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Meet Vannonball, A Race Prepped Minivan That Races Across America For Charity

Zac Caldwell, in his fully track-prepped 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, heads out again in 2024 with big ambitions. He will drive the van 30,000 miles across American to 23 different 24 hours of Lemons races. Then, his Vannonball will compete in each of these 23 races. Sound insane? It is. And in the best possible way. And the best part is, you can join in on the fun.

And this isn’t just some wild idea doomed to fail. Zac has driven his van to races and competed for a number of years, including last year when we drove over 5,000 highway miles to race consecutive weekends in the summer heat with over 1,800 miles on the track.

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Zac’s goal isn’t just to enjoy a wild ride. It’s all part of his mission to raise tens of thousands of dollars for charity. His goal is to raise of $23,000 for Lemons of a Love, which provides care packages and support for chemotherapy patients. This charity is near and dear to Zac’s heart. His mother, the original owner of the van and a car lover herself, was a cancer survivor and the inspiration for the journey.

Zac will be kicking off his journey in ShiftAtlanta’s backyard at the 24 Hours Of Lemons race at Barber Motorsports Park February 3rd and 4th.

Get Involved – Race Or Give

You can join the cause in several ways. First, Zac intends to fund the journey primarily by selling arrive and drive seats. The concept is pretty simple, Zac brings the car, you pay for a seat and go racing. If you’ve never raced side by side before, you’ll need to get some safety gear. But this car and 24 Hours Of Lemons as a series are the perfect opportunity for first timers.

Another option is to donate to Lemons of Love in Zac’s honor. So even if you already race, or don’t see racing being for you, it’s an opportunity to support this cause.

You can contact Zac for more information about securing a seat at an upcoming race, including details on fees and conditions, or donating with the information below:

Zac Caldwell

UPDATE 12/7/23: Zac has sold out his arrive and drive seats for Barber. However, he still has 22 other races to fill.

About Endurance Racing

Caldwell’s 2006 Dodge Grand has proven to be a better race car than its reputation may suggest, using reliability and practicality to substitute for speed. Purchased by his family in 2007 and used for a decade as a grocery-getter, Caldwell stripped the interior and had a roll cage installed in 2022 before its first Lemons race.

Endurance Racing remains the ultimate challenge in motorsports, but it has largely been
conquered by smart people with money. What mark can an idiot on a budget make? I’m no good at moderation. If I’m going to do one race, I’ll do them all- and drive 30,000 miles there and back in the same terrible race car. An LMP2 prototype can’t do that for a 100 million dollars.

Zac Caldwell

As you may know, ShiftAtlanta has it’s own endurance race car that started in, and still occasionally still competes in 24 Hours of Lemons races. We know first hand just how hard it is to complete in one of these races that last 14 to 24 hours. So we can only image how hard it is to do that, 23 times a year while driving it cross country. Zac has quite the road ahead of him, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say we aren’t a little bit jealous.

About 24 Hours Of Lemons

24 Hours Of Lemons is an amateur endurance car racing series on dedicated road courses using essentially $500 cars. Check out our YouTubeInstagram, and Facebook to witness the spectacle. 

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