we got back to Alpine and got cleaned up, we rode into town and made our way to the Railroad Blues Bar and sat on the patio for a few cold ones to wind down the day. We met a guy named Jeff from Lubbock who had a car entered in the BBORR and really enjoyed talking with him. His car was a stock car that was owned at one time by Casey Mears he bought on eBay and retuned it for road racing versus the track. He told us too the day before, a car blew up and burned on the road during practice. Next year he plans to navigate for his driver. Apart from what's under the hood, there is quite a bit of technology in the cars not to mention all the safety equipment.

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We had a pretty full day but it was time to get some some shut eye, so we wished Jeff luck and headed back to the Antelope Lodge.

As it turned out, Jeff's NASCAR finished 5th in the Grand Sport 1 Class (target speed of 130 mph). The car that won the Unlimited Class was a '65 Corvair with a combined average speed of 149.926 mph. The Ford GT40 I liked, finished 2nd in the Grand Sport 5 Class (target speed of 150 mph) with an average speed of 149.923 mph.

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'65 Corvair
 
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Having owned 2 Corvairs in the 70s...(a 65 Monza 4dr 140 & a 66 Corsa 2dr 140) I really appreciate the highly modified (V8 mid engine) one that has run the BBORR for many years now. In some years it has clocked in the 160s ..& even 172 mph on some of its official class runs
In recent years results..there is also a listing called SPEED TRAP which is the highest clocking I guess...
In 2018 the Corvair clocked 195 & 200 on its N/S runs
Another regular entrant is a 95 Thunderbird that consistantly clocks similar numbers!

Of course ..my Corvairs weren't quite as fast
....but they were fun fun fun

If you look closely at the pic of the racer... you'll notice that the windshield has been cut down to help airflow... Rear window still stock

I hope there's a diversity of vehicles running this year.... I like Vettes n Stangs...but would rather see a 62 Polara or an Aston among the entrants
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Or how bout that Panoz...the Audi R8..or the Gran Sport Vette....or the Cyclone........or..the.....Truck! ..?
 
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Aug 19, 2012
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"Occupied Weslaco" Texas
If anyone else is interested in going to Sanderson for the race....the Desert Air Motel does have a few rooms available for Fri & Sat nites...

1 with a single queen for $60 a nite with discount
2 with double queens for $80 a nite...sorry..no discount
Call John & mention my name
432-360-3843
I'm in with a discount mentioned you're name worked like a charm!😁
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
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197
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San Angelo, TX
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Wayland
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Cooksey
If anyone else is interested in going to Sanderson for the race....the Desert Air Motel does have a few rooms available for Fri & Sat nites...

1 with a single queen for $60 a nite with discount
2 with double queens for $80 a nite...sorry..no discount
Call John & mention my name
432-360-3843
The Desert Air is under new management and they have been working hard to clean, remodel and modernize it. I hope you enjoy your stay.
 
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That place looked much better than the Budget Inn....& the other local motel didnt answer their phone.
We should be able to sit outside near the highway & watch the racers come into town after their run.
 
Joined
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Where the road leads ya.... Or Waco
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Rod
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Powers
If anyone else is interested in going to Sanderson for the race....the Desert Air Motel does have a few rooms available for Fri & Sat nites...

1 with a single queen for $60 a nite with discount
2 with double queens for $80 a nite...sorry..no discount
Call John & mention my name
432-360-3843
John sez they still have mabe 4 rooms avail for Fri 26th & Sat 27th... All with single queen bed for $60 w disc
I also have a room saved that may be avail but I dont kno rite now.
Mention my name for the discount

Sent from my LGL62VL using Tapatalk
 
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May 22, 2013
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Thorndale, tx
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Has anyone every volunteered for working the race? Seems like it could be interesting per their post.
 
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