Bidding farewell to Rosenbaum, I tell him, "I might be able to go a little faster, but more likely I'd just make a mistake trying. So I think I'll leave while this is a happy story instead of a tragic one." Unfortunately, it ended up tragic anyway.
On what was to be his last run of the day, Alex Djordjevic went off the road in his 911 Turbo at the same spot where I scared myself out of the competition. He was killed. Perhaps seasoned racers take this sort of thing in stride, but I found this news deeply unsettling. It's strange to hear about a racing fatality and realize that the sick knot in your stomach is empathy. This must be sort of what it feels like to miss a plane that ends up crashing -- like you got away with something.
After what happened, it's tempting to view this road as a malevolent entity. But it's just a strip of pavement. Whether that represents a nerve-racking flirtation with disaster or a day of pure jollies depends on what you expect to accomplish. And the people who seemed the happiest were the ones who had no particular agenda. Like Dean L. Smith, who ran an ancient De Soto Firedome 8 and could sometimes be spotted in the driver's seat, napping, between runs.
Or, for that matter, Amir Rosenbaum. He of the 3:10 Ferrari F40 didn't break the 3:41 mark all weekend. Because he wasn't driving the F40, instead spending his wheel time bombing up the mountain in a cherry big-block Chevy El Camino, proving how much fun you can have when you've got nothing to prove.
(Top: Ezra reasons that buying Speed Stick will actually enable him to drive in a speedier fashion, since he can turn off the Porsche's air-conditioning without worry of unseemly B.O. Right: Straightenin' the curve, flattenin' the hill. This sign is an understatement.)