Forum > 2013, August 1st-3rd, 3rd Pinto Stampede, Rockford Illinois to Memphis Tennessee.

reliving the epic 2013 Stampede

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Norman Bagi:
Well another Stampede was a huge sucess. 3 major televison news crews, 4 newspapers including the Chicago Tribune. We visited the American Pickers ( that place was smalled than it looks on TV! unlike Frank!) We visited the Mississippi distillery, very enlightening, very American, and some of the best samples ever, I went home with some product and will be buying this stuff online when stores get low, it was that good. The John Deere museum was a nice time to stretch the legs and see some cool farm and logging equipment, along with the storied history. Then it was on to the Snake Road in Burlington. Sorry San Francisco, Burlington holds the title of crookedest road, Ripley's went to both and felt Lombard street was stretched out more thus making Snake Road the title holder. Anyway the Stampede has a firt here, out own Scott Hamilton got split up from us and ended up driving up the wrong way on this one way street. The head of the Burlington tourist and information beurea never saw this happen, Scott you madman! We then went down to Gateway Motorsports Park, we ran on the road course but unfortunately the rain came and the drag racing was cancelled. This was unfortunate for the Wounded Warrior Project since this was going to be our fundraiser. But Jim Madison and Cookieboy have ensured we will go well over our $5, 000 goal. The cloudy, drizzly weather otherwise was a blessing, it was cool amd the cars ran great, August heading south on the Mississippi could have been like a drive through hell, it was very nice.The end of the trip brought us to Memphis International Raceway, we arrived and became part of the opening ceremonies of the ADRL finals. We entered through the tunnel to the cheers of thousands, while they described over the PA system what we did. They parked us along side the drag strip in front of the crowd. Cookieboy dawned the horse head mask and jumped on the roof of the Wounded Pinto and whipped the crowd into a frenzy! It was epic! The next morning we went back and were treated to 36 laps around Memphis Oval track, yes I said 36 laps! The final 16 we almost as fast as we could handle without being in an unsafe condition. Thanks to Pam Hendrick and everyone at Memphis! There is truly nothing like a Stampede! Thanks to the team, the press, the participants, the hosts and all the work behind the scenes making this such a special road rally.

Norman Bagi:
So many things I am going to have left out, I needed to share this one. I was driving two from the back of the pack, Tommy Saunders behind me and Scott Hamilton behind him. I hear screaching tires, I looked into the side view in time to see a Blazer rear end a van. The van was making a turn and the Blazer was looking at the Pinto's, and bam! And then Scott's car came unscathed out of the frey. He later described the sounds of the crash. Numerous cars wittnessed it from behind and we had no way of notifying the Pinto's ahead so we went on to the next stop. Scott looked a little shaken up. We hope no one was hurt, and thankfully none of the Pinto's were injured.

      Norm do you remember what town that was near? I would like to do a search and see if I could find any reporting on it
       Lots  of stories for sure. One of mine is.. Sunday morning I left the hotel to drive through Mc Donalds to get someting to eat before we did our laps. I ordered and pulled up to the window to pay. The young man at the window looked at my car and said " yall coming out to the race track again today"? 

Norman Bagi:
Dave, I am thinking that was day 1 before we got to Burlington, so I am guessing Mommoth Illinois was the closest town.

I'm so glad to hear the Stampede went well and that everyone came through it safely!  It sounds like that was a close call for Scott with that accident!  What an adventure!  I can't wait to hear what Norm has in store for the next one because I'm planning to be there for Stampede 2014.  In 2011, my mother's declining health prevented me from getting my Pinto ready in time for the trip.  I did manage to join the group (albeit Pinto-less) at the Flight 93 Memorial and drive the final stretch into Carlisle with them.  Even that was a thrill, although it would have been much better if I could have taken my Pinto.  By the 2012 Stampede, my mother's death had left me to continue alone as caregiver for my terminally ill sister.  Doctor's estimated in August of 2012 that she would probably only live four to six weeks, but she surprised everyone and held on a lot longer than expected.  Earlier this year I sold my Pinto sedan project that just never quite got off the ground and replaced it with a VERY nice, VERY original 1972 Pinto Squire wagon.  I wanted to be ready to jump on the Stampede bandwagon if the opportunity presented itself.  I explained to Norm how badly I wanted to go, but that I couldn't commit to it under the circumstances.  As it turned out, my sister finally passed away on July 19th.  At that point, it was just too late to make this year's Stampede.  So anyway, the plan now is to make the 2014 Stampede.  I'm excited already and I have no idea what/where Norm has in mind!  I have plenty of time to go over the Squire completely to make sure she's tip-worthy (although I drove her several hundred miles home when I bought her - can't be too careful) and my wife is totally on board with the idea!  Can't wait!!!
Dwayne :)


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