Cannonball Run 2003

Chapter One: Meet the Teams

AN:Greetings, readers. As you can see, I have decided to rewrite Cannonball Run 2003. The reason for this is because I think that in the last five years, I have grown as a writer and could probably do this story better. So, I gave it a try. The original will remain posted until I finish this rewrite.
You'll recall that starting with Cannonball Run 2005, I have been posting a cast list to show who'd I have playing the roles. With that said, here's the cast list for this one:

J.J. McClure-Jerry O'Connell
Victor Prinsi/Captain Chaos-Horatio Sanz
Pamela Glover-Tara Reid
Dr. Nicholas Van Velsing-Randy Quaid
Jamie Blake-Colin Quinn
Morris Fenderbaum-Arsenio Hall
Jill Boyd-Tinsley Grimes
Marcie Thatcher-Jordana Spiro
Jackie Lewis-Dustin Diamond
Michael North-Darius McCrary
Seymour Drake/"The Drake"-Cole Hauser
Ron Lucas-Brian Baker
Susan Cope-Stephanie March
Terry Fletcher-Andrew Heckler
Mel Sharp-Anthony Clark
Mad Dog-Ice-T
Danny Mitchell-Martin Henderson
Melanie Burke-Melanie Lynskey
Chuck Prescott-Will Arnett
Betty Prescott-Amy Poehler
Arthur J. Foyt-John Lithgow
Steve Carter-Mike Epps
Pete Rivers-Danny Strong

The characters and the Cannonball concept were created by Brock Yates, except for the Drake and Team M.I.T who were based on characters in the original film. Danny, Melanie, and the Prescotts are completely original.

With that said, here we go.

A trio of street racers sat at a cafe in Redondo Beach, California while eating lunch. During this, they looked across the street at the Portofino Inn.

"So, you and Jill are getting ready to go?" asked Steve Carter, an African-American man.

"Just about." said Marcie Thatcher as she shook the excess cheese off of the nacho she was about to eat. She was a redhead.

"I can't believe you two are taking part in a three thousand mile street race." said Pete Rivers, a shorter man with dark hair.

"Is that from that guy from Kentucky last year?" asked Steve. "The guy who really put Ted in his place?"

"That's the one." said Marcie.

"What's this race called again?" asked Pete he picked up a french fry.

"It's called the Cannonball Run." said Marcie.

"Brought it back, huh?" said Steve. "Where are you starting from?"

"Connecticut." said Marcie.

"Great, dust some insurance salesmen for us." joked Pete.

"Think the Civic's up to it?" asked Steve.

"Actually, we picked up a different car." said Marcie as she picked another nacho. "It's a '94 Toyota MR2. We did a little mod work on it here. We'll do some more in Connecticut."

"Hope they have a Speed Zone there." said Pete.

"I checked the store locations." said Marcie as took one last sip of her soda. "They do. Luckily, both of our standing accounts should cover any expenses."

Marcie picked up her last nacho as a red Toyota MR2 pulled up to the curb and the horn sounded.

"Oh, that's Jill." said Marcie as she got up. "See you guys in a month." She picked up her purse, garment bag, and toolbox, kissed Steve on the head, and ran to the Toyota.

"Man, that's wild." said Steve as Marcie threw her things into the car and got in.

Within an hour, the car was out of the city and cruising through the Mojave Desert. Marcie told Jill about her conversation with Pete and Steve and the two laughed.

"I still can't believe we're doing this." said Jill Boyd, a blonde woman.

"This is going to take everything you've got." said Marcie. "Every lesson I've taught you, every technique you've picked up, every bit of experience you've earned."

"Think Terry's gonna be surprised?" asked Jill.

"Probably not." said Marcie. "He gave you the invite for a reason."

"And we know the reason." said Jill. "To take part in a little civil disobedience."

"Hey, speaking of civil disobedience," said Marcie as she took a can of black spray paint out of her purse "pull over at the next speed limit sign."

