Race Read Count : 5

Category : Stories

Sub Category : Drama

     The throaty rumble of the engine awoke his senses.  Eight cylinders firing, bringing this metal monster to life.  He tingled with excitement.  His concentration at its peak.  He could feel the shaking of the car as he waited patiently in the staging lane.

     It was time.  The car lurched forward slowly as he guided it to the waterbox.  The rear tires wet, he was ready to do his burnout to clean and heat the tires.  The track official waved his arms in a rotating motion, signalling the drivers to do their burnouts.  Holding the brake pedal down with one foot and the gas pedal down with the other, the engine revved up to his set rpm.  The rear tires broke traction and began to spin, sending out a cloud of white smoke.  Letting off the brake, he allowed the car to roll out a few feet to finish his burnout.   

     Looking over to the other lane, his opponent had just finished his burnout.  They were long time friends, both loved cars and racing, and even belonged to the same car club.  They had a frienday rivalry though.  Both men determined to beat the other.  Both wanted the bragging rights.  They had bantered and argued about who was faster for years.  They had helped each other build the beasts that they now sat in.  This race was it, this was all for pride.  Their eyes met as they prepared to stage the cars.  His opponent slowly raised a middle finger in a playful gesture.  He nodded his head and returned the gesture. 

     Turning back towards the start line, he looked over each of the gauges on the dash.  Rpm's were good.  Oil pressure steady.  Engine temperature was good.  Both cars slowly rolled into the first beam that signaled the pre-stage light on top of the tree.  He watched his boost gauge as he applied throttle.  The turbocharger under the hood began to spool up, cramming more air into the engine.  Once the pressure on the boost gauge reached its setpoint, he bumped the car forward.  The front tire broke a second beam, signalling the staged light.  He took a last look at the sidelines of the track.  The club members lined the fence along his opponent's lane.  One of them held up a cardboard sign that simply stated "All bullshit ends here."

     His opponent now staged, they waited for the three rows of yellow lights to flash.  The engines roared at their launch rpm's.  He felt every muscle clench as he focused on the bottom yellow light.  Timing the light was crucial if he wanted to win.

     It lit up for a fraction of a second.  As it went dark, he released the brake and pushed the accelerator down more.  As the green light lit up, both cars began to move.  The raw power from the engine transferred through the transmission,  along the driveshaft into the rearend.  The torque spinning the gears inside the rearend, turning the halfshafts and wheels.  He prayed the tires would grip well and not spin out on the launch.  And grip they did.  The nose of the car raised some as the rear squatted down.  And they were racing!

     The force of the launch pressed him back into his seat.  His ears thundered with the roar of the engine, the hiss of the turbocharger, and the thumping of his heart.  This was the exileration he'd been after for so long.  He was acutely aware of the gauges, the guardrails alongside the track, and his opponent right beside him.  They were dead even.  He would pull ahead for a moment, fall back, and pull back ahead.  Mere inches would determine the winner.

     The sense of time seemed twisted.  Everything was happening so fast, yet it was as if he were in slow motion.  Little fragments of the run were registered by his brain and dismissed just as fast.  It was all reaction now.

     He held his breath.  He looked up to see which lane got the win light as they crossed the finish line.  The light for his lane lit up.  He let out a loud, joyous scream as he pounder the steering wheel with his fist.  He had done it.  He had won.

     They pulled the cars into the pits, side by side.  He jumped out, overjoyed.  His opponent came up to him, slapped him on the back.  "Helluva race, bub.  Congratulations."

     Giving him a brotherly hug, he reponded, "Yes sir, thank you!  That was fun!"

     As he sat back in his recliner at his home.  Still exhilarated from his win.  Bragging rights were now his.  At least, until the next time they would race.  He smiled at the thought and drifted off to sleep.

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  • Mar 26, 2019

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