Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fast Times in Long Beach

By Simon

Like Tam Tam, I was at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend.  I rarely go to a race these days.  I want to race—not watch.  Nevertheless, I had a nice time hanging out in the paddock in the grandstands.  I enjoyed listening to the paddock gossip.  It’s good to see some things don’t change.  :-)

The interesting thing about my trip to the races was the racing flashbacks.  Watching the cars on their formation laps, I remembered things that I’d forgotten all about when I raced.  I remember being taught to drop the car into first gear as I rolled up to my grid position and make sure it was in gear and the right one so I didn’t blow my start.  I’d forgotten that if I was near the back of the grid I would really slow my pace to a crawl when I rolled up to my grid position to make the guys in front of me sit on their clutches and nerves for longer than really needed.  Also I would over brake in an attempt to force the car behind me to pass me and pick up a penalty for overtaking on the formation lap.  Now don’t think less of me.  We are talking about racing and you win at any way you can.  :-)

I listened to the chief scrutineer for the ALMS talk about his job and went into a cold sweat.  The scrutineering bay is the longest 100 feet of road any car and driver goes through.  The scrutineers have the power to stop you from racing.  Brrr…

All in all, I had a fun day at the races filled with good sport and better memories.  Now when am I driving that stock car?


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