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September 06, 1990 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-06

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The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition -Thursday, September 6, 1990 - Page 1i

other through the streets of
Louisville until MIT crossed the
finish line 15 seconds ahead of
Michigan. Both teams forgot that
MIT had begun the race 30 seconds
ahead of Michigan and therefore
Sunrunner copped the top spot by 15
"Afterwards the MIT guys came
up to me and said, 'We forgot about
the 30 second lead, if we remem-
bered, it would have been differ-
ent,"' Noles said.
Eighth Day
Louisville to Indianapolis,
2nd place finish, 1st overall
After navigating the hills of
Western Kentucky the road through
Indiana was a smooth one. Upon
reaching Indianapolis the car took
two laps around the Indy 500 oval. It
was the first race on the track con-
tested by vehicles, other than Indy
cars, since 1916.

Driving through the city proved a
little more difficult.
"We were there at 4:30 p.m. dur-
ing rush hour. Sometimes we had to
wait for lights to turn green, yellow,
red and green again before we could
go," Noles said.
Ninth Day
Indianapolis to Greenville,
2nd place finish, 1st overall
Another day of driving made
easy by flat roads.
"It was nice to be in Ohio, it
sounded so much closer than Ken-
tucky or Tennessee," Finnegan said.
Nole's parents arrived in
Greenville along with thousands of
other spectators.
"He told me how proud he was to
hear me quoted on the news when he
was driving to work each morning,"
Noles said of his father.
Tenth Day
Greenville to Mason, Michigan

5th place finish, 1st overall
The route ended in Michigan for
the first time. Many people who
lived along the route lined the roads
waving maize and blue 'M' flags.
Some of the crew stopped at the
Michigan-Ohio border to take pic-
"Western Washington was out to
kick our butts that day," said Noles,
"but we had an hour and a half to
give them. We knew only a technical
breakdown could stop us at that
Governor Blanchard, a Michigan
State graduate, greeted the team, at
Mason, with an uncharacteristic,
"Go Blue!"
"He (Blanchard) knew who I
was. I was impressed," said
Finnegan. "It felt so good to be
home," she added.
Eleventh Day
Mason to the GM Tech Center,
Warren, Michigan

6th place finish, 1st overall
The final day.
"We decided we could either go
out fast and get ahead of the pack, or
slow down and stay out of the way,"
Finnegan said. "We chose fast."
The plan worked until the battery
charge dropped too quickly, and the
Michigan car had to slow down.
Twenty miles away from the GM
Tech Center, on M-59, the chain fell
off Sunrunner's chain-driven motor.
Noles, who was riding in the
chase vehicle.said, "We had to run a
half a mile to get to the car. We were
joking we should have gone to
workouts more often."
The crew removed the chain in
five minutes, and the car was back
on the road under its auxiliary motor
power. Despite heavy traffic, Sun-
runner finished in sixth place - fast
enough to maintain its overall lead.
"I felt great," Finnegan said.:
"We're going to Australia."

sunrunner driver, Paula Finnegan, seconds after winning the Sunrayce.

Continued from page 3
lowed them to take the overall lead
for the first time in the race.
The end of the day brought a
leasant surprise.
"Haleyville had the best reception
on the trip," Finnegan said. "They
planned it for months."
Fourth Day
Montgomery to Haleyville,
2nd place finish, 1st overall
Many schools wanted to cancel
the day's racing because, after two
days of cloudy charging periods,
there was .little charge left in most
car's batteries. Many teams opted to
drive to South Florida and charge all
day, taking, in effect, a 14 hour
Finnegan thought perhaps Michi-
gan should join the southbound
schools, but Noles diagnosed, "Paula
was just being a baby, and I told
here there was no way I've worked
for a year and am not going to fin-
*ish." Only two cars finished this day,
Sunrunner was one.
"It was a good day," Finnegan
said, "we had carrot cake for
Fifth Day
Haleyville to Spring Hill
3rd place finish, 1st overall
Two hundred yards from the fin-
ish Michigan pulled over and
*stopped. GM officials were confused
by the maneuver. The race strategy
crew decided to charge before com-
pleting the leg since race rules re-
quired teams to turn off solar collec-

tors upon crossing the finish line.
When they finally finished, the crew
was met by Robert Stempel, GM
"He knew who we were,"
Finnegan said. "I was totally im-
When he was leaving the cockpit
grade school age children asked
Noles for his autograph. "It was an
ego trip," he said.
Sixth Day
Spring Hill to Bowling Green,
4th place finish, 1st overall,
A cloudy day all day. By going
slowly the team conserved energy.
When DOE officials attempted to
remeasure Michigan's solar array
output, they were surprised to find
the team was not charging.
"We were fully charged but we
put our array out anyway and pre-
tended." Noles said. "You never
want to let other teams know how
your batteries are doing."
Seventh Day
Bowling Green to Louisville,
1st place finish, 1st overall
Along the route Michigan devel-
oped a reputation for running a con-
sistent, but unexciting race.
"Someone told me we drove like
Michigan plays football - defen-
sively," Finnegan said.
As the seventh leg neared the
end, Sunrunner found itself in sec-
ond place, less than mile behind
MIT. For the first time, the race
strategy crew decided to deviate
from their plan.
"'If it's free take it,"' was the
word from the chase car, Noles said.
He and the MIT driver raced each

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