Dustball 2000: A Southwest Street Rally and Scavenger Hunt

​​Anyone who's seen Hal Needham's The Cannonball Run knows high-speed car rallies are a damn good time for drivers and fans; they're adventurous, chaotic, and often illegal.

And while the crew behind the Dustball Rally is sticking to street code, there will be plenty of adventure and chaos during its 2000-mile scavenger hunt that will take 35 teams from New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada throughout the Southwest.

You can catch contestants race through Phoenix (and as of yesterday, not worry about the speed cameras) this month -- just don't blink. 
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The five-day/four-night-rally is organized by a New Mexico-based group of auto-aficionados called DeansList.us. Members volunteer every year to help organize the Dustball that will start in El Paso, Texas and end in Las Vegas with two 'mystery destinations'  to keep rally-racers on their toes.

Dustball organizer Andy Medley says the Dustball 2000 is the biggest rally the crew organizes. Vehicles participating in the event include a Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, Subaru Forrester, and Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Teams have the chance to take home two awards: the Gimmick Award, which is given to whoever completes the most items on the scavenger hunt, and the Spirit Award.

"To get that award, you have to follow the course, you cannot get lost, and you cannot snivel. Which is our motto; no sniveling," Medley says. "You have to show the most spirit within the trials and the tribulations of the rally."

The course each team takes can be entirely different, with the starting line, each destination, and the finish line being the only check points the cars have to make. Cars are encouraged to abide by state traffic laws, and the 2000 rally typically lasts four days. 

And while the route for this year's rally is being kept a secret until it officially starts, Medley gave a strong hint that Phoenix would be involved in the race.

"We did a Dustball 1000 earlier this year where we went up through the NE part of Arizona then dropped down in Scottsdale," Medley said. "There are so many great roads here. We love Arizona. We've been from Douglas to Flagstaff and we've been on almost every road in between. They're just beautiful, beautiful roads."

The staff will have live blogging, Twitter updates, and a video crew on-hand to capture all of the wild and zany antics the teams are likely to run into. The event begins on July 26 in El Paso, Texas, and ends on July 31 in Las Vegas.

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