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Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall and today we endured a little more than a little rain and definitely a lifetime’s worth on what was only Day 1 of the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour. As I stand over my hotel bathroom sink wringing out Shane’s shorts, I’m left to wonder where to begin. Starting at the beginning would probably be a good start. To kick things off, this morning we were compelled to dress up the port cochere of the Springhill Suites with our own special brand of flair. Shane and Forrest woke up bright and early and ready to make today count, while I was just hoping the air conditioned passenger seat in our rental ‘burban would help air out some of my funk before I had to return Shane’s shorts. Look at our ‘burban, isn’t she majestic? As Shane and Forrest compared easy listening play lists for the drive, our pal Steen Gilbertson was hard at work preparing for the the first leg of the Tour. According to Steen, he "Took the restrictor plate off to give the Red Dragon a little more juice. But it's not exactly street legal, so keep it on the down low." I couldn't help but wonder if Mrs. Steen knows about this and I'm also compelled to ask why he calls his yellow Chevelle SS, The Red Dragon. Actually, I think it's safer not to ask. Our friend, Brian Thomson used our new California Gold® Waterless Wash & Wax (shameless plug alert!) to touch up his 800-plus hp Chevelle. If only Brian waited until later in the day, he would have had all the water he needed. Isn't that ironic? Or as Shane would remind us that, "It's like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife." I have no idea what that means except it's going to be a long trip. Who has two thumbs and a four-year old Mothers Power Tour shirt? This kid we ran into at Starbucks (and before you ask, Amy from Accounting, yes, I did need three Carmel Frappacinos as they help improve my shutter release finger reflexes). We urged our young friend to come correct and pick up a new one at the next stop. At the 'Bucks, we also ran into the newly appointed Hot Rod magazine Editor in Chief, Evan Perkins (on the right). What we didn't plan on was the way-too enthusiastic photo bomb from TEN's content director, Doug Glad. Take it down a notch, Doug, we've still got 1316.8 miles to go. It felt good to get back on the road. For about two miles. Because on mile 3, Shane cranked up his Best of Pop Princesses Pandora channel. Day 6 can't come soon enough. Today, we knocked out 268.4 miles to Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. There's our Shelby Terlingua Mustang with our own Jim Holloway leading the way with the Terlingua Rabbit perched prominently on the prow. One of the members of our crew had to hit Mc Dee's for an unscheduled pit stop. Dude has a bladder like a 12-year old girl. I won't mention any names, but his initials are Steen Gilbertson. One of the best Tweets ever posits that, the "most cutting thing you can say is "who's this clown?" because it implies they're a) a clown & b) not even one of the better-known clowns." I can promise you that this clown needs no introduction and neither does Ronald. Our lunchtime spot was the perfect place for a photo opp with everyone lined up perfectly. That is, until Shane pulled up in the rental 'burban. Who is this clown? Damn it, Shane! Not sure if these are murdered or Vadered, but it's safe to say that they don't want any of our rental 'burban's Blue Steel. We get that you like his sleeveless shirt, Shane, but you don't need to celebrate it. Looks like someone is having a good time. This is our friend Keith getting way too excited about the special weave and edgeless design of our microfiber towels. Yet another shameless plug. Make sure to buy because I get a piece of every sale (I do so, Amy from Accounting!). Yes, this OG has great taste in fashion. Unless he's not wearing any pants, then he has excellent taste in fashion. Remember the rain we showed you earlier? Well, here it is in all it's glory. What you can't see is our boy Steen's steely eyed determination or white knuckle panic as he guided his ride or possibly went along for the ride (depending on who you talk to) in his 572 ci Chevelle sans adequately working windshield wipers. The last few miles into Baytown and our drive to the hotel after the stop were a couple of wet ones, but no one can accuse us of bringing trailer queens on Tour. Here's a little clip of what it looked like from inside the rental 'burban with my man main Shane behind the wheel. Day One Rain We finally made it to the Royal Purple Raceway a bit wet, but no worse for wear. Our 59 Sedan Delivery took center stage at our Big Rig. As did this sweet 'Cuda. Brian celebrated our safe arrival with a ear of corn. While Forrest marveled at the size of Jeff's feet. Me? I spent an uncomfortably long time at the Painless Performance booth, where I was able to grab a snap of Miss Painless Performance, Veronica Jensen with our own Jim Holloway. Veronica told us she enjoyed our Power Tour coverage, which is odd for a couple reasons. First of all, I'm not known for creating any sort of enjoyable experience for women and women who look like this never speak to me unless they're telling me that their eyes are up here. Thanks for the kind words, Veronica. Now here's another pic of you with my man main, Shane. And yet another one with Hot Rod's publisher, Jeff Dahlin. Don't worry, Veronica, I won't take it personally when you file the claim for the restraining order. Speaking of Painless, here's Ted Dzus' Henry J. This one was so wrong, that it was right all over again. 928 with a Whipple charged V8 and tubbed rear end. Here's Hot Rod's Project X. Looks like it lost a window seal. I blame my boy Tony Angelo, host of Hot Rod Garage for rattling it out during one of his many epic burn outs. Luke, I am your motor. This is what in the weeds looks like. After seeing this '29 I will confess, there will be no messing with Texas during this leg of our journey. Texas is the land of trucks. Most of which appear to be Chevys. But it's not all trucks. Take Libby, a '73 VW bus with a couple of KC Daylighters and a whole bunch of happiness. I will never complain about rolling on the Tour in our rental 'burban again. Now these guys know how to tailgate. But nothing compares to Scooter's set-up. Thanks for sharing your meat with us! Uh, that came out wrong. The best way I can describe this finish is perhaps, "paintina." Royal Purple even opened up the track so the Power Tourists could run down the quarter-mile. Of course there were trucks. And the continuation of the ongoing battle between Mustang and Camaro. That's it for our Day One coverage. Tomorrow is Day Two where we’ll go 175.8 miles to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. I'll do my best to keep Austin weird, which I'm sure Miss Painless can already attest to. In the meantime, please feel free to check out our Gallery of Day 1 pics here. Before we get back on the road, we want to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the people in Orlando affected by this terrible tragedy. Please join us, and keep the victims of this senseless attack in your hearts. Now is the time for us to continue to stand together.