Posted by on Sep 14, 2009 in Racing | 2 comments

Well what do you know! I won a race for the first time in more than a year.

My company, Flatout Motorsports, made a pilgrimmage to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a double race – one Saturday, one Sunday. I invited family Saturday, whereupon Murphy’s Law kicked in: clammy drizzle prevailed. My family patiently waited for my race. I got a great start, passed the guy in front of me, got carried away entering the first turn (a high-speed NASCAR oval), and spun out in front of the entire field. They missed me, but I didn’t miss the wall; I slapped it hard with the right front corner of my car. The photo you see here is small, but a careful look shows that the entire front end, which I’d bunged up in a previous race, is pretty ugly looking. It’s held together, for now, with duct tape and Dzus fasteners.

By the time we came past the grandstands in which my family sat expectantly, I was DFL (dead bleeping last), and there I would stay.

Sorry, family.

The next day was a different matter entirely. I’ve never golfed, but those who do say it’s that one sweet shot per eighteen holes that keeps you coming back to play the frustrating, expensive, time-consuming game.

Sunday was the racing equivalent of that one sweet shot. From the drop of the green flag, I battled hard with two friends who drive cars much like mine. One friend would pass me, I would pass him back, and so on. We were each focused on the few hundred yards ahead, but were thinking strategically at the same time. How good are his tires? Should I press him or wait for a mistake? Will we come up on any lapped traffic soon?

In the end, I beat my pal by a whopping three-tenths of a second – half a car length. It was by far my best race of the year, and maybe my best ever. It made up for the season’s mechanical glitches, bad breaks, and driver incompetence.

Now if only my family had been there to see it.