Jessamine County

2 Kentuckians in World Race are in Poland, heading for finish line in Paris

Clay Miller shut the door as he and son Mark Miller prepared to leave Nicholasville 
on April 11 to drive to New York in a 1932 Ford for the April 14 start of World Race 2011.
Clay Miller shut the door as he and son Mark Miller prepared to leave Nicholasville on April 11 to drive to New York in a 1932 Ford for the April 14 start of World Race 2011.

Two Kentuckians are still in the running in the World Race 2011 as the unusual automobile competition winds across Eastern Europe toward the finish line in Paris about a week from now.

Driver Clay Miller, 66, and his grandson-navigator Blake Garrison, 20, expected to be in Warsaw, Poland, Friday night driving their 1932 Ford coupe. They hope to reach Paris on July 21, according to an email from Miller's wife, April Truitt.

The race began in New York City on April 14.

Truitt said Friday that Miller and Garrison are keeping their spirits up, despite blowing their car's engine in late June while crossing Kazakhstan. It had to be rebuilt completely.

"They were able to recover from that, thanks to some parts from the U.S. and clever UPS delivery services, and then catch up with the rest of the group," Truitt said.

Miller and Garrison had more engine trouble as they neared Latvia but kept rolling, according to Truitt.

The event is a re-creation of The Great Race of 1908, which took competing drivers from New York to Paris. In this year's event, cars left New York and crossed the United States, then were transported to Beijing by boat, and began racing across Asia toward Paris.

During the first part of the race, Miller was accompanied by his son, Mark Miller. Both are from Nicholasville. Blake Garrison relieved Mark Miller in Beijing and has been doing the navigating since then.

The going was tough once the cars left Beijing, Truitt said.

"The roads were absolutely, incredibly terrible," she said. "Things are better now that they're back in civilization, but I think it's taken a toll on all the cars."

Truitt said she and eight or nine family members plan to fly to France to meet Clay Miller and Garrison at the finish line at the Eiffel Tower.

"It has been an amazing journey for them," she said.

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