DTFM: The Rich Text Radio Morning Show (27 Aug. 20)
DJ Ravi, Arnold Tarmac, and Ralphie discusses The Lap of America rally with driver 'Big Jon' and his experience traveling 8,000 miles in nine days.
DJ Ravi, Arnold Tarmac, and “ThunderBread”, hosts, “The Rich Text Radio Morning Show”
DJ Ravi: Welcome, welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the Rich Text Radio Morning Show. It has been a very long time since I have said that - Arnold Tarmac and ThunderBread are here alongside the ones and twos (AT): Hello again, everyone. (T): Hi, Drivers and Tribers.
DJ Ravi: Fellas, how have you been since the last time we shared a table full of microphones and record players?
Thunderbread: I’ve been great, man. Did get a chance to travel a bit before being at home and going crazy -
Arnold Tarmac: Yeah, man. Going crazy. I did a lot of that. You would think with a lot of options within a home you could always find something to do - “NO!” Not this way, not this time man.
Thunderbread: That’s sad, man.
Arnold Tarmac: I know, and the wife and I read almost every book in the house. It even came to the point we were starting to read to another. Theater style. Voices and everything. Moving room to room with every page we turned -
DJ Ravi: The television strike / challenge still is going on?
Arnold Tarmac: It is, and I am hell bent on winning.
DJ Ravi: Haha WOW! And how long has it been? (Thunderbread): Yeah, what’s the count so far?
Arnold Tarmac: Nine months and twenty six days.
Thunderbread / DJ Ravi: (incomprehensible audio of gasps and amazement)
Arnold Tarmac: YEAH!.. It’s been quite a ride, fellas.
DJ Ravi: That is absolutely amazing, Tarmac. Nine months? NINE months - no television. What do you do?
Thunderbread: Jack-off, hahahaha (DJ Ravi): Hahaha, yea, look at him, he’s swole and everything, hahahahaha.
Arnold Tarmac: No, no, hahaha, I don’t have to. I did a lot of lifting and writing when I could. I mean, we still had work for the studio that was demanded, but, most of the days were filled with reading and writing, honestly.
Thunderbread: Absolutely amazing, Tarmac. I am impressed. (Arnold Tarmac): Thanks, man.
DJ Ravi: What about you, Thunderbread? What’s the details with you over there?
Thunderbread: Well, fellas, let’s see. The girlfr-- I mean, the fiance and I took a trip to Italy for a few weeks, did some sailing into and around Ibiza, then, for my birthday weekend we drove from Spain to France in a few Lambo’s for the weekend.
Tarmac: Thunderbread, WHO, on this naturally green planet gave YOU the keys to a Lambo? (DJ Ravi: hahahahahahahahahahah)
Thunderbread: Monarch Exotics, rentals were worth every dollar invested. My Fiance enjoyed it so much, we doubled down on the extra day to have it for ourselves.
Tarmac: (DJ Ravi): What’s it cost to rent a Lambo for a weekend?
Thunderbread: Well, for the weekend, for four cars and eight people, it was twelve, but, we added an extra day for ourselves, so, it was worth it. Besides, we were celebrating.
DJ Ravi: How was the drive, though?
DJ Ravi: I bet it was. Wow, I must say, you two were really productive, in your own unique ways, during our hiatus from the microphones. Travel and getting into shape and writing books, racing Lamborghini’s around Europe, it’s great you had these memories made for yourselves and you’re safe and back and ready to work.
Tarmac and Thunderbread: Oh yes, Absolutely READY to work again / Extremely excited to be back in the studio again.
DJ Ravi: Now, speaking of driving and being couped up with another human for long periods of time, we have a guest in the studio who, along with several others, drove around the USA in nine days, covering over eight thousand miles in the process.
Tarmac: Wait, what? Driving around the entire US?
DJ Ravi: Well, the immediately joined portion of the US (Thunderbread): Ahhhh ok ok
Tarmac: Alright, still, forty-eight states of driving?
DJ Ravi: Yeah, it’s possible. Well, its been done. We have a driver of the event with us here, “Big Jon”, give him a microphone and headset -
Thunderbread: Welcome to the Rich Text Radio Morning Show, Big Jon. (Tarmac): Yeah, man, nice to meet you.
Big Jon: Thanks for having me on guys.
Tarmac: Alright, first things first - what did you drive on this lap of America?
Jon: A Ferrari Tessarossa.
Thunderbread: Did you drive it to Miami or did you have it shipped from Canada?
Jon: We drove it to Miami, then had it fully inspected for the week we spent there to relax and plan for the rally in full detail. Twice.
DJ Ravi: Alright, hold on, hold on. We have to get to the heart of the story - your story, and this Lap of America Rally. Tell us how you got started and what really goes into something like this.
Jon: Well, to be honest with you, anyone with a passport, a set of wheels, an extra six, seven, or eight grand to splurge on driving around the country, they can do it. You do not need to be with a team or support crew - (Tarmac): Did you have a support team with you?
Jon: Yea, haha, we did. (Thunderbread): Hahahaha Incredible.