Jill continued to drive until she crested a hill, spotted a speed limit sign, and pulled to the side of the road. When she stopped, Marcie climbed out of the car and shook the spray paint can. She then walked over and spray painted a large 'X' on the sign. A Mustang police car then crested the hill and Marcie waved to it. She ran back to the MR2. As soon as she was in, Jill took off.

"Nice one." said Jill.

Eventually, they reached an off-ramp and Jill turned onto it. The police car crossed the median and oncoming lane and drove down the on-ramp on the other side. Just as he had gambled, Jill took a left at the bottom of the ramp, but he still couldn't intercept her in time.

"Okay, this has gone on long enough." said Marcie. "You can try to lose him now."

The police officer tried to catch up with Jill, but lost sight of her around a turn. He continued to increase his speed as he raced along a straightaway. If he'd slowed down, he might have spotted the MR2 hiding in the tall grass. After the police car raced by, Jill pulled out of her hiding place and took off after her pursuer.

After Jill pulled behind the police car, Marcie turned on the police scanner and the girls listened in to the police conversation.

"This is unit seven. We're still in pursuit of the red MR2."

"Unit seven, this is dispatch. You've been in pursuit for ten minutes. How can you lose a bright red car in the middle of the desert?"

"We're going to stay in pursuit until we catch them."

"It didn't take us this long to catch Dillinger."

"Waste him?" asked Jill. Marcie simply flashed a thumbs-up.

Jill blew past the police car and raced off. The police officer tried to catch her again, but Jill had lost him quickly. He lost sight of her again over a hill and kept searching for her car. Once again, she hid at the side of the road behind a rock formation. This time, she and Marcie had time to get out of the car and watch him race by.

"You know, Marcie, we've got this routine down." said Jill.

"Yeah, I think we're ready for the Cannonball." said Marcie.

"How far to the state line?" asked Jill.

"A hundred and fifty miles." said Marcie.

"An hour flat." laughed Jill.

"So what are we waiting for?" asked Marcie.

"Let's go!" said the two in unison.

They jumped back in the car and took off. On their way to the state line, they passed their pursuer again. This time, he just ignored them.

The next morning in upstate New York, a dark-haired man looked at a newspaper article while sitting in the office of his performance shop. The headline read "Local Woman Finds Success In California". Under that, it read "Business Venture Comes On Heels of Breakup". He let out a sigh of disgust.

A somewhat overweight man arrived at the shop and climbed out of his Stratus coupe. "Good morning, guys." he said to the mechanics and grabbed a cup of coffee. "J.J?" he asked. "J.J?" Still no answer. "J.J?"

"Victor!" yelled the man in the office.

Victor jumped in shock and spilled his coffee as his boss, J.J. McClure stepped out of the office.

"J.J!" greeted Victor.

"You're two hours late." informed J.J.

"Oh, well, I, uh..." stammered Victor.

"Well, where the hell have you been?" asked J.J.

"One of my hamsters had an anxiety attack." explained Victor. "He had a piece of tail, and Henrietta wasn't even bothering him. Then, he ate his treadmill."

"They have vets for that." informed J.J.

"Hamsters are a big responsibility." said Victor.

"Let me paint a little picture for you." said J.J. "Imagine your hamsters as a little army. Imagine them just running, running their little legs off on a giant treadmill, making that engine just purr right along."

Victor came back to reality with a smile on his face. "Oh, J.J, what a wonderful way to put it." he exclaimed.

"Good, now come on." said J.J. as he walked to his car, a black '98 Camaro. "We have to see if the Camaro is running well enough for the Cannonball."

Victor followed him and paused as he opened the Camaro's passenger side door. "Wouldn't it be great if we won the Cannonball?" he asked. "That would be a real team effort. Just you, me, the hamsters, and...HIM."

Upon hearing the last part, J.J. sprung up and hit his head on the car's roof.

"Yeah." said Victor as he climbed into the Camaro.

