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Fireball -- Game Over

The Fireball Run ended this weekend just past, with the gay team finishing 11th overall, and 2nd in the luxury class. This race is a live-action game in the form of a transcontinental auto rally. Miami to L.A., with 100 teams driving vehicles of all types. Each day the teams were given clues about places to find and take their pictures in front of. They also distributed as many posters of missing children as possible at every stop --the event's purpose is to publicize the ongoing search for missing children in America.

It's the first year that an openly gay team participated, sponsored by Saab and GLEE. Team G.L.A.M. drivers were veteran sports-car racer Evan Darling and Joe LaMuraglia of Gaywheels. They entered in the luxury class (what else?) driving a Saab 93 Aero Turbo convertible, fondly known as the G.L.A.Mobile. The child whose posters they plastered across the U.S. was 11-year-old Jacqueline Jara Castro, missing since January 2007.

Judging by the daily blog at Gaywheels.com, it sounds like the whole team had a great time, and even worked in a little partying. Crossing the South and Texas, they expected to run into homophobia, but didn't. Instead, they ran into it in Arizona and Nevada -- notably a trucker who saw the word Gaywheels on the bumper and got out word on his CB radio about the "faggots in the Saab." But nobody got hurt, and the Saab headed on.

The G.L.A.M. boys swear that they'll do it again next year, better and faster...and more bonus points worked in. Congrats to the drivers, and their support team and sponsors, for making their mark in this colorful event.


Afterwards Joe LaMuraglia said: "We believe that the best way to gain acceptance in society is to take part in our passions without any apologies for our sexuality." Sirius OnQ covered the team's progress with several interviews.

There was so much auto-racing TV to watch that same weekend that my remote got dizzy and passed out. There was the big Cup race at Talladega, where anything can happen. Also the National Hot Rod finals, with Ashley Force trying to beat her dad on the short track. Not to mention the China Grand Prix in Shanghai. The grandeur of the Formula One facility that the city built, with a grandstand bigger than the Great Wall, proves (if it isn't already proven by construction for the upcoming Beijing Olympics) that the Chinese aren't kidding when they say they aim to be a power in global sports. -- Patricia Nell Warren