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Pobst Position: Going Pobstal
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Pobst Position: Going Pobstal
I was planning to write something professorial, about planning your race, but in my rousing half-sleep this morning I was overcome by a desire to share another racing drama. Like I say, I am normally a very nice guy&out of the car. Don't mess with me in the car. Racing is a very intense, emotional sport, yes? Have you ever just lost it in the car? I mean your temper. Every race? Yeah, I remember you, Hothead. Dangerous. Counseling is in order.

Its 1988, and Linda and I are running a West Palm Beach street race. She's running fourth overall, and doing a great job in our MR2 Supercharged. I'm on the radio in the pits, and there's a Mazda slowly catching her, with a driver I don't know well and do not trust. Uh, oh. I think, Should I call her and tell her to let this guy through? Naw, Lindas good, shell be fine. Ever hear a still, small voice inside your head? Listen to it. It said, She's fine, but he's trouble. I chose laissez-faire, not that it would have changed the outcome, even if I had spoken up. As they disappear around turn two, he's on her bumper. Ten seconds later, That @^#%* put me in the wall! Rats! She gets it back to the pits, and we use sledgehammer and prybars to get it back on track, still running good, amazingly, but a couple laps down, with everything ahead of the windshield turning hard right. I catch the Mazda. I'm gonna kill him. Don't mess with my wife, Mister, grrr. But the angel on the other shoulder rightly points out that he has most likely changed drivers, too. Not right to kill the innocent co-driver in the fast kink (I actually considered this), so I nail him in a slow hairpin. He just spins. Doesn't even hit the wall, darn it. Not usually the executioner type, but I may have felt just a little dark pleasure. Woulda been a good job for Kleinubing.

30 minutes later, almost to the end, I catch him again. Still carrying a grudge, but battling the nice guy inside, I'm decide to just go by him on the straight. Barely. One millimeter between me and him and and one more to the wall. He finally gives me a little bump. That did it. Pobstal. I slam the brakes. He hesitates, then goes for it, vainly attempting to beat that maniac in the smashed Toyota who is somehow still awfully fast, around the outside. Perfect. Dead in my sights. I gas it. Wham! in the right rear, spinning both of us ( I know now, Pierre, keep your foot in it so you don't spin, too). And darn it, he doesn't even hit the wall, either. Again. Never saw them after the race.

Fast forward a year. Same race. I've got a big Skip Barber Racing School tour coming up, and I recognize a name on my road crew. David Loring, a respected and experienced pro, the driver I pummeled. Uh, oh. I better have a talk with him this weekend, before we have to travel and work together for six weeks. Never met him. Well, the race comes, and I have not yet seen him. Didn't try, actually. Avoiding it, in truth. I'm driving the Firebird with The World's Fastest Clown, running great in fourth, get spun by a guy two laps down who just HAS to repass me, and get creamed by another who doesn't know what a waving yellow means. Beat up and bruised, feeling terrible about crashing Mike Guido's beautiful-but-shoestring-effort car, I step out of medical into a big smile and an extended hearty handshake from an unfamiliar face. Hi, I'm David Loring.

Stunned, I sputter apology. No problem, he says, I understand. That co-driver's an real a**hole. What a guy.
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