J.J. sat in the driver's seat rubbing his head and staring Victor down. "Don't start with him." he warned.

"Well, I..." started Victor.

"Dammit! I don't want to talk about him!" yelled J.J.

Somewhere in New Jersey, an African-American man sat on a bench near park. Just then, a red Porsche Boxster S pulled up next to him. He got up and got into the passenger seat. A fortyish man with sandy blonde hair was driving.

"So, what's the deal, Blake?" asked the passenger.

"I'm out." said Blake. "Looks like I've got the time to do the Cannonball."

"What about your driving?" asked the passenger.

"I just took it to the track." said Blake. "I managed to break a few records there. Fenderbaum, are you sure about this wager?"

"It's a cinch." said Fenderbaum. "It's going to be the easiest money we ever made."

"Hey, I don't know what you've got planned." said Blake. "I just know that no plan is one hundred percent perfect. If even the slightest thing goes wrong, we could be in trouble."

"We've got the car." said Fenderbaum.

"Right." said Blake.

"We've got your racing skills." said Fenderbaum.

"Right." said Blake.

"And we've got the secret weapon." said Fenderbaum.

Blake hesitated. "That's the part that worries me." he said.

Back in New York, J.J. and Victor cruised along in the Camaro.

"Seems to be running pretty well." said Victor.

"Yeah, engine's going well." said J.J. "Think she's good for another three thousand miles."

"Hey, what's bothering you?" asked Victor.

"There was a news article on Gina in the Freeman." said J.J. "Apparently, she joined some other company just after last year's Cannonball. She just got promoted to regional manager."

"Oh." said Victor.

"I'm trying not to think about it, but it just reminds me of my latest failure." said J.J.

"It wasn't your failure." said Victor. "She was asking you to choose between me and her."

"That's true." said J.J.

"Hey, who was there when your father died?" asked Victor. "Who was there when you started your garage? Who was there when you won your first race?"

Just then, they heard something on the radio. "We have a report of a traffic accident along route two-thirteen in the town of Stone Ridge."

"Hey, we're heading right for it." said Victor.

"No problem." said J.J. as he signaled to make a turn. Little did he realize, in his effort to avoid the accident, he steered right towards it.

"But still, she probably would have stopped you from going on this." said Victor. "I mean we just might win this one. I know you can do it. You're a winner and she isn't."

A little ways down the road, oncoming traffic became non-existant and the other cars slowed to a crawl, so J.J. swerved to pass them.

"Yeah, I get what you're saying." said J.J. "Her loss. Our win."

"That's the spirit." said Victor.

"I know it is." said J.J. as he spotted a group of young women standing by the side of the road. "Hi, ladies!" he called as he waved.

"J.J! Look out!" screamed Victor as he pointed to the cars from the accident. A hatchback had been moved to the side of the road, but a sedan was sitting right in their path.

J.J. swerved to avoid the sedan, but swerved back to avoid hitting a police officer. Finally, he hit the sedan and flipped the Camaro onto its roof. The car rolled over onto its wheels before rolling back onto its roof. When it came to a rest, the rescue personel ran to the new wreck and a police officer ripped open the passenger side door. He found Victor holding his hand in pain and J.J. wincing as he held his head.

"Hi, officer!" chirped Victor. "Been a cop long?"

Meanwhile, Blake and Fenderbaum entered a betting parlor in New Jersey.

"Come with me." said Fenderbaum.

An oddsmaker was on the phone. He looked up to see Fenderbaum in front of him. "I'll call you back." he said.

"Ricky!" yelled Fenderbaum.

"Fenderbaum, give me a break!" yelled Ricky. "Do me a favor. You're drawing flies. Get outta here!"

Fenderbaum laughed off the request. "So, how do you figure the odds on this Cannonball cockamamie?" he asked. "The way I see it, all you need to do is drive fast, stay out of trouble, and have a good car."

"It takes years of hard work and planning, two things you wouldn't understand." remarked Ricky.

