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Fireball Run 2012 producers take test drive of race route from Ohio to Maine

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BANGOR - The Fireball Run, an eight-day, 15-city road rally, will be rolling into Bangor this September, and over the weekend the show's producers decided to test out the route for themselves.

"The producers pre-drive the production route to ensure it's safe for everyone and that it can be played at a safe speed limit," explained J. Sanchez, executive producer of Fireball Run. "It's the equivalent to a life-size game of trivial pursuit."

Forty teams made up of business owners, celebrities and elected officials will be leaving Independence, Ohio Sept. 21. From there, the teams will travel in exotic cars and complete tasks and challenges along the way until they reach the finish line on Sept. 29.

"It's not a tour of America. They're learning about destinations from one part of America to the next," said Sanchez.

He said Bangor was specifically chosen as the final destination of the race because of its scenic beauty, history and well-known author Stephen King.

Kerrie Tripp, the executive director for the Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, got the chance to travel a bit with Sanchez and the film's director Brian Bazala on Saturday when they rolled into West Market Square.

"I think it's amazing and it has given me a better idea of what we want to create and how we want our destination to look on film," said Tripp.

And although this 2,500 mile adventure is the chance of a lifetime for the participants, the real goal of the competitors is to help bring awareness about some of the country's exploited and missing children.

"Every team is representing a missing child from their area in order to raise awareness about that child," said Sanchez. "Ayla Reynolds has been assigned to the Bangor team."

Decals of Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds, whose been missing since December 2011, will be featured on the Fireball Run vehicle driven by Timber Tina Scheer of the Great Maine Lumberjack Show and Carolann Ouellette, the director of the office of tourism. Teams will also be distributing posters to those they come in contact with in an effort to help find these missing children.

"Since 2007, Fireball Run has aided in the recovery of 38 missing children," said Sanchez.

The producers, crew and participants hope this year's Fireball Run Adventurally will help recover even more of America's missing children.

For more information, log onto www.fireballrun.com.

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