Need for speed

The decision is made. No racing this year. The money is going into getting Chalice out, printed and on Amazon, on the street. That’s final. No. No way, not going to happen.

But Jake’s my Number One Fan. He was pretty important in my being out there last year when money was tight. When you have a fan like Jake, you take the question of hanging up the helmet pretty seriously. I’m looking right now at the model of Yellow Jacket he and his dad built together.

Yellow Jacket gave me everything she had in that last race, probably down 30 percent on power at the end, the mechanic said. She felt “soft” when I drove back to the pits and would not have lasted one more lap the way we were working to put away that Mustang.

The engine is trashed. The valves quibble about in guides worn like morals of the cynical; oil starvation burnt the main bearings here, and here and … here. Cylinder walls are scratched from pieces of rocker that became one with the oiling system.

Brake pads wore to steel on one edge and calipers leaked fluid to the trailer floor all the way home. Rotors, riddled with heat stress, will make a good door stops.

So, no racing this year. That’s final.

I probably should not have even gone to the races in Seattle a few weeks ago. I went up to see friends, introduce myself to a couple of readers of Chalice. Pacific Raceways was on the way to talk to another Chalice reader in Port Townsend. The trip  gave me a chance to see my daughter. All very safe.

Until I got to the track. For me and for those I play with, combining the perfume of high octane gas, scorched oil and burning rubber with the  howl of compression at the edge of control creates a compulsion that can not be described. I wavered.

Then Jake sent me a note that it would be really great if I showed up with Yellow Jacket at the Portland race at the end of June, he understood about the problems and all but they’re featuring the Corvette, it would sure be great…

There isn’t nearly enough time, Jake. I just can’t do it. Tell you what, I’ll get us pit passes and we’ll sit together in the stands.

New pistons arrive in two days.

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

6 Responses to Need for speed

  1. Jakebobst says:

    i understand you need to put the money towards the book.but of course i wish it could go into yellow wont be the same with out you on the track.but i would love to watch from the stands with you. you say “pistons are coming in two days”.so does that mean next year you will race?

  2. Erik Dolson says:

    Jakester, it means I am hoping to see you at the track in about a month—with Yellow Jacket ready to go.

  3. Brent Portschy says:

    Erik, I too have been watching and rooting for you and the 95 Corvette. This year I actually was able to meet you in the pits and talk to you about your car and my Corvette roadster project, I really enjoyed the last group 5 race and you pasing the mustang for a bit, it was a close finish. I hope you do great in Seattle. I will continue to watch you race when I can. Thanks Brent

  4. Erik Dolson says:

    Thank you, Brent. That last race was a challenge, Ken drove well, and I couldn’t get by and hold on to it. I’ve put some thoughts up about the race.

    I am looking forward to Seattle. I have made a couple of changes that will hopefully make me a little more competitive. It’s a beautiful track, always great cars. Come up if you can spare a day.

  5. Jakester says:

    Erik were coming up there to Seattle tomorrow. Can’t wait to see you!! And yellow jacket, sound likes she ready to show her stuff!

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