"So, do you want to talk? Or do you want to bet?" asked Fenderbaum.

"With you, neither." said Ricky.

Fenderbaum laughed. "No, seriously." he replied. "Do you want to talk? Or do you want to bet?"

"That's three thousand miles averaging over a hundred miles per hour." observed the Ricky. "There's only a handful of drivers who can manage that. Who have you got?"

"Well, meet my partner." said Fenderbaum as he put his hand on Blake's shoulder and turned him to Ricky.

"Jamie Blake." said Ricky. "You used to race that Formula One...when Members Only jackets were in stock." Blake responded with a scowl.

"And that's not all, Ricky." said Fanderbaum. "We have a secret weapon: God is our co-pilot."

"You'll need him!" remarked Ricky.

"So, are we going to bet?" asked Fenderbaum.

"If it makes you go away." said Ricky. "What's the wager?"

"Thirty thousand on the Porsche Boxster." said Fenderbaum.

"Deal." said Ricky. He then walked away.

Fenderbaum walked away himself with a very confused Blake.

"God is our co-pilot?" asked Blake.

Fenderbaum hummed an affirmative.

"Remember our car? Two seats?" asked Blake.

"Two seats?" asked Fenderbaum.

Blake slapped Fenderbaum lightly and asked "Where's he gonna sit?" He slapped him again and asked "Where?"

An ambulance took J.J. and Victor into Kingston.

"Man, you guys are lucky." said the paramedic. "You guys really tore the hell out of that car."

"Thanks, doc." said J.J. as he held a bandage against his forehead. He then turned his attention to Victor. "Hey, you alright?"

"Yeah, it only hurts when I point." said Victor of his splinted and bandaged finger. "You know, maybe we wouldn't have crashed if you hadn't been paying so much attention to those girls."

"Nobody's perfect." said J.J.

"Yeah, nobody's perfect..." said Victor who then pointed up and added "...but HIM."

"Guess the Camaro's out of the equation." said J.J.

"Yeah, I think we're going to need a new ride." said Victor. "But the real question is can we tune one up in time?"

"Maybe we should consider a different strategy." said J.J. "We can tune up, trick out, and completely modify just about any car we can get our hands on. The real problem is the police. They're going to try to stop anything that comes their way that's not following the rules."

"So, what are you suggesting?" asked Victor.

"I'm thinking we should take a vehicle and modify it into something that the police would most likely ignore." said J.J.

"Ah, we should race with something that's supposed to speed." said Victor.

"Right." said J.J. "But the big question is what will we make?"

The two of them thought for a few seconds.

"I know, an ice cream truck." said Victor.

J.J. looked at him confused.

"You know, they gotta get there before it melts." said Victor.

J.J. smiled and turned back to the paramedic. "Hey, doc, how far is it to the hospital?"

"About ten miles." said the paramedic.

"How long before we get there?" asked J.J.

"About four or five minutes." said the paramedic. "You can smoke through traffic like shot through a gun in this baby."

J.J. and Victor were confused at first, then looked to the front of the ambulance. They saw the driver racing through the streets of Kingston and the other cars were quickly swerving out of the way.

J.J. and Victor looked at each other and shared a sly laugh. Victor tapped his head with his broken finger and then waved it at J.J. J.J. grabbed Victor's finger and shook it, causing Victor to scream in pain.

Two weeks later in Boston, a black '99 Subaru Impreza RS2.5 sat in the middle of a television talk show set. Two students, one smallish with short facial hair and the other a more muscular African-American, sat with a young blonde woman and an older man.

"I'm George Weathers and welcome to Tech Talk." introduced the man. "We're broadcasting live from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and today, our guests are Jackie Lewis and Michael North. They are students here at M.I.T. who studied the applications of computers in automobiles and the right in front of us." He held out his hand towards the Impreza. "So, tell me. How have you modified this car?"

"Well, for starters," said Jackie, the smallish one "this car is fully computerized."

