Relative Montague "Monty" Roberts, a well-known race car driver, was the driver of the team when it started in Times Square, NY. With only minor intervals so he could rest, he was the sole driver to Wyoming during a very rough 1908 winter. He had to give up the wheel (The Thomas Flyer was in the lead) at Cheyenne, Wyoming as he had to get back to New York for a contractual obligation to practice for the French Grand Prix race later that year (1908). The Thomas Company mechanic he personally selected, George Schuster, finished the race as driver. George was an amazing man, he was not a known race car driver as Monty was, yet he took the wheel and drove basically from Cheyenne to Paris, France, including through the terrible terrain of Siberia.
There was only one American entry. If it wasn't for Monty, there would be none. He convinced Mr. Thomas, owner of the E.R. Thomas Motor Co. to enter his car.