Jon: But, really guys, anyone can do it. We just happen to be a collective of like-minded teams with cars we enjoy driving, sharing the journey with one another and the highs and lows of what driving is all about. This idea of “rally” is broad, and yes, are there moments of irreverence in motion? Quite possibly, but for the most part, we are in it for the Lap. Smelling every mile required to travel the full length of the country.
Thunderbread: But, to be with you guys, how can someone join you all?
Jon: Hah, well, you either wait on the side of the road and follow us or receive the invite. But you’re better off on the former, simply because the LoA is invite only. We’re not just packing up cars and heading out to Lap the nation, we’re seriously investing into our cars, logistical operations, and support teams that assist us throughout the country along the way.
Tarmac: Jon, man, this event sounds super expensive from your seat. You sound like your modern day Nascar or Formula One type of team with the complete travel setup.
Jon: Well, yea. It is pricey. Like I said earlier, though, the massive amounts of cash we invest into this little holiday is not demanded for the Lap, but its a nice addition if you can swing it.
DJ Ravi: So Jon, let’s get into the actual rally. You meet in Miami a week early, plan the car, get the teams ready, logistics, everything is ready. You’re at the starting line. What’s next?
Jon: Alright, the checkered flag drops and we’re gone. Well, we have a little parade excursion, nothing to severe. The escort - MPD and State Troopers - guides us safely to the interstate and we made our way for DC.
Thunderbread: What’s that, a thousand miles? (Tarmac: No way, longer than that-)
Jon: About 1,600 kilometers, so, yea, around a thousand miles.
DJ Ravi: How long did it take you?
Jon: My master pilot handled majority of day one, and we closed the day in ninth position in about twelve hours.
(The Trio: hahaha (WHOOOOO) You were covering some serious ground, Jon.)
Jon: It’s true, and still placed ninth out of the grid. Two tickets, only because of parking and one for using the toll lane for express pay ‘by accident’.
DJ Ravi: Tell us about the car - (Thunderbread: eight days inside a Ferrari for long distances? How does that back feel, Jon hahaha)?
Jon: Everything is perfect, and the car is, actually, she’s outside right now. The car is holding steady, and I hope to maintain it for another 13,000 kilometer run.
Tarmac: You’re doing this ‘again?’
Jon: Absolutely. If I am invited. The cars, the teams, my crew and master pilot are all set. To do these types of numbers behind the wheel is very demanding on the body and the mind, remember that. But, you guys love cars and the thrill of acceleration and cruising at levels that carries you across a land at a pace spanning an olympic track every three seconds, so you know the pros of the roads are well worth the toll you pay on both mind and body.
Thunderbread: What’s the most memorable moment you had on the rally?
Jon: It would be when we got lost outside of Bozeman, Montana. All was fine until we made an exit for meeting up with the support crew that had our fifth stage of the rally equipment. The crew made a detour and lost ground in the process, forcing us to link up with them thirty minutes South of Bozeman, and we knew the adventure was about to “REALLY” begin, because the further we traveled southbound the more the landscape began to change. I’m talking about high altitudes, to where your ears go from popping due to the amount of pressure to almost feeling like its closing up - the roads turned slick and my master pilot decided to cruise behind a salt truck up the hill. Our tires were so gone, the car slid the entire entrance portion of the climb, spinning out and almost sliding off of a cliff. A guy with a snowmobile saw us easing our way from the side of the embankment and offered to move us the remaining portion of the incline. We paid him accordingly, and I had to sit on the bonnet - in this freezing cold weather - in order to hold traction while the snow mobile hauled us the remaining five or six miles up the hill, but we eventually made it to the checkpoint where the crew was waiting for us. New tires, road supplies, radar units pre-programmed, antennas - it was a wild five and a half hours.
Tarmac: Towed by snowmobile (Thunderbread: Where was the next finish line for the day?)
Jon: Seattle. We placed well behind the pack that leg of the Lap. Something close to eighteen hours after leaving Bismarck, I believe.
DJ Ravi: Where was the finish, Finish, for the entire Lap?
Jon: Orlando. The key to the entire operation of the Rally was strictly low key. We never posted anything socially or digitally. Any footage we captured along the way was for personal use only. You know, photos of places and some filming here and there, but, the main objective is the Lap and finishing.
Tarmac: So, Thunderbread, we split four grand a piece and start our Lap front right outside the studio door and we see how long it takes us to lap the US - (DJ Ravi: You wouldn’t make it out of the state, hahaha)
Thunderbread: I am seriously thinking about driving the Lap, at least one time. It sounds like an amazing experience. Eight thousand miles for nine days? I know I can do that.
Jon: It’s definitely worth it, man. After the show, if you’re serious, I’ll show you our papers and planning manual.
DJ Ravi: Hey, guys, the phone lines are lighting up - We haven’t paid a bill yet so we’re going to pause for a moment for a quick word from the sponsors and we’ll be right back, here with Arnold Tarmac, Thunderbread aka Ralphie, and special guest rally driver, ‘Big Jon’. I am your host, DJ Ravi, and you’ve been listening to The Rich Text Radio Morning Show.