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|| News Item: Posted 2008-04-29

The Atlanta 150
By Mister X

Photo by Mister X

Photo by Mister X

Can you tell who this Atlanta 150 driver is?
I pulled into the hotel valet lane and was promptly greeted by a hip, young kid in a red waistcoat. "Mr. X?" he asked knowingly.

"Yep. And you must be Donnie, fastest DL the Dawgs have ever had," I replied.

He waved a bellman over to collect my bags. "That's right sir. 'Not as fast as this car though. It is a beauty!" Donnie acted like he'd never seen a Z9 Cab before. "Enough already. You'll own two of these by next year. Let's get my time figured out," I said a tad impatiently.

I knew I would have a good time. And, for the first time in three years, I had no tickets. Donnie bounded out of the valet's hut with a big grin on his face. "My man!" he said, "You ARE…The Winner." He then handed me a large envelope. I squished a Dead Benjamin into his palm and headed for my room.

I emptied the contents of the envelope onto my bed and counted. Ten G's. That's right. Ten t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d dollars. Cash. Not bad for my first win in what's known as the Atlanta 150.

The 150 starts out at Eddie Brown's Chevron station in East Augusta. (Eddie being the less famous of the Brown boys. The more famous being a cat named James.) "Entries" are due by 9PM Saturday of Masters week. The fee is $500…Plus tips. Cars are checked in and rental papers verified. Every car in the race MUST BE A RENTAL. I'm not just talkin' Hertz here either. I mean, a Hertz car has won before. I think even an Avis has won. But most of the winners are off the grid rentals. Exotic rentals. Ferraris. Cobras. A ton of BMW's M series rides. All kinds of Porshes. The race begins the minute the winner of the Masters dons the green jacket.

There is a two-hour window when you can pick your car up at Eddie's along with your "ticket" that has your start time and some code one of Eddie's boys puts on it. Then you are off. A pretty straight shot right over I20. Your cumulative time is figured at the pre-designated finish line/hotel. Lowballer takes all. The rest of the boys and girls spit the winkle.

Get a ticket during the race? The time it takes for the offending officer to write out the ticket CAN be subtracted to the tune of $100 per minute (up to one thousand dollars per offense) from your drive time. That often sweetens the pot a bit.

Only twice in the past ten years has someone won the race in which they received a citation. One of our female drivers (the ex-wife of a major league ballplayer) was pulled over TWICE during the 150, wiggled out of both tickets and still took the envelope. Three tickets in one race results in a 5k fine, an automatic disqualification and a ban from the next year's race. That's happened …twice. Both times to a high-end Euro jock who hangs with the UK players. Both times his girlfriend won the dough. Different chick each time (one in a Tesla roadster). Eddie's barred him ever since.

The starters have been pretty eclectic over the years. I don't know 'em all but there have been more than a few movie stars (one drove a Prius, went to the wrong hotel first and still almost won), porn stars (two once drove together and never made it to Atlanta), a four letter network talking head (crashed near the Hooters in Conyers…DNF), a Winston Cup boy, a couple hall of famers, a swimsuit model accompanied by a former ASP champ (or was that the other way around?), one of the best guitarists in the rock world (GM Ecojet), a bucket full of caddies, and, of course, your Sports Shooter buddy and current Atl 150 champ.

(Mister X is a veteran photographer that has worked throughout world. He remains anonymous to protect the innocent.)

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