It’s the one thing that hits a driver early in his life, probably most everyone. But, a racer feels it deep down in his gut. The power of the engine engulfs him. One day he not only wants to own it, but he wants to control it. He has to overcome it and master it.
That’s the dream. That’s what takes a hold of us when we are eight and it never lets us go. We hear an engine and we stop to listen. We see an engine and try to figure out how everything works, how it makes the car go! Then as we grow older, we want to know how we can make it go faster.
We want to push the engine and ourselves to the limit. We want to know how fast for how far we can go before the motor cracks and a rod comes shooting through the hood, or smoke simply starts to roll into the cabin and we have to stop before we hit a wall. That’s us! That’s what makes drivers unique.
I’m no professional driver. But, I love putting a fast engine in a fast car and driving off like Bo Duke through Hazard County. If the engine isn’t purring and the body isn’t shaking, it’s just a car to me. But if I can feel it before even sitting inside, then it’s the beast and I have to see what it can do.
Taking it around the track, you can feel the tires hugging the road as the engine pushes speeds you don’t see on the highway. The turn comes and the slide is slight. You have to control that or the wall is waiting to welcome you right into it. That’s about the time you realize you are in the belly of the beast and the engine can eat you alive.
But, the need for the rush starts to grow as you want to catch air and take radical turns. Now, you are looking at a totally different beast. All terrain vehicles that leave dirt in your face and the only thing clean are your teeth if you’ve managed to keep your mouth closed.
Taking those turns are an entirely different slide that you have to feel your way through because only if you’ve done the track enough can you remember, but where is the fun in that? Hit the hill. Take some air. Hopefully, you come back down on the track and not end up in a tree.
All of a sudden, sliding gets your gut. You have to slide everywhere, all the time. You find yourself drifting into parking spaces at the local grocery store. Your cop buddies have told you a hundred times to slow it down, but you can’t when you see that stop sign at the end of the cul-de-sac and you have to see how many mailboxes you can leave standing this time.
You’ll never grow out of it! They let you feel the power of the engine when you were eight. It transformed you then and it has you now. Why fight it? Before long you’ll be racing your wheelchair down a hallway trying to beat your next opponent for your meds. Until then, live life like you were eight!