The Cannonball Run is returning to America. Named for the highly illegal (and surely equally entertaining) Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash founded by Car & Driver vet Brock Yates, this celeb and party-soaked cross-country run is actually an unsanctioned offspring of the franchise started by the aforementioned elder statesman of automotive journalism. Yates himself still presides over the One Lap of America, the original's heir operating in a toned-down format that keeps the points-scoring events to a changing cast of racetracks around the nation.

In the past, the Cannonball's route has been something of a secret until the green flag drops, largely in hopes of minimizing legal wranglings and a level playing field for competitors. The 2006 iteration will actually be run under the Great American Run banner for one week, beginning July 29.

In an unorthodox development, racers will actually start the event in their choice of four U.S. cities: Atlanta, Miami, New York, and Washington D.C., with 16 checkpoints punctuating the 3,000 mile drives. Either way, the cars will all wind up in Los Angeles for the traditional debauchery-laden afterparty.

Interested? Find yourself an amusing car (preferably a fast one) and the $10,000 entry fee, and sign up to be one of the 400 fun-loving scofflaws.

[Source: Mobilmag.com; Star-Collector.net; Cannonballworld.com; OneLapOfAmerica.com]