The Sentinel ‘Guardian of your conscience’

Cannonball Run

The Cannonball Run Memorial Race ran the weekend of September 14, 15th, 2019. Because of the race is underground, announcement of the race publicly due to hassles if the race is publicly known. The photo above is the party after the race  in September 2019

Cannonball Run

By Thomas Sabol


Where did the Cannonball Run Get it’s name?


E.G. Baker was an early motorcycling pioneer who set dozens of cross-country records riding a variety of motorcycles and sidecars. He also was known for record-setting runs in automobiles. By the time he retired from his pursuit of records, it was estimated that Baker had ridden or driven more than five million miles. During his exhausting career, Baker made more than 143 attempts at a variety of timed, long-distance records, including his most famous transcontinental and three flags (Canada to Mexico) attempts.


AMA Motorcycle Museum


Brock Yates of Car and Driver fame, created the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in 1971. The race was from New York to Los Angeles. public road race. Brock Yates and Dan Gurney won the first race in just under 36 hours in 1971 with a (borrowed) Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona.Gurneystates, “At no time did we exceed 175 mph.”  Brock Yates teamed with director Hal Needham and wrote the screenplays for Smokey and the Bandit II and The Cannonball Run I and II.



What do you say when you write with no words?

Feel a song that’s never been heard?

How do know if you did it all?

What do you do when you’ve done it all?




It’s not what you do

It’s how you do it.

Be anything you want to be

It’s not what you got

It’s how you use it

You be you

And I’ll be me


By Ray Stevens


After sitting here trying to get a handle on the events that got me here. The words above being the battle cry for a group of men that yearly compete in a all out illegal cross country race. Somehow I was part of it.

Last Mid-September I received a call from my ex-boss (Mathew Davis). “Tom, I’m going on a trip across the country. I need another driver. Are you interested? Sure I was up for a good trip. His original co-driver’s wife was due to have a baby that week.


On the day of the trip , I entered my friends car and was informed as we drove away from my home that we had to stop in New York on the way. As we drove a little bit further I was informed we were entered in a illegal car race from New York to Los Angeles. The race is approximately 2900 miles. The race is a closed race and you must know someone within the group to enter the race.


The basic rules to the race are the car must be pre-1980, you can’t spend more then $3000 for the car, but you can put as much money into the car as you want. One car was rumored to have spent $40,000 on modifications including 187 gallon gas tank that replaced the back seat of his car.

I Currently drive as a Uber driver and tell my experiences to my passengers and I’m usually asked what place we came in ( We came in 11th out of 25 cars). Immediately the next question is “What does the winner get?”  The answer to the is “Bragging Rites”.

The information about our vehicle is it was a 1977 Honda Civic. We drove 2888 miles in 43 hours and 45 minutes. Our average speed 66 miles per hour. It doesn’t sound like much until  you consider driving through construction zones and rush hour traffic in major cities across the nation. The car that won was clocked by Oklahoma and Texas State troopers going 170 mph.


Let’s face it driving across the country is an adventure. Not being able to stop to smell the roses along the way takes away some of the fun. However I saw the most incredible night sky while driving though Arizona and New Mexico.


My ex-boss has an alter ego “Captain Chaos” based on the character protrayed by Dom Deluise in the Cannonball Run movie. The race took place in September 2018. It will be 40 years since the first race and there are rumors that this may be the last year for the race. I won’t be invited back this year because my friend Matt will be riding in an ambulance just like the one in the movie. I might fly to the Portifino Marina in Los Angeles to be at the finishline for the race.


On a final note I got to check something off my bucket list that wasn’t ever on there to start with.


sources(AMA Motorcycle Museum

The men above who participated in the “Cannonball  Run Memorial Race 2018” aka C2C Rally met in

Connecticut to participate in a documentary about the Cannonball Run  that will air in February 2020

on the Discovery Channel


Thomas Sabol and Matthew Davis aka “Captain Chaos” after completing the race.

The 1977 Honda Civic we used for the race

239 Fourth Ave., Suite 1602, Pittsburgh, PA 15222