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Rally set to roll into 23rd year
May 19, 2011 Jerry Purvis   

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Kristen (Krickett) Palser is a first-time driver in this year's Sugar Valley Rally. She and navigator Julie Erickson will be in this 1930 Ford Model A

The Sugar Valley Rally, a perennial favorite for lovers of classic and antique cars, will celebrate its 23rd year on June 2 – 5.

Sugar Valley Rally media coordinator Darrell Bentley said 54 entrants will participate in the 2011 event.

“This is a smaller field than we’ve had in the past. But I think it will be a terrific rally because our time limit in and out will only be 54 minutes as cars leave at one-minute intervals.”

The rally starts on Thursday, June 2 with a technical inspection, followed on Friday by a rally around the Scottsbluff-Gering area. Cars will finish at Heilbrun’s NAPA for a Business After Hours in conjunction with Heilbrun’s 55th anniversary. Cars will be on display for the public during the event.

Saturday’s rally starts and finishes at Western Nebraska Regional Airport in conjunction with the annual Airport Family Fun Day, sponsored by the airport and the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Saturday’s route will take the cars to both Guernsey and Wheatland, Wyo. before heading back to the airport.

Sunday’s route starts after breakfast at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The route will take the drivers east to the Chimney Rock area before finishing at Cozad’s antique Ford garage in Gering.
Among this year’s 54 entrants is Kristen (Krickett) Palser of Gering, who will be driving in her first rally event. The 1930 Ford Model A she will drive is the same car her mother and father drove to rookie of the year honors some years ago. Her navigator, Julie Erickson of Gering, also comes from a rally family.

“Julie and I have been best friends since I was 3, so for us to do this together is pretty exciting,” Palser said. “We’re both familiar with the rally because both of our parents are involved.”

She said last year her father, Ray Palser, asked her to be a timer. From there, she started thinking she’s like to be more involved.

“I like the style and grace of the older cars,” she said. “They’re sometimes a challenge to drive, but I’m okay doing that.”

Bentley said the rally weekend is big in the community. In addition to the Sugar Valley Rally, the airport hosts Family Fun Day. The All-Star football and volleyball games are also played that weekend.

“It takes a lot of time and money to put this on every year,” Bentley said. “We’re so thankful to the local merchants for all their support in making this possible.”
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