It was the summer of 2014, and we were hard-charging on day three of the annual Dustball 2000, en-route to Chicago from Austin. Packs of Dustballers raged along the intricate winding forest roads, several with convertible tops down, other with windows and sunroofs open. Presumably they were enjoying the perfect Missouri summer, but it can be argued that others may have been airing-out their rally cars. At any rate, Dustball speeds tend to vary when the roads lack names much less speed limit signs.
One of the hardest-charging teams was Team Flying Squirrel, with the Beck brothers a the helm, Ryon (driver) was initiating his brother as a navigator (being his first Dustball). After having seen the footage, he wasn’t shy about the introduction – from ten minutes after the start (jumping the super-charged Camaro onto a bridge), all the way to the underground Chicago street races – the Flying Squirrel was unstoppable on every Dustball Rally.
Of the more spirit-driven teams, that are responsible for having started many rally trends, was headed up by Ryan W. out of Ft. Worth. Not only had he designed special Dustball logos from 2012 to present, but along with his co-driver (Marcus) introduced the “panzer money-shot.” This was essentially an improvised pressure cannon stuffed with about $37 million in Monopoly money, that would be shot at finish lines and other locations.
One of the greatest things about any Dustball Rally, is that most participants have come prepared to spoil any dull moments. This means when the day is almost over, and you’ve calculated that you have 87 miles to the checkpoint hotel – if Ryan was in your pack, you were getting a panzer money-shot – it was only a matter of time. Because of this, many cars would often have Monopoly money swirling around inside their cars or stuck in the grill for the next thousand miles or so – from other cars. During one of the bar visits, Ryon announced that he had found more than just monopoly money, bugs and birds in his grill – but also another driver’s speeding ticket, from the previous day – still stuck in the Flying Squirrel’s grill. The other rally driver was given the ticket for a second time, and presumably secured it a bit better.