Car and driver

Ryan Dunn

Photo By David Robert

In 1981, Burt Reynolds starred in a film called The Cannonball Run, featuring high-profile celebs racing across the country in ridiculously posh sports cars, aiming for new checkpoint cities each day. A few years ago, a British investment banker with way too much money on his hands decided to run and promote a similar event with modern-day celebrities. This is Bullrun USA, an eight-day, cross-country rally race with such personalities as Dennis Rodman, Hayden Christensen and Samuel Jackson participating. On July 27, the entourage rolled into Circus Circus in Reno, where I caught up with MTV’s Jackass co-star Ryan Dunn.

Give me the scoop on this year’s Bullrun.

We race these events every year, but I only have these shitty old cars, so I always get beat by the Lamborghinis and Ferraris. This year, they gave me a Lincoln Navigator to drive, so I can take the shoulder and pass all those little sports cars when traffic is stopped. Anyways, what cop is going to pull over a Navigator with all these crazy sports cars sitting right behind? My buddy, Dennis Collins, had to call in a helicopter to beat me today. He blew the tires on his Ferrari going 200 mph today on (Interstate) 80 somewhere in Utah, and he just whipped out the American Express card, called a helicopter pilot and gave him $9,000 plus a $1,500 tip to pick him up right on 80 and fly to Reno.

Let’s hear the craziest story from the road.

In the last race, in 2003, me and Dennis were first and second place to Vegas. We went straight to the hotel pool and ordered thousands of dollars worth of beers. There were four of us, and we made a deal that we had to drink all the beers before we left the bar. It ended up being 160 beers between four of us. That was 40 beers each. That was such a crazy day.

How has Reno treated you on the tour?

Dude, I don’t even remember the last time I was here, in 2003. I’m always so drunk when I’m here. I got here, and I was sober for maybe a few hours, and then we just kept drinking all night. After that, we just got in the car in the morning and got our route card to tell us where to go next. I guess that means I have great times in Reno, then.

What are some of the coolest cars you’ve seen in the race?

Oh man, the cars are amazing. My favorite is probably the Ferrari 550 Maranello. The best car is probably the Aston Martin DB9, or some of the Ferrari 450s. The Lamborghinis are crazy. I don’t know. There are so many awesome cars it’s hard to tell. I’m not sure what I think about Dennis Rodman’s Gayardo, though. I want to see someone show up in an old Countach.

How have the cops responded to your little race?

I’ve been pulled over three times now. I got pulled over going 85 in a 75 the other day just because the cop couldn’t catch Hayden (Christensen) in his Lamborghini. He just picked me out because my car was slower. Good thing for me it will only go 100.

What are the chances of you guys actually making it to the finish in Los Angeles?

Oh, I will make it. I’m not as shitty of a driver as I look. I’ve wrecked 11 cars, so I know how to keep control over one. But I have no doubts that I will make it. It might take a cab, a helicopter or a hovercraft, but I will make it.