Sugar Valley Rally marks 31st year

Adam Baker and Brett Page prepare to start the next leg of the Sugar Valley Rally Friday after making a pitstop in Kimball. Vehicles lined up at the start line, waiting to head back to Gering.

It was a beautiful weekend as 49 rally teams drove their classic vehicles around Kimball, Hemingford, Alliance and Mitchell during the 31st annual Sugar Valley Rally. The rally concluded Sunday after three days of rallying around the Nebraska Panhandle.

During Friday’s practice run, participants went to Kimball before returning to Gering. Along the way, cars in the unlimited class toured Harrisburg and drove around roundabouts to allow the cars in the limited class, that run at slower speeds, to catch up.

Saturday’s trip sent rally drivers and navigators north out of Mitchell and into Hemingford before stopping in Alliance for lunch. Then they made their way to Bayard where rally participants visited Chimney Rock Villa. The day ended in Gering at Fresh Foods.

Several teams faced challenges throughout the rally, which fellow rally member Ralene Suchor said is sad to see.

“It’s just for fun,” Suchor said. “It’s a priceless car and when something goes wrong, it’s just sad. You put so much time and effort into the cars, they’re like your baby.”

Drivers and navigators made their way around Melbeta and Morrill Sunday before pulling across the finish line at Cozads Garage in Gering.

As the cars continued to arrive, the public and rally participants enjoyed looking at the cars and decor in Cozad’s Garage.

“I hope everybody had a good time today,” Troy Unzicker, chair of the Sugar Valley Rally Committee said. “The weather held out beautifully for us.”

After enjoying a sloppy joe and potato salad lunch, provided by the Gering Merchants, Unzicker announced the winners of the limited, unlimited, limited pro, unlimited pro, touring classes.

Touring Class:

David Anderson, driver of Gering, Nebraska

Kim Anderson, navigator of Gering, Nebraska.

The Anderson’s won with a time of 1 minute, 8.31 seconds.

Hard luck trophy:

Johnson and Johnson in a 1937 Studebaker. On the final day of the rally, their car’s transmission blew.

Unlimited Pro Class:

— First place: 1928 Ford Speedster Adam Baker and Brett Page with a time of 24.18 seconds.

— Second place: 1931 Model A Victoria Bob Beers and Lois Beers 32.20 seconds. They had a three second day Sunday to get into the top three.

— Third place: 1936 Chrysler Airstream Pete Page and Darren Page with a time of 33.20 seconds.

Unlimited Class:

— First place: 1955 Chevy BelAire Scott and Hope Miller of Mitchell with a time of 50.88 seconds. The Millers will move up into the unlimited pro class next year.

— Second place: 1946 Ford Business Coupe Ron Stauffer and Craig Floyd 1:46.48 minute

— Third place: 1966 Buick Skylark Josiah Ashford and Kelsey Ashford with a time of 2:00.704 minutes.

Limited Pro Class:

— First place: 1939 Chevrolet Sedan Josh Willard and Sandy Willard with a time of 16.06 seconds

— Second place: 1933 Hupmobile Peter Wylie and Greg Goddard with a time of 1:32.91 minute

— Third place: 1950 Willys M-38 Jeep Travis Easter and Erin Murphy with a time of 2:25.80 minutes.

Limited Class:

— First place: Norm Strong and Christy Strong 1930 Ford Model A four-door Sedan with a time of 52.80 seconds

— Second place: 1928 Ford Model A sport coupe Kathy McCool of Gering and Donna Rieson of Minatare with a time of 1:35.94 minute.

— Third place: 1931 Ford Model A Ken Manka and Holloway with a time of 1:55.92 minute.

Rookie of the Year

— Unlimited class: 1964 Corvette convertible Sean O’Brien, driver of Windsor, Colorado Lauren Brant, navigator of Scottsbluff, Nebraska

For the full rally results, visit sugarvalleyrally.com.

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.