"By making subtle adjustments to the ECU," continued Michael, the muscular one "we have managed to improve the car's acceleration, top speed, and fuel economy. I'll get back to you on the specifics."

"We have also installed quite a few gadgets." said Jackie. "In fact, I could probably show them to you." He stood up and led the woman to the car.

"I can tell you about these gadgets." said Michael. "They include a parabolic mic, satellite navigation that I programmed myself, and don't get me started on the JATO bottles in the...trunk."

Jackie pulled open the door and let the woman sit inside.

"Sweden, huh?" he asked. "So, what brings you to America, Marie?"

"I'm basicly trying to ply my trade in computers here." she said. "I'm trying to get out of my brother's shadow. He's a big time rally driver back in Europe."

"So, what do you think of the car?" asked Jackie.

"It's not bad really." said Marie. "This is a little nicer than my Saab back home. What does this do?"

She reached for a button marked "Pop", but Jackie grabbed her wrist. "No!" he said. "I think I should mention this car is full of surprises."

"So, what are you planning to do with this car?" asked Marie.

"There's this major car race in a couple of weeks." said Jackie. "With these gadgets, I'm sure we can win."

"I see." said Marie. "What does this do?" she asked as she flipped another switch.

Suddenly, the JATO bottles started to warm up.

"Is that supposed to be happening?" asked George.

"No." said Michael as he got out of his seat.

"How do I shut this down?" asked Marie franticly.

"Michael, you have to help her!" yelled Jackie.

"Get in there and shut it down!" yelled Michael.

"I'm not going near it!" yelled Jackie.

"Does anybody have the manual for this thing?" asked Marie as she tried to figure out the control panel.

"Come on, man!" yelled Michael. "Get in there!"

"Make me!" yelled Jackie.

Marie pushed a button she hoped would shut down the JATO bottles. Unfortunately, she activated them instead. All she managed to say before the Subaru rocketed out of the studio was a Swedish curse. Jackie and Michael watched in shock.

The following week in Illinois, a businessman was playing a round of golf and joking with his caddy.

"So, the police showed up and I explained that my Porsche had been stolen." said the businessman as he prepared to make his next shot. He shouted "Fore!" and swung his club, driving the ball over an access road and onto the green, then continued his joke. "After that, they brought me outside and showed me my Porsche. Turns out I left it in the driveway instead of garaging it and forgot."

The caddy laughed and started to cross the access road, but the businessman stopped him and said, "Whoa, don't go."

"What's wrong?" asked the caddy.

The businessman pointed at a white BMW 760i racing up the access road. Rush's "Tom Sawyer" could be heard over the radio. The Bavarian luxury car sped by the two and continued to the clubhouse. The pair walked across the road to the green.

"What was that?" asked the caddy.

"Didn't you hear?" asked the businessman. "The Drake thinks he's a race driver."

"Is he any good?" asked the caddy as the businessman took a putter from his bag.

"He's hit three golf carts so far." said the businessman.

"Hmmmf, I wouldn't let him drive the ball collector." said the caddy as the businessman took his putt.

Further up the hill, the Drake's Bimmer raced into the parking lot and slid into a parking space. A man in a business suit with dark curly hair climbed out of the driver's seat rather calmly. A blonde woman in a business suit got out of the passenger seat a little more shakily.

The driver walked over to a tough guy in a suit and said "Ron, starting next week, you and Susan ride in the car with me."

"Yes, sir." said Ron. He then turned to Susan and asked "Is he any better?"

"Double your insurance." warned Susan.

The driver walked over to a table where an older woman sat. "Hello, mother." he said. "I trust you slept well."

"A nightmare. A living nightmare." replied his mother. "You are killing me, Seymour. Killing me a slow death with this racing thing. Here's my son, Seymour Drake Jr, son of Seymour Drake, respected businessman. And what is he doing? He's racing in the streets like he's Mario Andretti or someone. For this, you've lost three cars you put up as wagers. For this, you've spent twelve nights in jail. For this, I'm going broke paying your legal fees. And now, this..." She picked up a napkin to reveal a small handgun. "The chambermaid found this under your pillow this morning. What is the meaning of this?"

