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The Care-A-Van and the First Student bus

Posted: December 12, 2013 - 1:00am

I did not hear the celebrity race starter bellow out “Gentlemen, start your engines!”

I missed the revving of high octane engines, the scantily clad beauties lining pit row on the arms of walking bill-boarded athletes promoting anything from dish soap, oil and websites, the good ‘ol boys in fire resistant uniforms topped by space age helmets that their grandfathers wished they had as they are rolling over and over and over in their graves.

Nope. I missed most of the fun of this high-speed race.

I managed to catch the middle portion.

The First Student yellow bus careening out from behind another driver from the company stable.

In pursuit the white Care-A-Van.

Evidently the First Student and the Care-A-Van needed the valuable finishes for the point standings.

There is a lot at stake in the daily commuter championships.

Most racers on Egan Drive Wednesday morning had listened to race officials and their crew teams and had put on the all-weather, ice proof, snow-slush tires.

This was a race day that probably should have been cancelled as huge basins of water lined both sides of the causeway.

The straight stretches of the track from Juneau-Douglas High School to the Bone And Joint Center had long festering rows of sky-fall that blanketed the slower racers when being passed.

The curves at The Breakwater, The Yacht Club and at random track sections held tidal pools covering ice slicks.

Yet the white Care-A-Van and the yellow First Student bus were in their element.

They must have had seasoned drivers behind the wheel.

They managed to hold position, burst forward, cut off other entrants and then dust aside the slower traffic, sending a frantic office worker into a spin, forcing a suit-and-tie business person into the rails, and exhibiting such outlandish professionalism that race officials were too stunned to throw the green caution flags.

The small heads along for the competition in the First Student racer bounced back and forth, making the counting of their numbers difficult. Counting the body bags further down the highway would be a lot easier, their little multi-colored winter stocking caps showing as they lay shoulder to shoulder on the wet race track next to the twisted wreckage of the First Student yellow’s sponsorship.

The CAV’s elderly team was more distinguishable. Their wrinkled hands gripped tightly to wheel chairs and seat straps, their faces pressed in terror to the shatter-proof-high-performance-Obamacare-resistant racing glass. They could be easily identified before the charred remains are picked through near the finish line.

Of course the possibility exists that both of the entrants finished unscathed.

That is usually what happens in high-speed NASCAR events.

The daring-do professional drivers always cross the line, stand on their racing steed’s hoods and do a back flip onto the medal stand where they drink another beverage, one that the pre-race drug test might reflect as being inappropriate for getting behind the wheel.

It is the other racers that suffer. The slower, more careful carriers of young minds off to learn, or elderly loved ones off to shop, or moms and pops off to try and make an honest living, or first time drivers embracing their independence.

The white Care-A-Van and the yellow First-Student bus… “Gentlemen, stop your engines … and pee in the cup.”

The time of this race was roughly 8:15 a.m.

A spokesperson for First Student said that two buses in that area at that time were traveling at 55 miles per hour.

I believe I was doing the speed limit in the left hand lane. I was passed easily via the inside right hand lane before I could pull over and observed no blinkers being used along the race path ahead.

I could not see the end of the race as I was out of contention for the win.

There is no place for NASCAR racing on the highways, especially in foul weather, at any speed.

If you observe such fuel injected behavior take down a license plate number and call a business owner.

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