Sunny Yosemite Road in Summer. Yosemite, California USA.

This is the second part of a story called “The Fastest Drive”, which chronicles the journey of Ed Bolian as he sets the new record for the fastest time driven across the United States.

Small team

Usually, there is a lot of money and people who go into these runs. Ed, however, didn’t have an abundance of resources, and would be forced to rely on friends and his demeanor to convince people to help him out. What he needed most was a co-driver, as well as someone to run the tech in the car. Convincing someone to do this proved to be a challenge. He needed to find two people who were just as crazy as him, and willing to take on 30 hours of incredibly fast, detail-oriented driving, all with no sleep! Such a task could end up being fairly dangerous. On top of that, the team could face a good deal of legal liability, if caught, and up with with jail time. Despite these abundant risks, Ed was able to recruit a friend of his named Dave Black, a fellow car fanatic, as his co-driver. He also recruited a young Asian-American whom he had briefly met before over facebook, Dan Huang. The trio planned the upcoming trip in great detail over the next few weeks. Despite the constant anxiety leading up to the drive, each of the team resisted the urge to duck out.

The drive

The notorious drive started at 9:56 p.m. on October 19th, 2013, at the Red Ball GArage in New York. This was the exact same location where Cannonball himself had started. As soon as they revved out of the garage, problems started to occur. Due to a lot of surprise traffic, it took a good deal of time to get out of New York. Also, some of the technology began to fail on them, despite being in working condition before the drive. The police scanner was one of these. However, Ed had planned for this. Since he didn’t have air support as many previous runs had, he put together a network of friends and volunteers across the country to get onto the freeway at various times and drive a couple hundred miles ahead. This network could communicate with the trio and warn them of traffic, police, and construction. Luckily, after they got out of New York, the trip began to speed up. They flew through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma at incredible speeds. With all three of the tanks, they could go over 800 miles without having to fuel up again. When they did need to fill up, though, they would all get out of the car and fill all 3 tanks at once. Once in Texas, they were way ahead of schedule, but they kept pushing as quickly as they could. Keeping up this pace, the team arrived at the Portofino Hotel in California, the finish line of the Cannonball Run, at 11:46 p.m. on October 20th.

The end

The final time of the trio’s drive ended up being 28 hours and 50 minutes, and a distance of 2814 miles. This not only beat Alex Roy’s record before him, but smashed it by a full 2 hours and 14 minutes. The team kept up an average speed of 98 miles per hour during the trip, and only had to stop for fuel three times, due to the CL55’s immense range. In order to prove his time on the run, Ed had a GPS tracking company record his progress every single minute to prove that the run had happened. It measures his exact location and speed for every minute of that 28 hours and 50 minutes. Ed Bolian beat the record with creativity and passion, in place of the many resources that other teams had before. Despite this, Ed has no desire to make any money or sell anything based on his run. He only wants to tell his grandchildren that he was once the fastest man to drive across the United States.

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