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.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Sneak Peek of Avoidable Contact

by Tammy

I spent all weekend frantically working on a draft of Kate #3, Avoidable Contact, and that's the only motorsports I'm thinking about. So I thought I'd share a short snippit of the story for today's blog. It's actually Chapter 4, at the start of the 24 Hours of Daytona....



“Green, green, green! We are green for the 24 Hours of Daytona!”
All eyes in Daytona International Speedway focused on the sixty-eight racecars sweeping under the green flag. As they crossed the start/finish line, the official clock began its twenty-four hour countdown.
Every one of the hundred-plus people packed into the Sandham Swift tent strained to monitor each twitch and bobble of our Corvettes as they negotiated the melee. I exhaled, my release of tension echoed up and down pit lane, as the field got through the narrow, tricky Turn 1 with no accidents.
Holly grabbed my arm. Someone else pointed at the camera feed showing two prototypes shoving each other through Turn 2—only two cars ahead of Mike.
The cars slid off-track driver’s left at the approach to Turn 3, the right-handed International Horseshoe. Mike and the rest of the sportscars checked up but weren’t impeded. We breathed again.
Mike fought for position. Still second in class. Dogging the back of the BMW on the GTLM pole.
“Easy,” I muttered. “It’s only the first lap.”
As if he’d heard me, the half a car length between Corvette and BMW widened as both cars powered through the Kink, Turn 4, a flat-out, left-hand bend in the track’s inner loop.
Through the West Horseshoe, Turn 5. One of the prototypes forced off two turns prior sliced through the GTs on his way back to the front.
The car dove under our 29 Corvette, and a mechanic next to me growled, “Careful there, you sumbitch.”
I laughed, provoking a sheepish grin from the mechanic. Daytona was big enough that unless the cars were all on the front stretch, or a car was directly in front of us making a pit stop, we could carry on conversations—and sometimes hear under-the-breath mutterings.
Someone leaned over my shoulder to point at one of the screens. The lead BMW had bobbled under braking. Distracted? Missed a shift? Whatever the cause, he drifted wide approaching Turn 6, the left-hander that transitioned from the inner loop to the banked oval track. I tensed as Mike pounced, slipping under him and scooting away into the lead.

“Whooooo!” We all cheered. I high-fived everyone around me, feeling energized and alive. Regardless of what happened in the next twenty-four hours, we’d made a small mark on the race.
(More to come in August 2014 ... pre-order it today!)


  1. I really like the title for this one. :)

  2. Thanks, me too! A good friend suggested it....