"The answer is a quick death." said the Drake as picked up the gun and cocked it. "I warned you not to interfere in my affairs." he added as he pointed the gun at her.

She pushed it to the side and said "Oh, Seymour! Put that away! It's liable to go off!"

The Drake returned the gun to its position and said "You have to understand that I am part of a dangerous community and even the closest family relationships are not worth much."

"Oh, pish posh!" exclaimed Mrs. Drake as she disregarded her son's words.

He steadied his aim and started to squeeze the trigger.

"Seymour, no!" she exclaimed.

"It's like I said." said the Drake.

With that, he pulled the trigger. But instead of a bullet, a flag with the word "BANG" on it shot out instead. The Drake just laughed.

"Oh, Seymour. Where did I go wrong?" cried Mrs. Drake.

"You know something, mom?" laughed the Drake. "Lighten up!"

A few days later in Kentucky, a dark-haired man woke up next to his wife.

"Good morning, honey." he said.

"You're still here, Mel?" she asked. "Weren't you supposed to leave with Terry? You are the defending champions."

"He's not here yet." said Mel. "Maybe we can do a little something until he is."

"Go ahead. I can wait." said the other man in the room. He was taller and thinner with brown hair.

Mel and his wife screamed in shock.

"Jesus, Terry!" yelled Mel. "Haven't you heard of front doors?"

"Window was wide open." said Terry. "Shouldn't do that, it's mosquito season."

"Can you give me a little time with the missus?" asked Mel.

"Oh, sure." said Terry as he started for the window.

Twenty minutes later, Mel was finished with his business and dressed. He walked out the front door and kissed away his goodbyes to his wife.

"Bye, honey." she said. "Have fun."

"Don't worry, I'll be home within a week." said Mel. One last kiss and he went to Terry, who was leaning against a red '69 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396.

"What have you been doing with this?" asked Mel.

"Singlehandedly keeping Edelbrock in business." said Terry. "Come on, I'm only stopping for gas."

Terry jumped into the driver's seat and started the car as Mel slid into the passenger seat. Terry floored the accelerator and cut a small ditch into the front lawn as he peeled out.

The next day, a man with messy blonde hair under a cowboy hat walked down the streets of Brooklyn towards a garage, the boom box in his hand blasting Beck's "Devil's Haircut".

Soon, the man reached the garage. Several of the local youths were employed there, mostly to teach them about engines and keep them out of trouble. These youths were now discussing the white GMC Sierra Denali they were leaning on. The man turned off his boom box and asked "Mad Dog here?"

The kids just laughed.

"Come on, guys. Where's Mad Dog?" asked the man, completely oblivious to the African-American man rappelling on a winch behind him.

"Right here, Batman." said the man. Batman was surprised, but not shocked.

"What are you doing?" asked Batman as Mad Dog unhooked himself from the winch.

"Just fixing a light bulb." replied Mad Dog as he walked over to a bench and picked up a jacket and baseball cap.

"With a winch?" asked Batman as he set his boom box down on the bench.

"Hey, any idiot can use a ladder." said Mad Dog. "So what, we gonna do this?"

"Hell, yeah." replied Batman. "And you?"

"You bet." said Mad Dog. He then turned to the youths and told them "Okay, we big kids got this little party to go to. For the next week, you guys are on vacation, so have fun."

The youths all wished Mad Dog and Batman luck and waved their goodbyes.

"Oh, one more thing." said Mad Dog. "Get off my truck." With that, the kids got off of the Sierra.

AN:In case you're wondering, George was Mr. Weathers from CR2006 and Marie was Marie Lindstrom from CR2007. If you do not remember the cast lists from those fics, I cast John O'Hurley as George and Nina Persson (lead singer of the Cardigans) as Marie.
Please R&R.