Creative and Insightful Overtaking

Hey Pat,

You’re off to Mid-Ohio this weekend. Once again it’ll be nearly impossible for me to watch your race, since I’ll be at the track myself – Road Atlanta for me. I pulled into Braselton around midnight, and by the time I stopped for supplies and got checked into the hotel, it was after one. I’d picked up a sewing kit because two of the three pairs of pants I brought need repairs. Damned kit has no needle, and there’s no way in hell I’m going back out so late. My one unholy pair of pants will do me for tomorrow and I’ll take it from there. While most of the workers are allowed to wear shorts and T-shirts, those of us who work pit and grid have to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. I’ve basically got very light pajama bottoms since it’s expected to be clear and 95 tomorrow. Yow!

It’s so great to see my friends. Even as late as I arrived, there were other folks pulling in from all over. It was hug city in the hotel lobby. And now I’m paying the price for swilling espresso the whole way here. I drove the whole 204 miles in one shot, not even a bathroom break. For some reason nature did not call. Oh, and I saw the most spectacular sight. As I crested the hill in Douglasville about 20 miles west of town, where the Atlanta skyline first comes into view, there was the most incredible big orange harvest moon hanging low over the horizon, just over the tops of the buildings, and Jupiter was visible as well. It was really something!

Anyway I’m here and wired and surfing the web before I crash. Your new PCA Raceblog is up, and I absolutely loved reading your thoughts on Lime Rock, and on how you and Jorg work things out between you about who qualifies, who starts, etc. for the season. No A and B driver for you guys – I could kind of tell that, but I had no clue how you worked it out. It’s neat to know.

You are such an advanced driver that much of what you say about the actual driving kind of goes over my head. But I really dug the passion with which you described what was required to win at Lime Rock – “creative and insightful overtaking.” You are like the Itzhak Perlman of driving! Of course I am going to use a prodigious musician to analogize! The level at which you consistently perform is completely awesome. I recognize it as the product of years of hard work, rote practice, seat time, focus, support, and everything else that comes with all that. You build and build and build and eventually you get to a level where the basics are so solidly there that you are able to be truly creative in your work. Awe. Some.

OK if I don’t wrap this up I’ll never make it to all-hands in the morning. I’ve brought a print-out of the driver list and I have already reached out to a few folks who have offered me rides in the past. I have my helmet, and I’ll be on the grid, the perfect spot to hitch a ride. I’m looking forward to being well and fully reminded about what it’s like to move at speed. It’s been too long!

Kick ass, take names, and drive purty!


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